Expectations

Hello! I’m happy to report that I have survived the busiest months ever! Somehow, the end of June into beginning of August was when All The Things™ happened, and big part of making sure I survived was prioritizing the small amount of free time I had to take care of myself. This meant not feeling bad about falling behind on an arbitrary blog schedule I created for myself. I definitely stand by the fact that even though I’ve had all these ideas of stuff to write, I decided to get some sleep instead.

So what have I been up to these last two months? Well, after wrapping up a successful pride month, there were birthdays to celebrate, concerts to dance at, a four day work conference to prepare for and attend, and I moved out for the very first time.

Like I said. ALL. THE. THINGS.

But for real, being busy is my favorite, so being busy with all these incredible events in my life made for such an exciting way to spend my summer. And the fact that my yearly family vacation on the beach fell exactly at the end of my busy months didn’t hurt, either. It made the reward that much sweeter.

It’s sort of been a little too perfect. Spending time and energy on projects I was excited about, practicing self care to handle my busy schedule, and then getting to relax and refresh on the beach for a week. It’s left me feeling completely recharged and motivated. Sort of like New Year’s. Plus, when I realized that I moved into a new apartment at the very middle of the year – the beginning of July – it was a perfect opportunity to hit a reset button. On my resolutions, intentions, and general plans for working toward my goals.

So what now?

As an overly enthusiastic and creative person, it’s tough to navigate all of the ideas and aspirations I have for myself. I get so amped about a project I want to start, and then I have 10 other projects I want to work on, and then I get so overwhelmed that I don’t choose anything and instead just watch Netflix.

I see so much stuff online discussing what to do when you’re lacking motivation and want to get started on something. Or how to keep the momentum going once you’ve found it. But what about when you have the drive but aren’t sure where to direct it?

As I will tell anyone who will listen, Leslie Knope and I are undeniably the same person. There’s a particular quote that comes to mind when I think about our similar levels of enthusiasm, motivation, and stamina:

“I’m going to work until I’m 100, then cut back to four days a week. I’m already bored thinking about that fifth day. Oh, well, maybe I’ll go to law school!”

Right, so that’s how I feel most of the time. When I have a day off, if I’m not crossing something off my to-do list, I feel unproductive. Sure, I’ll take some time at the end of a busy work day to hang out with friends or watch YouTube videos and eat some ice cream. But there’s always this lingering judgement in back of my mind that is trying to convince me to step it up. When was the last time I wrote something? Should I be focusing more on a side hustle? Why didn’t I go for a run before dinner? I always want to be working, improving, and feeling as fulfilled as possible. But there’s certainly a difference between being fulfilled and being completely stuffed.

There’s another quote from Parks and Rec that I’ve been considering lately that I think will serve me better than my usual Leslie Knope energy levels.

Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing.”

Much like the goal I had set for myself to write a new blog post every month, my motivation often comes from my own personal expectations. While there is certainly a benefit of purpose that comes along with setting a goal, it’s important to remember to keep a balance. Once you start setting too many goals without the proper resources to complete them, you’ll likely end up more frustrated than satisfied. It’s absolutely important to work hard to achieve what you want, but not at the price of compromising your true and full potential.

So maybe right now, instead of using my newly renewed energy and motivation to figure out how many projects I can work on, I can pick the one I’m most excited about and see where that takes me. Maybe after a few weeks I’ll want to shift my focus onto a different project for a while. Or maybe I’ll find time to take smaller and more meaningful steps forward in the areas I can handle. While it may take more effort and discipline, I think I can stand to be a little more flexible. I can whole ass one project at a time and move on when it feels right. That way, I can feel productive and creative while still having time to watch Parks and Rec. Again.

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Love Like This

HAPPY GALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!

For those of you who are already confused, I’ll turn it over to Leslie Knope.

“What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas. It’s wonderful. And it should be a national holiday.”

Basically, the day before we all celebrate romantic love, you can celebrate other kinds of love with your best buds. Obviously this isn’t just about ladies – anyone can celebrate Galentine’s Day! The main thing to recognize is that it’s just as important as Valentine’s Day. If there’s no romance happening in your life right now, or if you’d rather not spend a whole day fixating on it, February 13th is the perfect way to celebrate love for your closest friends instead. And even if you are super into Valentines Day, that’s cool, too – you’re just adding an entire extra day of love. I mean, what’s better than a day dedicated to hanging out with your besties and telling each other how much you love one another? THATS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT!!!

After leaving high school, I learned that a big part of life is the work and effort that needs to be put into maintaining successful relationships. Mainly, I noticed that since all of my close friends had moved away for college, if I wanted to keep our friendships alive, it was going to take more effort than before. And by experiencing this, I learned that the best friends to have are the ones who you want to make the effort for, and who want to make the effort for you, too.

As I starting stumbling more and more into “adult” life, I also began to understand the importance of removing toxic people from my life. This doesn’t have to mean you create major rifts in your relationships for the sake of getting rid of people you aren’t close to anymore. But rather, I came to terms with the fact that my own personal wellness is greatly affected by the people I spend the most time with. And the best thing you can do is surround yourself with people who make you happy. Find the people who make you feel safe and welcomed, who you trust to always have your best interest at heart, and who bring out your best self.

So for Galentine’s Day, I’m reflecting on all of the amazing friends in my life and how much they mean to me, how much they inspire me, and how much joy they add to my life. When I stop to think about all that my friends have accomplished, I’m so grateful to be able to share it with them. Some of my friends are landing their dream jobs and pursuing grad school. Some are taking time to figure out what their next steps should be. Some are taking on new responsibilities while others are making the world’s greatest grilled cheese, and I couldn’t be more proud of every single one of them.

I’m often labeled as the Mom Friend and I hold that label very close to my heart. I care so deeply about all of my friends. I want them to be happy and I want them to pursue their dreams and I want them to stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Seeing the people you love succeed is one of the most rewarding things ever – not because I had anything to do with it, but because their success is just another piece of their life that I get to be a part of, and with that, our relationships become even more special.

I know I’ve spent this entire post spilling all of my sappy Hufflepuff guts to everyone, but I’ll leave you with one last thing: don’t be afraid to share your love. That’s what you would do with your significant other on Valentine’s Day, right? Why should Galentine’s Day be any different? Today, I encourage all of you beautiful rule breaking moths to celebrate your friendships as loudly as you possibly can. Sometimes it may feel silly to share genuine feelings of gratitude and sincerity with your closest friends once you’ve reached the point in your relationship when your love is understood. But it’s definitely worth it to give those feelings the recognition they deserve. So let’s go spread the love, and most importantly, eat some waffles. Because why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?

(PS. Visit my Etsy shop for instant downloads of Galentine’s Day cards!)