A colleague posted 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself on our Facebook page and I realized, I can check off one too many things on this list. If you haven’t read the list on Marc and Angel Hack Life, I recommend reading it before you start on your 2012 Resolutions list.
Straight from their list: “Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.”
If there’s one lesson I learned in 2011, it’s that I worried way too much about things that really won’t make a dent in my big picture. I lost sleep over clients (that are no longer on my roster), I stressed over the birth plan for my last son (when, in the end, I had zero control over half the details that I obsessed over), I worried about not baby-proofing enough, baby-proofing too much, about . . . well . . . about everything. And it was all a giant waste of precious time.
This one also hit a nerve for me on their list: “Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.” Can I get an amen? If I had a dollar for every email I rewrote, voicemail I re-recorded or long-winded explanation I offered, I’d be typing this from my yacht off the coast of somewhere very, very fancy.
Here’s one I learned reading a parenting book earlier this year: Stop putting the “full” in “plate.” Sometimes it’s OK to take the easy way out. I can’t even begin to list the dozens of times I poured myself into things I had no time for because I felt guilty about not having the super, ultra, best 2nd birthday ever with handmade photo albums and video slide shows and mac-n-cheese bars with perfect little menu cards and absolutely ridiculous details that really mattered to no one else but me. I learned that take-out pasta and balloons would have sufficed, and I could have spent all that time that I wasted on obsessing over details snuggling with my son or taking him to the park– he’d prefer either over perfectly-stuffed, on-theme party bags.
At any given point there will be a line of people ready to put you down. Don’t be the first one. So. Guilty. My grandma used to say this and it rings in my head every time I hear myself knock myself down a peg.
Don’t let technology weigh you down. Your life is happening even if no one reads about it in your status update. I’m vowing to make technology take a back seat in my 2012. I’ve started leaving my phone in the car when I go out to eat, downstairs when I’m heading to bed and out of arm’s reach when I’m with my boys.
It all comes down to one thing: At the end of the day, life’s way too short to get in the way of your own happiness.