Doubling Up: Reflecting on BREAK and ARRANGE

Regarding #VOWbreak:

Sometimes when I go into autopilot, I wind up moving way too fast. Too fast to really collect my thoughts. Too fast to think everything through. Too fast to give something a real chance. The momentum carries, carries me. And when I suddenly realize my speed, I try to BREAK quickly to slow myself down but not so hard as to spin out.

We’re hiring a second Investigator at work to share my caseload. My boss and I were cruising through the (extremely long) hiring process that defines higher ed. A process that lasts at least three or four months start-to-finish for a quick hire. We both really want and need that extra body but it turns out we rushed too quickly. Three candidates have come and gone, and we’re no closer to identifying a person we believe can elevate to the job.

We found ourselves a little lost. Do we keep trudging down the path knowing that the route may end up taking us the long way round (or to an entirely different destination)? Or do we pause, evaluate our options, orient ourselves on the path we’re on.

Sometimes stopping feels like wasted time. But when looking back in hindsight, you realize that you saved yourself a lot of heartache by recognizing the sunk cost fallacy — don’t keep investing time (energy, resources) into a failing venture just because you’re in it too deep.

This week we’ll have a bit better perspective about which route is the best one for us to take.

Regarding #VOWarrange:

This has been one of the most fun VOWs in recent memory, mostly because my Type A++ personality got to plan out a regimented schedule for my parent’s weekend visit. Mom and Step-Dad came to Bham for the first time and we followed the tried-and-true pattern of showing off a new place by heavily featuring the food and cocktail scene.

It was fun to show off my new town to people I love. I got to nerd out and celebrate with a small group of people I love. It may not have been much time but we made the most of it.

This week we BEAR what we’re able…

 

 

Surviving the #VOWbreak

I do well with days that need double what it takes (credit to Ryan Adams for that lyric). Downtime has historically been the source of my vices.

I feel like it’s the reverse for a majority of the population. But for me, endless to-do lists and tight deadlines are where I thrive. Where I perform well. Where I take the best care of my self.

I think I’m better at balance than I give myself credit for.
In times like those anyway.

A couple weeks ago, in the midst of fleas and the flu, a dear friend of mine and I had a conversation over a bottle of wine (the task of giving my cat a bath earlier that evening necessitated it). He talked about how he’d seen me, over the past couple of years, take on the world. Or several worlds at a time. And I would always emerge victorious, but in the aftermath, when I had a chance to take a break, I’d stop breathing, which I’m so good at in the midst of things (I think it’s the yogi in me). I’d start stressing about stopping.

About feeling lazy.
About not doing enough.
About not being enough.

Him and I have had a lot of conversations about how we affect each other. About how I challenge him to grow and how he gives me the space to. But after that night, I think the dynamic is starting to shift a bit.

He pointed out the pattern I have. Of cultivating and creating and then crashing…and then beating myself up for not being able to cultivate and create. And instead of suggesting that I do this or that (a pattern of his), he simply encouraged me to notice it. To understand how I function. To embrace (what’s up, Sister’s #oneword2017?) it.

Yoga Teacher Training started this past weekend, and I can already feel it kicking in again. As I start making homework lists, paying more attention to my planner, and organizing group outings (all with very sore muscles I might add), I can feel the thrive starting to bubble. But after that conversation, I know that at the end of February, when it’s over, there’s going to be a lull.

And I’m going to feel like somehow, I am less, despite the more I have just spent 200 hours working for.

But now that I realize I do it, I can expect it. I can make my own damn space to take up as I need to during that break. And I can give myself some fucking grace (to never do yoga again—kidding!).

Sister picked such a good quote to post on our homepage this week. From Pharrell Williams: “Don’t wait for the stars to align, reach up and rearrange them the way you want. Create your own constellation.”

And with that, the light breaks and I stop, and this week, we

ARRANGE.


Steph’s Song of the Week: Craving by James Bay

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWbreak post (coming soon).

#VOWenhance, #VOWsuspend, & Parting Clouds

For a couple weeks now, since #VOWenhance (yes, this my very late post), I’ve been thinking a lot about the various things and people in my life. Doing a bit of a mental inventory. Taking stock. Trying to figure out who and what I may need a bit of a break (this coming week’s VOW) from. Or what I need to add to days that may make them a bit better.

But last week, amidst this inner work and as life sometimes has it, I had to pause (or, more fitting, #VOWsuspend–yes, I am doing a combination post).

My body’s always been pretty sensitive to the seasonal changes, and this fall is no different. Last week had me sequestered in my bed for most of it, and by the time I was feeling better, Tadpole (my little black fur baby) was not. A few very long days and sleepless nights (plus at least 30 loads of laundry, 20 trash bags, and hours and hours of vacuuming) later, he and my apartment are seemingly flea free (though I am certain I feel them crawling all over me).

I can’t even tell you how ready I am for a #VOWbreak. From cleaning. From combing. From washing. From this city. From its nearly 90-degree weather. From work. From wine. From feeling alone. From being alone in my apartment. From feeling like not enough and all too much all at once.

And the thing is, over the last couple weeks, the answers to the questions I’ve been asking have shown up, and, for the first time in a couple months, I see the clouds parting, not completely, but the clearing is starting.

And I need the sun to

Break.


Steph’s Song of the Week: Need the Sun to Break by James Bay

& Don’t Miss Lin’s #VOWsuspend post (coming soon).