Sunday is my writing day. Today, I slept until 6am. I’ve been sleeping late a lot this year. It’s not the “me” I was expecting to bring into 2019 with such lofty plans of accomplishment. Where’s the “me” that for a consistent 2.5 years wakes up at 4 a.m. and kicks-butt in the gym for 75 minutes before starting her day? She’s in hibernation, I guess ‘cuz she’s not here right now and the “me” that is here suddenly needs a ridiculous amount of sleep.
I expect more of myself, and yet I’m finding this year incredibly hard. I’m struggling and frozen a lot about things I can’t quite pinpoint, but I am working to keep moving through whatever this muck is. Am I working hard enough?
I’m grateful to have my 3-word intentions this year more than most of the previous years I’ve had them. It was my friend Daniel Steinberg who introduced me to doing “3 Words of intention for the year” a while back when we were co-hosting the TinyChallenges podcast.
Sidenote: If you’re looking for some insightful and deep-yet-brief posts, I highly recommend his blog dimsumthinking.
If I’ve learned anything at all from having done these 3-word intention settings for quite a few years now, it’s that more frequent check-ins will do me some good. Each year I get pulled into my day-to-day and before I know it, it’s December again and I’m thinking about what I’ve done (or not done), where I’m at compared to where I hoped I’d be, and what I want out of the upcoming year. 2018 was a complete blur in so many ways.
I spent time last December pondering what my words would be, and letting them settle. They felt good. Organize. Expand. Presence. Big breath in. Big breath out. Yes. Those are the words.
With this funk I’m currently experiencing, checking-in is helping me lift my head above the fog and remind myself that I have made progress despite feeling stuck and frozen.
I’ve returned to using a book and pen for my daily list-making. We still have our Trello boards for work stuff, and big, high-level things, but my little book and pen feels more like my way of keeping a handle on my day-to-day productivity. Just like 3 words of intention for the year - in my little book I can write down the 3 most important things for me to accomplish that day. One day. 3 things. If I complete them, awesome! I can add more. If I only accomplish one, then I’ve got 2 of 3 for tomorrow ready to go. I can doodle. I can make sub-thought commentary. There’s something about writing things down on paper with a pen that stimulates my brain and kicks my butt into action better than our digital lists do. This feels like a really good step forward in the realm of getting -and being- more organized.
Doing my best at maintaining my weekly posts. Sometimes this is super hard! I got up and wrote despite the late start today and when I finished, I re-read it and decided I should never, ever post that one, and that I should start over. I took a moment. Made a fresh cup of coffee and read a few of my friend Daniel’s latests posts because I know that no matter where I’m at something Daniel has to say will remind me that whatever is going on, I can take it in stride and come out on the other side. Daniel wrote about Pause. It was exactly the thing I needed to read this morning.
I think we’re in the midst of “it gets worse before it gets better”. There are piles and stacks of things all over, but I consider them stacks of progress. Ken did an incredible job of building out a really nice home gym. I helped a little, but this was mostly Ken and this feels a little like sneaking some credit for his productivity. I am really loving the home gym (when I use it.)
I whittled down a few misc stacks of things, made a really nice Good Will pile, and sent away some fancy shoes I could no longer wear (since the broken foot incident of 2017) to one of those online consignment websites. Even if I make nothing in sales commission, they’re not just sitting there collecting dust anymore. This feels like tiny steps of progress.
I spent the better part of a day plotting out travel/lodging for upcoming speaking gigs, clarifying my topics and ensuring I know what I’ll be talking about when/where. More tiny steps of progress.
I took actions here on the personal side and on the business side. I’m keeping things vague because this word “expand” is still a strange sort of learning process for me, but I pushed right up against my boundaries of space this month with efforts to expand fully within them, and that feels awesome.
I made the decision to cap my speaking engagements for the year (school/college related events may receive exception). I used to book up to 20 speaking engagements a year, this year I’m doing 5 and that feels like PLENTY. Now booking for 2020. ;)
I made a very detailed list of things I need ongoing help with, and asked someone I know and trust if she wants the job. Maybe that pans out, maybe it doesn’t, but the act of making this list surfaced clarity. Clarity - declaring what I want and what’s stopping me from getting there - is huge progress.
I supported Sophia in her decision to audition for HouseBand at School of Rock. I knew that if she got in this would mean at minimum another day of 4-hr time-block commitment to get her to and from rehearsal in addition to what we’re already doing each week. Auditioning at age 13 is an important learning experience. If she didn’t get in, she could use the experience and knowledge gained to try again next year. It was important to me to support and encourage her to do something that was really scary for her. She did it. She got in. And I will not complain for one second about the extra drive time, it’s extra 1:1 time with her, and I love it.
Zia started a morning music program 1 hr before school each Thursday. She wakes up a little earlier, we sit on the couch in front of the fireplace and talk about whatever comes to mind for a half-an-hour or so. It’s nice.
I feel like I have so much room for improvement here. The examples above are small in the scheme of things, but important. Better to start somewhere than not start at all.
Checking in on my 3 words is a really interesting exercise. Maybe the frequency is too frequent? Nah. Not yet it’s not. It feels good to take a look at what’s working and what’s not, while encouraging myself to put emphasis on the good stuff and less focus on where I’m falling short. It also holds me accountable because I know I need to check-in again next month and I don’t want to show up with nothing to write about.
I don’t like being in this muck and I don’t know exactly how to get out of it. In the meantime, I am experimenting with the balance between giving myself a moment to feel what I’m feeling while not getting stuck there too deeply. I want to embrace the moments whether bad or good. The down times are real, and painful, and every human being feels them no matter how lonely they feel when you’re in them - the mucky times sure do make the good times all the more savory.
I have a challenge for you, if you’re up for it.
Every day for the next 30 days answer the question: What’s Good?
(If you start tomorrow, Feb 25 your last post is on March 26.)
This can be one thought. One word. One photo. One sentence. One paragraph. Whatever answers the question for you.
You’re welcome to post in comments here, or if you share publicly (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), please tag with #whatsgood because I’d love to know what’s good in your life.
If you don’t want to do it for 30 days, just answer it once for me right now. :)
Thank you for reading,