Living with Heart

Yes, Yes & No – getting through big life events

Over the years I’ve come up with various successful and spectacularly unsuccessful ways to deal with big life events (like weddings, major birthdays, Christmas etc). It is quite staggering how really dumb I can be at times – and I say that with lots of love for me and the realisation that, like, I’m not really dumb – I just act it at times.

When an event is on the horizon my Mind is telling me one thing and my Mouth will be doing the total opposite. “Yes, of course I can come to lunch and then go out to dinner. Oh, I’m really good at the moment – don’t worry – I’ll be there!” How many times have I had variations of that conversation? Too many to count.

The problem is that I always turn up when I say I’m going to. I over-schedule myself. I max out my energy and then I crash & burn (burn baby burn). But I’m learning and getting better at life managing myself.

A recent example of better life management occurred in the week leading up to Gem’s 21st. We had family coming from all over for the celebration with the arrivals starting on the Wednesday before the weekend. I have this totally nutso enormous extended family that I love, love, love and I knew there would be heaps of lunches, coffees and catchups. I rationally knew that I needed to conserve my energy and dole it out like chocolates to kids at Christmas. My Mind knew this….but my Mouth had other ideas.

I had been asked to talk at an arthritis event that was 4 days before the party just when all the family would start arriving. I initially said ‘No’ – because I was being totes sensible and just an amazing life manager. I said ‘No’ because the focus of the week would be on family and I couldn’t give the talk the preparation that it needed. This was my Mind merging with my sensible Mouth in one perfect moment of union (OK – that sounded weird but you get my drift).

But then….. I went and said ‘YES’.

What the? I knew I was crazy but the words just kept coming out of my mouth and I couldn’t take them back. I told HotY and he said “What the actual %%%% are you thinking? You cannot pull this off – you will drive us all crazy because you will be stressed out of your mind!!!”

So, I stewed on it for weeks and got stressed and got anxious and pretty much catastrophised the entire week into a volcano that would explode leaving me a lump of dried lava lying in its wake. When I catastrophise I don’t go small – I go mega, big volcano, big lava. How could I get out of it without hurting anyone’s feelings & without looking like a total flake?

Then I had another merging of Mind and sensible Mouth. I wrote an email and said ‘No’ and explained why. And guess what? They understood. They were supportive and they said “Have a wonderful celebration with your family.” The sky didn’t fall in and the volcano didn’t explode and I never made it to the dried lava stage.

We’ve all been in this situtaion. You want to go to all the things but you’re body physically is not gonna keep up. So, this Christmas only choose the events that you are really invested in going to. Saying a gentle but firm ‘No’ is the most important thing to learn. And also sticking to the ‘No’ is pretty essential.

I’m trying to be a better life manager for myself. I’m learning to prioritise the things that I do. Maximising my social/people connections that are meaningful to me & keep me part of the bigger world. It can be a big drain on energy to attend these events but making the effort is all about keeping those connections I talked about last week alive and thriving.

So, don’t you be rushing in and saying ‘Yes’ to everything in the lead up to Christmas. Don’t you dare! You’ve been warned! Only say ‘Yes’ to what you, yourself can manage. What your body is able to cope with and what your sensible Mind says is good to go. And when you say ‘Yes’ – say it from the heart and really enjoy yourself.

Thank you for reading this. Thank you for taking time to listen and to hear. Thank you for seeing my life through my joint perspective.

  1. Great post Michelle! But don’t forget the value of that great Australia saying,”yeah….nah”!

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