“But what do you WANT to do?” my friend asked me, as we sat enjoying the spring weather after devouring giant bowls of ramen for lunch.
There are a lot of things I want to do, however, it didn’t take me long to come up with the number one item on that list, “What I really really want, almost more than anything right now, is to take some time off work. I would be soooo happy to just NOT WORK for two months.”
“So, why don’t you?” .. And I started to cry.
Wisdom. Insight. The gentle nudgings of those who know you best.
I’ve known for awhile that I need some time off. Time to indulge in housework and yardwork and organization. Time to finally catch up with the friends who work opposite schedules from me. Time to visit my Grandma. Time to research all the crazy business ideas I’ve got rolling around in my brain. Time to cook. Time to lavish attention on my handsome man. Time to sit back and enjoy the upcoming summer weather and all the summer activities that go along with it!
For the past few months, every time a friend or customer tells me they’re not working right now, my response has been, “Funemployed?! Awesome!!” It’s garnered a few raised eyebrows, which I’ve barely noticed since I immediately slip into daydream mode. But I know how The Universe works: The things you focus on, think about, wish for, are the things that start showing up in your life. “I can’t keep telling The Universe how much I want to not work, because then that’s going to happen, and what on earth will I do if I lose my job??” Cue anxiety, stress, and despair.. because although work hasn’t been the same lately, I didn’t have a back up plan, I didn’t want to leave, I was resisting change.
But funny things happen when you open yourself up to possibility. “Maybe I need to come talk to your boss,” I continued our lunch conversation, since her boss happens to also be a previous boss of mine, and I’m confident he’d be open to the idea of my return. And then he walked in the door. For reals. We had a quick chat. “Call me any time,” he told me. Ok then. Next, as I walked to my car, I decided to pop into a place nearby to say hi to another friend. I sat at the bar while she worked around me, and we chatted. And then I realized how comfortable and happy I always am there.. “Hey, would you hire me part time, starting in August?” “Uh, absolutely!! In fact, I was just putting out into The Universe that I need more people that I know and trust to come work for me!” And then I knew that this was really really for reals what I want, and need.
I went home and typed up my resignation letter. I didn’t even write a draft, just typed it and hit Print. Less than 24 hours later it was official.
Sure, it’s a little scary, and it’s a little sad, but it feels so damn good! It feels right. And it’s the right way for me to leave a company that’s been so important to me – on my terms, and on a positive note. And it’s hella exciting!!!! There are big opportunities coming down the pipes to me, I know it with every fibre of my being.
So that. Life. She’s a funny one.
A couple of gems to wrap things up: The first was posted by a friend, a quote from an article about Mercury being in Retrograde (yeah yeah, hippies everywhere..)
“Our lives will only be as amazing as the chances we let ourselves take.” Yes. 100% Yes.
The second was my Note From The Universe, sent to me yesterday:
“You can “dance” with the illusions of time and space, McKinnley, choosing your “steps” based upon things and events as they now are, or you can dance with your dreams, choosing your steps based upon things and events as they will be.
And I bet you can guess which steps will perpetuate today’s illusions, and which ones will change everything…
#8. I don’t need anyone else to complete me.
I’m rather independent, always have been. I don’t remember ever running to my Mom for comfort, I never got home-sick, I’ve been on my own since I was 18 – paying my own bills, doing my own laundry, taking care of myself. Sure, I’ve been lonely at times, and my life wouldn’t be complete without my friends and family, but I march to the beat of my own drum, with confidence. I may have been (still be?) stubborn, serious and shy, but I’ve never been clingy.
When my ex moved out 16 months ago I was surprised to realize that the thing I missed most was the codependence. Having someone around to share a meal with, to chat about my day, someone who would run to the grocery store with me, someone to play a game of Crib with and then snuggle up on the couch. I missed sharing my life. Cohabitating was actually one of my favourite things about that relationship, and I was broken when I lost it.
Fast forward to a year later and I’m finally comfortable again. I love being able to come in late at night, turn the light on in the bedroom, and read in bed for as long as I like. I’m delighted about not having to confirm my whereabouts and daily activities with anyone. I like making last minute plans, or no plans at all, or changing my mind and making different plans – because I can. I’m happy to spend my rare evenings off of work with my girl friends and boy friends, without feeling any guilt or pressure about ditching a partner. I enjoy eating dinner at 8pm. Or 5pm. Or having a bowl of popcorn at 9pm and calling that supper. My life is my own, well, except for Quinn, she demands feeding every 7 o’clock, but she’s a really good snuggler so I keep her around.
My life is full, and I am happy, comfortable, and doing whatever I damn well please whenever I damn well please – and the things I do are exciting and glorious and fill my spirit with joy. Complaints? None. I’m comfortable in my skin, I’m pleased with the choices I’ve made, I’m thrilled with my day to day existence. Is there a piece lacking? Not that I can tell.
