For those not familiar with my Dusting Off My Parachute Facebook Group, each day we have a themed micro-resolution and Friday is F-It Friday, where the F can stand for Fix, as in, I’m going to fix that hole in the wall that has been bugging me for the past seven years. The F can also stand for the more traditional F-word, and that’s when we just say F-It and give ourselves permission to permanently delete something off of our to-do list without actually doing it, because, well….F-it. Read more
Today’s F-It Friday is brought to you by the Austin Half Marathon whose motto should be: “The Austin Half Marathon: the race that’s impossible to train the appropriate 12 weeks for because the prior 12 weeks include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every negative weather condition known to man.” (That wouldn’t really fit on a bumper sticker though.)
Sure, everyone “loves” teachers, but I LOVE teachers. I am in awe of their patience and grace under the pressure of handling the demands of 15x more kids than I’ve ever had to deal with, FOR SEVEN HOURS A DAY! EVERY DAY!
My favorite example: I was once visiting my daughter’s fourth grade classroom to take class photos for the yearbook. The class that her teacher team-taught was gathering, very enthusiastically, in the hall for a class trip to the Nutcracker. She came out to greet me, while nonchalantly holding a trashcan that a student had just puked in and simultaneously arranging escorts to take said student to the office and getting students filed off onto the bus.
To me, even just as a spectator, this experience was so traumatic that I’m still writing about four years later.
I received two pieces of news this week, from near and far, about friends who lost loved ones very unexpectedly.
It has been weighing on me, and I thought about using it to guide today’s Monday MEsearch, but didn’t want to be too much of a downer. Then I remembered the post I did last year around this time as I was traveling to attend the funeral of a dear woman – my husband’s aunt, who I love so much I also claim her as my own. I don’t always believe in *signs* but it seemed like a pretty good hint that this is something worth taking a few moments for this week.
Women are notorious for saying yes to things that they have neither the time nor energy for, (or even any interest in.)
Taking the volunteer position at school when your plate is already full.
Accepting an invitation to an event when you want a night off at home.
Taking a promotion at work instead of pursuing another field you’re interested in.
There are hundreds of articles out there trying to convince us to start saying NO to help with our sanity and stress levels, yet we continue to say YES because we’re more worried about letting someone else down than our own well-being.
After all, it’s hard to convince a people-pleaser to look out for their health and happiness when nine times out of ten, they will base their choice on what they think will make someone else happy.
Perhaps we’re thinking of this the wrong way.
What if when you say no, you are making someone else happy?
By saying no, you are giving someone else the opportunity to say yes.
Before you jump into “Taking 2,” take 1 second and notice how you’re standing or sitting.
My guess is that you’re not sitting in a perfectly aligned, yoga like position and instead your head is jutting forward over a phone or keyboard, putting 10 pounds (YES 10 POUNDS) of pressure on your poor neck. We shouldn’t be surprised when our backs and necks hurt, we should be surprised when they don’t!
Now that I’ve posture-shamed you, it’s time to get into our “Take 2.”
Here’s a great little video demonstrating a series of stretches you can easily do at your desk in TWO MINUTES (and if you have 6 more minutes to spare, the guys go into a bunch of reasons you should be stretching after the exercises.)
If you don’t have 6 more minutes to spare, here’s a quick list of reasons it’s worth “Taking 2” to stretch today (and every day.)
Reduces muscle tension
Increases energy levels due to all that great circulation
Some are of the more foul-mouthed, F-It variety, like when you finally decide that you are NEVER going to get around to super gluing the broken Christmas ornament that has been on your kitchen counter for three years. On F-It Friday, your mission is to say, “F-It”, toss it in the trash and make peace with the universe now that you don’t have to have a little porcelain tree staring at you as a reminder of every failure in your life every time you go to the kitchen to steal from your kids’ snack cabinet.
There is also an F-It with an F as in Fix It. This is when you finally do the one stupid little thing that you KNOW will only take about 30 seconds to do, and nags you every time you see it, but for some reason you have let snowball into this mentally monumental task. (Aka – the tiny unpainted part of the wall from where the baby gate mount was removed that took me 4 years and 2 minutes to fix (4 years of glaring at it, 2 minutes to actually take a Melissa & Doug paintbrush and dip it in the can of paint in the garage and dab it on the 2″ spot on the wall.)
Today, my F-It Friday felt SOOOOO GOOOOOD! Every morning, I make a bowl of oatmeal because Oprah told me to once, and because my cholesterol is the level of an 85 year old man. Every morning I dig through my measuring cup cabinet and spend 10x as long as necessary sorting through all of the cups to find my 1/2 cup. Sure, it only really wastes about 10 seconds of my life, but it wastes about 50% of my patience for the day.
The other day, while doing my favorite thing in the world, (wandering aimlessly through the Costco office supply aisle,) I came across a jumbo pack of these 3M hook-y things that usually cost more than I’m willing to splurge on a measuring cup hanging project, for a total bargain.
In under 5 minutes, I not only transformed my measuring cup cabinet, but I have transformed my daily breakfast ritual. Ahhhhhhh.
How many times a day do we remind our kids to say thank you to other parents, camp leaders, etc?
Now, how many times a day do YOU properly say thank you to people? Not a quick, “thanks” as you’re walking off, looking in the other direction, but a look-in-their-eyes, “thank you” that makes the other person feel like they are truly appreciated.
One of my best friends is amazing at this. She should come take your kids to the zoo for the day, clean your house and make you dinner and somehow thank YOU in a way that made you feel like you really did her a huge favor letting her do all those things for you. She makes saying “Thank you” an art form.
So today, say “Thank you” (and “you’re welcome” for that matter) like you really mean it whenever the opportunity presents itself.
At the grocery check out: “Thank you for not putting the ground beef on top of the strawberries, I really appreciate it!”
To your kids: “Thank you for remembering to not take your pants and underwear off at the same time so they’re wearing each other in the laundry.”
Saying Thank You makes other people feel valued and makes you realize how many kind and helpful people there are in our lives every day.
Thank you for helping make the world a more thankful place today.