“At some point you just have to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening.” – Anonymous
What a time to live in the moment. Here we all are wishing this pandemic away – wishing for less isolation & more “normal.” But remember back before this when we all wished we had less “busy” & more time. We wanted more time for the things we enjoy, the people we love, and the life we wanted to lead. We complained because we had too much on our plates. We said no to things we wanted to do because of things we HAD to do.
Before this, if I asked how you were doing, you might say “busy.” EVERYONE was “busy.” We all lived the life of busy looking longingly at our Instagram feeds watching friends who were traipsing around the world living life on vacation. I would be busy creating new slides on an airplane. I’d be taking all sorts of immune boosters while jet-setting to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa landing in rainstorms or blizzards to get in late and wake up early to Keynote a conference. Then I’d turn around and head to the next thing. I was too busy to get prepared ahead of time. Client work, being high-touch with my Rockstars, and answering a million questions were my “busy.”
Last year at our 2020 company planning meeting, we came up with this grand list of things to accomplish this year only to cut most of it out as the year kicked off with a bang. I had so many speaking gigs lined up that everything that wasn’t required got moved to later in the year. My husband and I set plans to move to Western New York for the summer to write our books. Then the world shifted.
We plan. God laughs.
I could sit here and complain. I could say, “but I had all these plans and all this income – all of that’s gone.” I could take up a new hobby or start cleaning out my house. I could sleep in. I could go to bed early. I could read more. I could pretend I’m retired and just wait it out.
Instead, I’m busy doing the things I WANT to do. I GET to be home doing these things. I GET to put my time into the content so many humans need from me. I GET to spend time making inspiring posts, courses, videos, and images. I GET to play piano more. I GET to inspire humans by sharing my vulnerable self – the good, the bad, and the grown-out puffy hair.
Normally, I feel required to do things – things that take up ALL of my time. Getting talks and slides and content together for people based on their timelines. Giving people feedback based on their deadlines. Giving everyone what they need – because they’re the clients and I want to make them happy. And yet, I know every moment I spend giving my all to everyone else is a moment I take away from giving what my soul tells me to give.
We all have choices about how we spend our time. Sure, we have kids, animals, significant others, friends, family, etc. We were told to work from home, parent from home, school from home, create from home, stay home – AND we have the “eff you” rights to do what we want while we’re home.
My husband has to remind me often that I have “eff you” rights. This means that as adults, we get to say no to anything. (Obviously, that doesn’t mean being an idiot and putting other people in danger, so please don’t fight me on this if you’re doing dumb shit.)
You can step out of the group you’ve been in for years because it doesn’t fit you anymore. You can leave the job that makes you hate Mondays. You can walk out of the relationship that doesn’t serve you anymore. You can stop speaking to people who don’t make you feel good – even those related to you (ok, especially those ones.) You can refuse a client because it doesn’t fit your bigger plan. You can stop reading a book if you’re bored with it. You can change your major in college because it wasn’t what you expected. You can stop doing ANYTHING you want – even if you were the one who chose to do it in the first place.
I’m currently sitting in the middle of a day that NOTHING was other people planned for me. After 6 weeks of being busier than ever, I’m in full creation mode. The things I’ve been busy with outside of speaking webinars is creating my own stuff. I’ve been creating webinars like How To Not Be Weird On Zoom and online courses like Rock Your Videos and blog posts like this one that will turn into chapters of my book.
Today, my creation-mode looks like building out a collaborative course called Rock The Stage with Sandy Sponaugle and Michelle Arnold. Everything speakers need to get ready for the stage, do on stage, and then do after the stage – virtual or in-person. This was the HUGE project we put on hold for later in the year – and were given the time to do it now.
What’s even crazier is that this morning – THIS MORNING – I got a call from one of my Rockstars (now a super close friend), Dr. Becca Whittaker, asking what she should do next with her speaking. She was ready to take on the huge task of getting herself out there in front of the humans who need her. And I was in the middle of my weird full day of creation saying to myself, “Wait, I have nothing to do but create this course?! How is that possible? Let me distract myself with a billion other things.” Her call reminded me that I GET to create this thing. I GET to give this collaborative knowledge to the world through these incredible I’ve collected over the years. Because PEOPLE NEED THIS.
I don’t HAVE to do anything I don’t want to do. I don’t have to do what I am doing right now – I GET to do it. FINALLY. I can say no to anything else that doesn’t feel good – even if that means turning down money I really need. I have “eff you” rights. YOU have “eff you” rights. I give you permission to apply them LIBERALLY.
It’s been almost 2 months since someone called this pandemic situation our #newnormal (I’d like to punch that guy.) But for me, it’s been over 20 years of me deciding what I want to do. Whether I want to do what others tell me to do OR do what I want. Which means nothing has changed during this crazy time – except my perspective. I GET to do this – or I GET to say “eff you.”
- Look at the LIFE you’re leading now and ask yourself:
Are these my decisions or did someone else make them for me?
- Look at your CALENDAR and ask yourself:
Did I create this schedule or are others dictating it?
- Look at the PEOPLE around you and ask yourself:
Did I choose these people or did they just happen to be here?
- Look at YOURSELF and ask:
Am I who I want to be or do I need to change something?
This is your life. Your choice. As Mark Batterson says, “you’re just one decision away from a totally different life.”
Use your “eff you” rights.
Do something different.
Shake it up.
Choose a different path.
This is your life.
You only have one.
Do it your way.