Last Thursday I went down to Hollywood to attend an author event for Leigh Stein’s new book, THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT. I know her through online circles, and based on the content of the book and the energy of her advocacy, I wanted to support her work.
I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go. Hollywood is a bit of a trek (though totally doable) and so resigned myself to missing it when my friend reached out wondering if I’d like to join her.
Of course, YES! I met my writer friend Victoria outside of LA, and then we drove into the city, chatting about the writer’s life (and other fun things). Then we had dinner at a fun and funky Mediterranean restaurant, after which, we got to hear a lovely interview/discussion with Leigh Stein about her new book.
It was fantastic – mostly because I broke out of my isolation, got out of town to spend time with a friend who I think is a wonderful human being, in addition to being a fantastic writer (you can find her work here.).
It was a big deal, and it required me to drive a few hours down and then back. I didn’t get home until after 11 PM, which for me, caused concern as the primary caregiver to an active preschooler. I knew that would happen going in, but I was glad I went. I enjoyed my time with my friend. I resonated with the message of the book.
I needed it on so many levels.
Recluse! Go into the world!
Since being pregnant I became isolationist. It grew even more so after the birth. Through a combination of social, economic, and convenience factors, I work from home. I write on my laptop and do much of my marketing from my dining table which simultaneously allows me to keep an eye on my active preschooler.
I love what I do. I love it because it stays in line with my principles, allows me to spend time with my son, and I’m making the world a better place. Just this past week I had several people tell me how much good I’m doing and it makes me happy to know this.
I don’t do it for the affirmations, but I love them when they arrive!
But this work does have its disadvantages. Because of the time required to care for my son and do computer work, I spend a lot of time at home. I have to actively seek time away from the house, outside, and with other people. I have to schedule it in advance and make accommodations for my kid (either to join me or to do something somewhere else with adequate care.).
For the last few months, I admit, I haven’t done the best job of getting out of the house. I’ve done other things, but I haven’t gotten the amount of social interaction and world time I really needed. So when Victoria texted me about going to Leigh’s event (which I really wanted to attend) I jumped on it.
“My Cup Runneth Over”
I’ve gotten really good at refilling my cup with other things. I know that when I get 10,000 steps in a day, I feel better. I know when I meditate, I feel better. I know when I practice all the things I teach in my course, I feel SO much better about life, the universe, and everything. I also know that when I get out of the house and interact with the world, I feel better.
So why wasn’t I doing it?
There are only so many hours in a day. I had to prioritize some things over others. I gave myself enough social time to manage because that was the only way I saw myself being able to get all the other things done that I wanted to do. It’s why I stopped (for the time being) writing flash fiction. It’s why I only blog 3 times a week instead of 5. It’s why I’m trying to decide what social platforms I’ll cut out and which ones genuinely benefit me.
There are some things that are non-negotiable for me. Here’s my “deal-breaker” list:
Science-fiction, fantasy, and old-school horror. My current faves:
Killjoys – I like the music and identify with the main female characters in the show (both Dutch and Potter).
Dark Matter – I can’t get enough of the green-haired girl (5?).
DIY products – They make me feel good physically and emotionally. Right now I’m in love with raw honey as an ingredient and have recently been exploring the possibilities of it!
Working in the morning – I am at my best in the morning. I’d love to go on walks in the morning too, but my preschooler turns a 20 minute walk into an hour, and I need my brain to be fresh.
Ice cream – If I have to choose between wine and ice cream, honestly, I’ll go with ice cream. I don’t do it every day, but this is an indulgence I crave.
Spending time with Christian – He works long hours so when he gets home, I intentionally put away any and all other things to talk with him and decompress together.
Batching my work – Before writing this post, I recorded 3 lectures and finished 2 other posts, plus graphics. This is how I get everything done (I talk more about how I use batching here.).
Sleep – I think some people don’t do this, but I’ve got to. If I don’t sleep, I’m cranky and behave in ways I don’t like. It’s best for everyone if I get a solid night’s worth.
Caffeine – It can be iced tea, chai, or coffee, but it has to happen (This is a coffee talk post!).
Eating a balanced diet – Again, some people don’t do this, but I have to. When I don’t eat veggies, I feel like I’m sick. If I don’t get enough protein, I feel hungry all day. If I don’t take my vitamins, I feel off kilter. In order to operate at my best self, I need to keep my diet balanced. I know what that looks like for me, and I try to make choices that address this need.
Being present with my kid – I almost didn’t list this because it seems so obvious to me, but it is non-negotiable, not only because I see it as part of parenting, but also because it brings me joy.
Cats – I won’t ever have a colony (I max out at three), but I love cats. Their soft fur and gentle purr makes my heart light.
What needs have you been neglecting? What things are non-negotiable? Leave a comment below!
Not sure what all your needs are? Or maybe you want to reassess everything from the inside out? Contact me to schedule a free Skype call here!
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