Doing it all

but first coffee quote

I realized this week I can’t do it all.

Realistically speaking, I’m fully aware I won’t get to everything on my lists (that’s right, plural) each day. But I still approach them with the idea that if I just keep working, if I just wake up earlier, every single item will finally have nice big line through it. One day, my list will be no more. Surprisingly, this has yet to ever happen, which can be quite a stress-inducing reality.

I recently had lunch with a married friend who confided about the possibility of kids, “I don’t know how people do it. I can barely manage my life, how are you supposed to add someone else’s too?”

Later, my roommate randomly turned to me and said, “Don’t ever let me become one of those moms that gets all wound up about things that don’t really matter.”

Not one of is anywhere even close to having kids, but it got me thinking. How do people do it?

My new theory is, they don’t. Maybe the secret to growing older successfully isn’t getting everything done, it’s being okay with not having everything done. It’s recognizing some things just don’t matter.

I stumbled upon this quote from What Not To Wear’s Clinton Kelley, and all I could say was, YES.

clinton kelley quote

And some weeks I’m just going to forget when it’s my blog day, miss a long-awaited appointment and overbook myself with a whopping three activities for the same date and time. Whoops.

These are my confessions

facing fear quote

Are you hearing Usher in your head now, too? You’re welcome.

Anyways, I’m only the prologue + 20 pages deep into The Power of Habit, but so far the book’s anecdotes about how the brain works are fascinating. The author is pretty authoritative (unintended but interesting word connection there) about how with proper understanding, we can actually take control over our “bad’ habits, cravings and compulsions and rewrite them with “good” ones.

This seems like a rather lofty claim, but I’m definitely willing to see where this goes since my good habits could use a little more help in the actually being habitual department. My bad habits on the other hand are much more frequent house-guests, and I’m starting to get a little tired of their prolonged visits. I am chronically late. I (mostly) accidentally interrupt people. I forget painfully obvious, everyday things like filling up my gas tank (despite seeing the warning light) and returning Redbox rentals. I eat tortilla chips until I literally feel sick.

And then there are all the other ones far too embarrassing for public sharing, although the frightening possibility that someone will one day see all these private, bad habits firsthand grows increasingly real with every single summer weekend, as my boyfriend and I attend yet another wedding. Something about looking at these completely unique yet equally happy couples makes the whole (future) idea of marriage just a little more tangible as a real (future) option….in the future. But it’s not all romantic self-reflection. It’s a scary thing, being known. What if it’s embarrassing? What if that person doesn’t like some things about me? Heck even writing this blog is scary because people I actually know are starting to read it, and I have more than one self-inflicted scar from my teenage Xanga days.

This fear has led to more than one completely irrational overreaction in the form of fierce independence:

Caring Boyfriend, as I sass a digital kiosk for my own technical difficulties: “You seem frustrated.”

Me: “Don’t tell me how to feel, I am a perfectly capable adult who can manage my own emotions!!”

Oh yeah, that happened. (Note to self: the quickest way to not sound like an adult is to snottily assert I am one.)

Lydia’s recent post talked about embracing the scariness of change, and I for one am inspired. I’ll be over here embracing the scariness one self-deprecating story at a time, along with some change, too, if The Power of Habit is right. One can only hope this will happen before I’m caught in a dark kitchen with the freezer open and licking ice cream off my hands, right out of the carton.

Yup, that happened, too.

Living your dreams

shay mitchell vogue

One of the perks of working with lifestyle / fashion brands in what happens to be an all-female office is our monthly magazine subscriptions. I don’t think we’ve been at all shy here at FT about our Pretty Little Liars obsession, so when I saw “Emily” on the cover of the newest SELF Magazine I snagged that up right away.

Apparently her real name is actually Shay Mitchell, and Self starts off by saying if you’re not a fan of hers yet you will be after this article. Sure enough, I didn’t get very far before I was admitting her into my circle of celebrity BFF’s with Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence (…now I just have to meet them). Besides the fact that she believes being healthy is beautiful and is all about supporting other women, she is also a fellow blogger and had some inspiring words of wisdom about going after (and getting!) what you want.

First, create a vision of the life you want. Then share it—and your wisdom—to get started. “When I was living in Toronto and going to my bottle service [waitress] job, I walked down the street as if I were the actor I wanted to be. Back then, my vision board had a Hollywood sign and palm trees on it. I knew this was going to happen. It’s important to wake up every day and remind yourself what you’re working toward. You create your own life. It’s not set out there for you.”

Her determination and success at reaching her goals brings me back to an idea I’ve had before that was just waiting on the terminology – vision boards. For me, it’s not real until it’s down on paper, hence my desk of to do lists, iPhone full of Notes and planner that lives by my side. In addition to being a tangible processor, I’m a very goal-oriented person so it only makes sense that a vision board is exactly what I’ve been missing for daily and long-term inspiration.

Perfect timing, too, because creating and finding a place for a vision board sounds like an awesome new-home project. Only one and a half more weeks until I’m in the new place! I promise, I’ll even get over my fear of others thinking my dreams are vain, unrealistic or petty and share the completed version with you this summer.

Make the bold move

fa97ca57b39c9f89479573f862d03ba6Screen shot 2013-04-16 at 1.18.26 PM

In the past week I’ve been encouraged to make bold moves in both my personal and professional life.

Professionally, I’ve made bold moves in my life before and frankly many of those did not work out. They resulted in disappointing emails, a lack of a returned call, and hours spent refreshing my inbox hoping for good news. Conversely, I’ve made some bold moves that have worked out. And those resulted in a career path change for the better, moving into a position I love and more returned emails and phone calls. I’m a relatively confident person when it comes to knowing my aptitudes, strengths and weaknesses. I’m self aware and openly admit the places where I need to improve, but also work to accentuate those areas in which I excel. Typically, I feel I can accurately assess the outcome of a bold move, therefore making these moves much less scary and more calculated.

In the personal life it is much more difficult to make those bold moves. Although the feeling of rejection from a dream job is heartbreaking, few things compare to true heartbreak. When you get turned down for a job or even just something at work didn’t pan out, it can shake your confidence level a bit. I know for a fact my confidence level was in the pits when I was applying for positions in a field I had no experience in. But when it comes to the heart, the implications stick with you so much longer. The lasting effects shape how you deal with future romantic encounters, even if you don’t know it is happening. Matters of love can’t be calculated, planned or schemed. They just happen. Emotions and feelings can’t always be explained nor predicted.

I missed an opportunity recently to make a bold move in my personal life, and I am disappointed in myself. I allowed past events to hang a dark cloud over my present and I never want this to happen again. On the professional side it is so much easier. Your confidence level might get shaken one day, and the next you’re getting assigned a new project that puts the spring in your step.

So this week I am encouraging myself to make a few bold moves in both my personal and professional life. To not let fear hold me back or shake me. I think we should ask ourselves “why not?” and realize those excuses you start listing off are simply that – excuses. In the words of Nike, Just DO it because this feeling of disappointment in myself for not making a move is not one I want to be very acquainted.