December 31, 2012
As I write this there is just two hours left of 2012. I’m in a quiet hotel room. My sons are sleeping on a sofa bed and I just submitted my last magazine article before deadline at midnight.
All day I’ve been thinking about the screensaver quote on my laptop. It says, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” I saved it nearly a year ago because it really hit home for me. I’m no stranger to challenges, I almost habitually welcome them on a day-to-day basis. However, as we end 2012 this quote has truly challenged me.
I decided not to compete in January. The decision was effortlessly made as I stood hungry while attending my son’s Christmas pageant after a late holiday celebration the night before. For the last two months of my life, all I’ve managed to think about is surviving the next 24-hours. The incredible demands of raising three boys, running several businesses, managing a household, updating websites, writing articles and attending events….really, really drained me. In addition to lack of time and energy, I really have no motivation to get up on stage in a little bikini to persuade the eyes of five judges. I made a personal decision that I would prepare as if I were to compete without compromising my sanity and time spent with my family. However my body manifests in the busy life that I live, then so shall be it. If I think I’m contest ready in a week, I may pay registration, but as I type this, I doubt that will happen.
I was also considering running for City Council in my District. Our newly-elected Mayor lives somewhere in my neighborhood and his council seat is now up for grabs. Having moved to Elk Grove over 20 years ago, I have seen it grow in housing and industry. Years ago, I started a nonprofit, a small business as well as a mom-me fitness group, in an effort to give back to a city that has given me so much. After receiving the Mayor’s Volunteer Award in November, I had a little bit of confidence that my passion would persuade city council members to appoint me as their next colleague. Atlas, I sit here scared.
I’m scared that I don’t have the right connections, or the right age, or the right background. I thought about committing to the bi-monthly meetings. I thought about speaking publicly at a community forum. I thought about why I really wanted to tackle this new endeavor.
And the truth is…
I’m scared of saying No.
I commit to things because I think “I can” do them, without really examining why I want to do them. I can still get in my best shape without competing on stage. I can also still give back to my community without being on a formal committee. In speaking with my father about my indecisions he reminded me of my ‘free-spirited personality’. Having raised me, he knows I don’t fit perfectly in a box and I don’t perform well under social pressure. I don’t like confining to rules or feeling obligated to be something, do something or represent something. I like to be free.
So I am doing something that scares me.
I’m saying no to potential opportunities. I’m saying no to more stuff to do on my incredibly full plate. I’m saying no even though my persistent personality thinks I can say yes to everything.
This year I’m going to start saying No.
I’m going to examine my long-term goals and only apply tasks in my life that support my vision. I’m going to continue living a limitless yet challenging life, but I’m going to try an incorporate more reading time…more husband time…and more me time.
Happy New Year’s everyone.
Pajama party with the whole family in Reno for NYE.
This is exactly how I looked when I wrote this entry.
David and his brother Daniel on Christmas Eve.
I’m so happy I came across your website. This post really hit home, I NEEDED to read this. I’ve been struggling with over committing for several months. I also have 3 little ones and I’m self-employed and work from home. I’m involved in too many activities to count because I felt “I can”. The stress was just too much and I wasn’t enjoying the quality of my life. Your words are what I’ve been trying to formulate in my brain. I love it!!
I’m happy to report I’ve been practicing Bikram yoga since the new year and I love every second. It’s such a beautiful challenge at every class. It was just what I needed to get healthy and reflect on myself and my choices and goals. I’m so excited for this new year and overcoming my personal challenges!!
Thank you Maria for creating this wonderful, healthy, supportive, and motivating place in the world!!