For the last couple of years, I have almost always started the new year with a list of goals and resolutions. This year as I gear up for what I believe will be yet another beautiful and purposeful year, my canvas is rather empty. The next six months are likely going to be one of the most intense yet purposeful periods of my life as a working parent and my canvas is intentionally less full as I am choosing simplicity for myself and the family this year. It’s rather plain because the life I built toward the latter half of this year will continue in its form and not much needs to be disrupted. I am craving more unstructured white space in my life that I naturally will have very little of given a very intense 6 months at work and my commitment as leadership coach for Braven, my two little monkeys who are the love of my life and Sumit who is my rock. Sumit’s focusing on some changes with his career that need both physical time and my support that I absolutely want to prioritize as well.
In many ways, I am reminding myself of how freeing it is to not have to plan too much. I am anticipating working a few hours most weekends which automatically takes away a lot of free space. Sumit and I both decided that we will not be planning any major trips in our quest to keep life simple and focus on the everyday abundance vs. spending 4 hours planning for a 36-hour weekend trip. We are looking at a camping trip in April and a weeklong trip to Europe and I want to do one hiking weekend with a couple of close friends and a leadership retreat that is still tentative but nothing beyond that which is much less than what I typically like to do through a 6-month period. We love to travel, go on more camping trips, big hikes and generally explore and live life more fully even with two chipmunks in tow and I know I need to slow down on that front which does make me a little sad but incredibly grateful of the fact that this is a choice we are both making for reasons that matter to us.
I know when I am in such intense periods, the days and weeks when I nourish myself, I am thriving and grateful yet when I go for too long on empty, I get resentful and am low on energy. I am aware of this but leaving the kids for a yoga class on a Sunday evening can be emotionally hard when I have already spent 6 hours at a coffee shop and yet I know I must nourish myself to ensure the system stays in balance.
Life feels particularly rich and abundant in many, many ways. I am thriving at work, have beautiful relationships in my life and my work as a mother and wife is incredibly gratifying. Yes, If I am honest, I would have ideally not liked to work on weekends and given my energy elsewhere, but I recognize that I am timeboxing this for 6 months and will evaluate my life again and decide if a full-time career in tech is the right choice for my life. I have moments when I wonder if life were to end at 36 would I regret how I chose to spend the last 12 months of my life. Hopefully not! I think given the constraints, my personal values and ambitions, I am choosing this life and want to thrive with the challenges along my path.
So, I took an inventory of my life and created two lists – A list of things that will nourish me over these 6 months and things I am choosing to say no to.
- Intentional time with people who matter
- Date nights & double dates
- Outdoor time & hiking
- Spending money on conveniences including household work I don’t want to prioritize
- Quiet time
- Writing especially my savoring posts so I can continue to find joy
- Empty space on my work calendar
- Simple, healthy home cooked meals
- Not depleting myself by Friday night and ideally filling up my bucket every single day
- Neutral & negative relationships – I have a few negative ones and I must be ruthless about saying no. It’s a work in progress but I am getting better.
- Weekend trips – I love these with friends and family but we need to prioritize and beyond what’s already planned not putting additional headspace on this.
- Hosting at home – I love to cook for people I love but I need to remember my kids are small and its often tough for me to juggle all that it takes and not get empty at 8 pm unless Sumit will also be available fully or have household help.
- Conferences/Events – I love attending events and conferences, but I need to not add this to my plate in this season. There will be a time and place for this soon😊
- Building new relationships – I also love meeting new people but again that takes energy so I want to focus on the rich and beautiful relationships I already have in this season of my life.
What’s on your yes and no list for the upcoming season of your life?