However, this doesn’t mean I’m not looking for Love. Yep, Love with a capital L. Come on, who isn’t?! I REALLY like holding hands, like a lot, and even though I can sometimes coerce my sister into holding my hand, I rather prefer not having to resort to alcohol or music festivals or bribery for a little hand on hand contact. So I guess that means I’ve gotta find Love.
And love I’ve had, in spades. I’ve been incredibly lucky/blessed to have dated some amaaaaaaazing people. Truly, amazing. The things I’ve learned, the fun I’ve had, the connections I’ve made – how does one girl get to have so much awesome in her life?! But no matter how much I enjoyed them, the thought of giving up even one iota of my freedom completely freaked me out. You want to spend another night? You want to keep what in my fridge? You want me to make plans how far in advance?!
Then, out of the seeming blue, along came Someone. Yep, a special Someone, who I wanted to make all the plans with. Who I was coercing into staying another night. And another. Who I immediately set up with their own toothbrush, and subsequently wondered why they hadn’t started keeping extra contact solution under the sink yet. Who I invite along everywhere. Who I can spend 8 solid hours talking to, yet feel completely comfortable spending a day apart from. Huh. Cue the anxiety? Nope. Cue the second guessing? Nope. Cue some sort of drama, internal or otherwise? Nope nope nope. Huh.
Who knows where we’ll end up, this Someone and me. Maybe we’ll part ways in a month, or maybe we’ll be inseparable for the next 28 years. I dunno. And I’m not that concerned, to be honest. Right now is fan-freaking-tastic, and that’s all that matters to me.
But does he complete me? HELL NO!! For him to complete me, we would have to assume that a piece of me is missing. That some integral part of my life was flawed or gaping open until he came along to fix it up.
My life didn’t – and doesn’t – require fixing or finishing. Is he amazing? Yup. Do I want to spend time with him? Always. Does he make me want to be a better person? He inspires me every single day. However, my happiness hasn’t increased since he entered my life, it’s just stretched around to fit him in.
And you know what? I would venture a guess that one of the reasons he likes me is because my life is so full of awesomeness. Here’s a little secret: One of the (many) reasons I like him is because his life is pretty awesome too. I don’t feel like I’m filling any holes. I don’t feel any pressure to say or do or be anything other than me. I definitely don’t feel like I have to make him happy, because we’re both already happy. And I really enjoy having his happy around my happy.
( http://www.marcandangel.com/2015/02/04/9-things-you-should-be-able-to-say-about-your-life/ )by McKinnley
There’s a moment in life when you’re attempting to embark on a new journey, only to realize you’ve gone and packed your baggage full with an encyclopedia of all the doubts you’ve learned, hole-filled gloves from the the walls you’ve built, an old toothbrush dirty with the lies you’ve told yourself, and a broken mirror etched with the fears you’ve refused to face.
That bag is so damn heavy, and doesn’t leave any room for pockets full of magic, new shoes for dancing down exciting paths, a book of dreams, or your favourite hoodie that brings you comfort, peace, and pleasure, no matter where you are.
It’s time for me to unpack that baggage. I’m not going to throw it out, it’s been all over the world with me and seen so many adventures!! But I’m going to empty it out, store all those nostalgic items in a cool trunk somewhere, clean it up, then pack it with a few shiny new ideas, some comfy old stand-bys, and make sure to leave plenty of room so that my bag is light enough to play with, and open enough to fill with all the beautiful things I find and learn on my journey.by McKinnley
I’m not even remotely athletic, and how good of shape I’m in is highly questionable (After a hike a couple of years ago, a friend who was with me commented, “I’ve heard about people like you – you’re one of those fat skinny people!!”).. I’ve been blessed with great genetics, and a career that keeps me on my feet and moving all day every day, but overall fitness = FAIL.
Then I hit my 30’s, and all the physical capabilities I’d taken for granted for three decades suddenly weren’t so readily available: My knees started hurting when I climbed stairs. Things I’d been carrying or moving at work for years were now a struggle. I’d become winded at the slightest exertion. I had to *gasp* start asking for help!
Having never exercised, I had no idea where to start. Someone gave me a free pass to a gym – which I actually went to, once, where I promptly acquired a case of severe anxiety, and never returned.
A friend suggested I join her in a yoga class. Being kind of a hippie yoga seemed right up my alley… But the hot studio was intimidating: I’m prone to dehydration, I don’t like getting sweaty, AND HOW WOULD I KNOW WHAT TO DO?? She somehow convinced me to go with her. And then go again.
I kind of thought that once I got past my excuses, yoga and I would fall madly in love. That’s not exactly what happened. For nearly two years yoga and I had an on-again off-again relationship, and even when I was practicing semi-regularly, I never looked forward to it. In fact, when yoga came up in conversation I often admitted to not liking it! “I have to do something,” was my response to the confused expressions on their faces.
