Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reset and the gift of no

What a great weekend.  After dashing home from Denton, where I watched my little brother graduate from college (woot woot!), Michael and I co-hosted a Lights in the Heights party (post to come).  It really went off without a hitch, which was a huge relief, considering the obstacles* we overcame to get there.  It was totally wonderful and fun, and today I gave myself a much needed day to relax, read, eat leftover cookies and put off cleaning until tomorrow.

That said, in preparation for the party, which aligned with one of my busiest weeks at work, I scarified some of the things that make me feel really normal and healthy.  Read: I didn't exercise at all (not once), for the first time since our Israel trip, and since my kitchen was out of commission, I ate out every meal.  There's something about being really busy that gives you license to indulge like this, but you know what?  I feel kind of sick and gross now. So, priorities.  It's time for a mini-reset.  This week I vow to…

- exercise
- eat well and consciously
- get my obligations done (finish up at work, write a recommendation letter for a friend, finish Christmas shopping)
- serve myself well (post to this blog, clean my apartment, talk to a friend who needs it, update my budget, read)

One of the ways I've been thinking about this is through the idea of giving myself the gift of no.  This was originally a post on The Rich Life, the project I've been bragging on.  One of the contributors, Danielle Buckley Park, recently wrote about her idea of flipping what "no" means.

When she thought about what made her happy, she realized the days in which she gave herself structure and limitations ("No, I will not buy that caramel macchiato," or, "No, I will not wallow in self-pity about how stressed out I am.") were the days she was happier.  The logic is that when everything is a "yes," nothing is special, so by giving yourself the gift of no, "yes" can be enjoyed more.

So she started to play a little game with herself.  Rather than viewing "no" as restrictive, she started to tell herself it was a gift.  She would say, "I'm giving myself the gift of saying no to this caramel macchiato so that I can enjoy the feeling of being light and strong and healthy." and she would really feel like it was a gift.  (Okay, I'm not sure she used those words, but the intention remains the same.)

So that is the game I want to play this week.  I want to be really positive and give myself the gift of limitations. The gift of no.

*1) A few weeks ago, I decided that I'd replace my kitchen floor, a project that of course took longer than expected and had my stove, refrigerator, breakfast table, and all the contents of my kitchen sitting in my living room through Tuesday.
2) A busted water main on my street had water several inches deep -- a muddy mess -- up to my apartment stairs for two weeks running.  After five polite but ineffective calls to the City of Houston, I decided micro-management was going to be the trick to get the main fixed, so I spent a solid 2 hours on the phone with 311 Monday night, getting the name and phone number of everyone who was helping me, as well as their supervisors', then following up continuously throughout Tuesday, until finally a crew came out.  It worked!  The main was fixed by Tuesday evening.
3) My brother graduated!… near Dallas on Saturday morning.  This had me praying I'd make a flight that would get me back to Houston in time to host my guests.

My living room, during the kitchen floor renovation.

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