The JOY of missing out

As we begin to approach that time of year where you feel the pressure to do ALL THE THINGS, the release of this book, The Joy of Missing Out, could not have come at a better time. But who are we kidding–it’s not just the holiday season people feel consumed by, overwhelm has become a way OF LIFE.

If you find yourself in that spot and not even sure where to start, this book is a great resource. The Author, Tonya Dalton, takes you through a bit of her personal story while giving you strategies to get focused in your life and get rid of all that clutter in your schedule. She even gives you a whole chapter on key phrases to help you become more confident in saying NO. It reminds me a lot of another favorite book of mine, Essentialism, which also has a focus on dialing into what matters at work specifically, so that you can have a greater impact. I feel that these messages are so incredibly important now more than ever.

As someone who is a bit of a homebody, I have felt for a long time that I have to constantly explain why I DON’T want to go somewhere or do something, when to be honest the simple answer is I just don’t want to and I need whitespace. Space to dream, to be, to just enjoy my home and my family or heck just alone time! I have no interest in partaking in the busy crazy life everyone else seems to be living. It was not always that way, though.

“It feels silly because we are grownups and we don’t think we need recess. But we do. Whitespace is essential for our own well-being.” -Tonya Dalton, The Joy of Missing Out.

There was a period of my life that I certainly did live to please everybody and say yes to everything. I was the person that crammed my schedule to the brim. To nobody’s surprise, I was exhausted from always being ‘on’, broke from spending money on things I thought I needed to do or have, and overwhelmed by all the projects/responsibilities/work I kept saying yes to. Sound familiar? It was not until I became a parent that I began to lean into only the things that mattered, because my time became so precious. I started saying said NO all the time, even when I did not have a reason to give. I became more focused and efficient at work. My life became more clear.

I really enjoy the simple things in life, especially with my family. Frozen pizza Friday movie nights. Bike rides around the neighborhood. Rainy mornings at our favorite coffee shop and library. Could we do more? Sure. And sometimes we do. But our girls are toddlers and it is a magical yet challenging age. Literally all they care about is being with me (no really it is ALL THEY CARE ABOUT LORD HELP ME I AM SUFFOCATING) and to them a trip to the grocery store is an adventure and to be honest, it is sometimes all the adventure I can handle for a day if you know what I mean.

My life isn’t perfect by any means and there are a lot of things I am still trying to figure out (like..ALOT) but I will continue have joy in missing out and really dialing into the things that are important. Deep relationships and quality experiences. Because the idea of JOMO- is missing out on all that extra crap so that you can NOT miss what really matters. Whitespace. Things that bring you joy. Time with family & friends.

I challenge you to really look at your calendar and your obligations, especially this time of year. Build that ‘NO’ muscle. Let’s stop saying yes to all the things we think we should be doing so that we can finally enjoy life shall we? Stay blessed in the mess! 🙂

Embrace your season.

Here in Illinois, there was quite the commotion over the snow in October. I know we are not ready for winter. I know we wanted a few more weeks of that beautiful fall weather that we cherish so much in the midwest. But instead we were faced with freezing temps and snow. It all just feels so off, right? I too, was incredibly crabby to see the forecast of snow during the week of Halloween, a time I was looking forward to being outside with my kids trick or treating and enjoying FALL. I had a vision for what I wanted the week to look like with my family and the snow seemed to ruin it. Or did it?

Of course it didn’t. In fact, we had a fantastic adventure trick or treating and playing with friends. We built a snowman named Ellis, our Halloween snowman. We made snow angels. We ate candy. We embraced the season we were given. The view of brightly colored leaves glistening in the snow was not a bad sight either, I would venture to say it was pretty breathtaking actually.

Personally, I felt like this fall snow was a reminder that I needed to embrace MY season, because to be honest I have been having a hard time doing just that. I had a vision for what this season of my life was going to look like; I would spend days blissfully playing with my girls, going on adventures, being able to keep up with the house, have time to make meals and then I would spend two days a week working with students and fostering my business. I was going to feel SO BALANCED you guys.

Well, I am not feeling balanced at all. My days with my girls CAN be blissful and fun, don’t get me wrong. But the majority of the time they feel like endless monotony. Manage tantrums/emotions, change diapers, constant fighting and noise, laundry and cleanup cleanup cleanup. It feels impossible to not lose my patience which then ensues a mountain of guilt. I no longer have an overwhelmingly long to do list, but things just FEEL overwhelming. I look forward to the two days that I get to work, but I also find myself cramming a million things within those two days. So that leaves me feeling a bit overwhelmed in a different way.

I know I am doing a good job, I am proud of how we are raising our kids and really am thankful that I get to be with them so much—but man it is also just hard. Hard on my mind and hard on my identity. As I see people get after their goals or doing fun things, whether it be with their career or fitness or whatever, I feel a twinge of sadness. When will I have that kind of freedom again? When will my girls stop needing me so much? When will it stop feeling like such an impossible feat to keep up with day to day tasks around the house or to just make a simple dinner? I still do things that bring me joy, I feel strongly about that, just not as much as I would like.

There have been so many things that have been giving me perspective lately, the perspective to be thankful for where I am what I have. In two short years our girls will both be off to school. That is so soon, although at the same time, it feels like an eternity away. And when I do have a bit more freedom down the road, I don’t want to look back at this season with sadness because I didn’t embrace it. So that’s the intention I am working on right now, to not wish for the future or dream about past, like Ellis the Halloween snowman, just embrace the season. Whatever season you are in right now, whether it be one you didn’t expect or one that is just plain hard, I encourage you to find the beauty. It is there, I promise.

Stay blessed in the mess 😉