However a shift was happening: I started going to yoga even when nobody could join me, I found myself maneuvering my schedule around my favourite classes, and lo and behold, I began to notice that the poses were easier some days, my limbs seemed to be getting stronger, everyday tasks that had become a struggle no longer phased me, and I could walk into a power class in a different city while on vacation without being the least bit intimidated.
Still, I wouldn’t have described yoga as being a big part of my life.
And then, about a month ago, I dislocated a rib. There’s not even a good story to go along with my injury, but it’s prevented me from doing many things I want to do – which is incredibly frustrating.
Suddenly, now that I can’t do yoga, it’s all I want to do. Turns out I DO actually like yoga, a lot. I miss it, fiercely. Funny how that works, isn’t it? That we don’t realize how much we love something until we can’t have it. (Humans are strange creatures…)
I’m attempting to be patient while my muscles and ligaments knit themselves back together (a challenge for me), and in the interim I’m dreaming about amazing yoga sequences I want to tackle one day. Turns out I have a passion, a goal, a desire, a burning for more! And I’m gonna do it!!!! Sure, I may be 36 and a little soft around the edges, but I see ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why I can’t do the splits, or master a handstand, or touch my toes to my head:
Check out these incredible videos for more mind-blowing inspiration:
(I’m ITCHING to do some acro yoga – anybody wanna partner up with me??)
And then this = HOLY CRAP PUNCHERSby McKinnley
Today is different. As much as January 1st is the same as any other day, there’s an inherent new-ness to it, as you can’t help but take at least a moment to reflect on the past 12 months, and ponder the months stretching out ahead.
This morning I ate my breakfast out of a bowl that has the words “If it’s not a ‘HELL YES’ then it’s a No” inscribed around the rim. To me feeling that Hell Yes means listening to my heart, and being both brave enough and honest enough to honour what my heart is telling me.
It’s not always easy. My life is not defined by black and white, everything is a shade of grey, where all answers are debateable, and all choices are valid. It’s both a blessing and a curse. It makes me open-minded, and a great learner, but it also means making decisions is extremely difficult. Plus, my head speaks just as loudly as my heart; logic and emotion are constantly battling it out inside this little 115 lb. frame. It’s complicated.
2014 was massively self-reflective for me. My biggest goals were to be more open to whatever Life decided to throw my way, and to become a better communicator. I learned a lot, I branched out, I spoke my truth, I did some absolutely rotten things (not generally intentional, but still…..), I took a few steps back, then tried to take even more steps forward down paths better suited to my journey. I cried absolutely heart-wrenching tears, and I reveled in the bliss of pure joy.
It was one of the most beautiful years of my life.
And so I step into 2015 with so much gratitude and love, for every experience I’ve fumbled my way through, and every gorgeous soul who’s been part of my journey. I have high expectations for the adventures to come!!by McKinnley
Somebody complained about me at work this week. I get it, they expected impeccable customer service, and they didn’t receive it, that sucks. Being in the customer service industry is tough though, particularly for someone like me, for who being a people person doesn’t come naturally. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE connecting with people, I just find it really difficult to do in a work situation.
Anyway, I got a complaint, it happens, but it’s been eating me up. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize this, but I’m really really hard on myself. Is everyone? I’m not too sure. I’m pretty comfortable in my skin, and I’m pretty confident, particularly at work where I feel like I’ve hit the sweet spot of both really enjoying what I do, and being really good at it. So why is it so devastating to my self-esteem and my peace of mind when I make a mistake or something goes wrong? Sure, I’m great at my job, but that doesn’t mean I’m perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how we learn, it’s how we do better. I take it in stride when my staff make errors, I let them know that it’s ok and I still think they’re awesome, so how come I don’t give myself that same support and understanding?
I’ve been obsessing about what my upper management must think of me. I’ve been feeling absolutely wretched about not doing better, not BEING better. I’ve been replaying the situation over and over in my mind, which frankly hasn’t changed the outcome, or how lousy I feel. I accept responsibility for not acting in an appropriate manner, but I still have to deal with the consequences.
However those consequences don’t have to include me feeling stressed out, or like I’m not a valuable person or employee. It happened, I’ll try to respond better next time, and now I need to let it go. I already know where my weaknesses lie; I get defensive and aggressive when I feel like my back is up against a wall, when people are demanding things of me without discussion. I’m working at trying to ask questions, have a conversation that opens up both sides. In this most recent case, I should have asked them to explain what happened, and then to describe how they thought I could help, and why I should do so. Hindsight, right?
I’m smart, I’m capable, I’m dedicated and I’m a hard worker. I’m a valuable employee.
I have lots and lots of customers who enjoy me and the service I give (they just don’t send emails to my management about it..)
I’m human and make mistakes, but I’m taking those mistakes and growing past them.
I have no reason to feel stressed or depressed or anxious. Upwards and onwards!
I’m living and learning and loving the process. I rock!!!by McKinnley