Me Time

I know you’ve heard a lot about me-time in recent years, but I want to talk about it today. I want to talk about it in reference to something I recently realized in my own life: my me time does not simply mean a couple of hours to myself. I need more.

When I was traveling for work, a couple of hours a day was all I needed. Well, that and a weekend day once in a while that had zero plans. But since I hadn’t traveled for work in a year and neither of us were taking our own small trips, I didn’t realize what made those couple of hours be enough.

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Episode 26: Me Time

Failing Imperfectly
Failing Imperfectly
Episode 26: Me Time
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I know you hear a lot about me time from life coaches and influencers all of the time, but hear me out. I thought I was doing me time right, until I realized that the me time that is typically recommended by others, isn’t all that I needed.

Why is it so Hard?

Before I get started, get your mind out of the gutter! 

In all seriousness, why do we make things seem as if they are so difficult? Well, because they are! Duh!! 

Actually, no, they aren’t. They can be anything you want them to be. In my case for this episode, I’m going to talk about work and life in general. Now, I know that there are genuinely some problematic aspects to life; I’m not denying that. What I am referring to are the things that we can control and how we react to everything in life.

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Episode 19: Why is it so Hard?

Failing Imperfectly
Failing Imperfectly
Episode 19: Why is it so Hard?
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Why is life so difficult? Why can’t we just get a break? There are things about life that we cannot help, but there are so many that we can. I’ll tell you how I am working to overcome my mindset about the difficulties in life.

Protect Your Health

Let me start this off by saying that I’m not using this post to tell you how to be healthy and I’m not giving any tips on how to lose weight. If that is what you are looking for, you won’t find it here. What I am talking about it is what I’m doing to make sure that I take care of myself first.

2020 has been a difficult year, nobody can deny that. With this difficult year, a lot of us have had to really get grounded in what we believe is important. For me, one thing has been my overall health. I started the year off not drinking and being impatient to get back to working out hard to get back to a specific weight. I was kind of working on my mental and emotional health, but not giving the effort I really wanted to. I wanted to start my new job off right and I did.

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Boundaries

Life without boundaries is a difficult life to live. I only set a few boundaries in my life before a couple of years ago. Those boundaries were removing toxic people from my life that had been toxic for many years. But I had no other boundaries.

With being an introvert, I need boundaries so I can recharge and take care of myself. Boundaries aren’t only meant to be set to keep toxic people away, they also need to be set so you can take care of yourself. In times like we are currently living through right now, we need to be even more vigilant about our boundaries.

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Today’s Way of Life

As of writing this post, the United States has been in some sort of COVID-19 limbo for about seven months. A lot of people’s lives have been turned upside down while some haven’t really been affected much at all. To be honest, I don’t know one person who hasn’t been affected in one way or another, but I am sure there are some out there. Life today is very different than it was just over seven months ago.

Life for me has changed moderately, mostly with travel and my husband’s switch to most likely permanently working from home with me. Oh and everybody and their brother deciding to buy campers or tents and heading to the mountains and leaving a fucking mess. Life has slowed down and I am grateful for it.

This year we had a lot of travel planned to multiple places for vacation and family events or conferences. All of it has been canceled. All of my business travel has been canceled. I haven’t gotten on a plane or left the state since March. We don’t even know if our normal holiday travels will happen. I was so excited for our new airport to open in September and book travel specifically around the opening. That has not happened for me. I have no idea when I’ll get to check out the new airport. All of these things are trivial in the thirty thousand foot view of our world right now.

Eddie is an extrovert who needs people. He thrives on working in a setting with people that he can interact with all day. If he doesn’t interact with multiple people, it’s almost as if he is a bit ADD. It’s like his energy builds up and has nowhere to go. When his company sent everybody to work from home, we assumed he would be back in the office within weeks. Hell, I think society at large assumed life would return to normal relatively quickly. Unfortunately for Eddie, it is looking like quarantine is actually pushing his company to make the decision for his team to work from home permanently. Thankfully we have enough space to have our own offices, but that doesn’t bode well for an extrovert who can’t go to concerts or do other things to get out his energy. There are most definitely many people who are just like my husband and who are probably struggling. Life for them has taken a turn they can’t easily remedy.

There are more people than ever in the mountains and camping. I wouldn’t ever want to deprive someone from getting out in nature or claim that the mountains are mine, but for goodness sake, clean up after yourself and put your damn fires out!! I am tired of finding a camping spot only to have to use almost an entire trash bag to clean up other people’s messes. Leave nature how it is intended to be. And be responsible. Put out your fires all of the way. Utah has had more fires this year started by people abandoning campfires than any previous year. I am sitting on the porch with smoking skies from all of the fires from here and further west. I know Utah isn’t the only state with fires and I know that a lot of the fires are from irresponsible people.

We’ve also benefited from the economy and market since the shutdown in March. We were able to refinance our home at a great rate and get some big renovation projects paid for. We’ve also had more time to get into the mountains and camping since we aren’t using Eddie’s paid time off for all of the other travel. We’ve been challenged to redefine what is important to us. We’ve been able to spend more time taking care of each other and our home.

As I sit here and write this post, I am grateful for my life slowing down so much that I can really define what is truly important to me. I get to revisit my goals and enjoy an afternoon after getting things done around the house. Life is different today from what it was like in March. As we head into the fall, I am looking forward to the slower pace and ability to spend more time taking care of our home and each other.

Life may have been turned upside down, but it doesn’t mean that life can’t be good. Find the good in everything because if you don’t, you will miss something great.

It’s Time to Rebuild

Life is a lot different today compared to just a couple of months ago. If there is anybody who can say that it isn’t, please tell them to share their story with me. I mean, how can it not be? Everyone went through the toilet paper rush and the lack of meat in stores and the boomerang advice of ‘wear the mask’, ‘no, don’t wear the mask’, ‘okay, yes wear the mask’. Others also went through trauma of one sort or another. Some are still in that trauma. For those who have or are still there, my prayers are with you. I don’t know how to help any other way right now.

We all used to have a life that we were living, sometimes without a concern of tomorrow. I used to travel for work frequently. I would go to friends homes or have double-date nights out or just go shopping. We have many expos and events that have been canceled this year. Absolutely every plan we had for this year has been canceled or rescheduled to next year. I haven’t traveled outside of Utah since early March. There have been zero double-date nights.

Life is different.

My husband now also works from home 100 percent of the time. His company is unwilling to open an office while cases are so high. They have no date in sight of when they will return to the office. We went from sharing an office to selling a guest bed so we could have our own offices. We have lunch together pretty much every day.

Life is different.

Is that a good thing or no?

In my life, my response is yes and no. No because I don’t get to travel and so many fucking people are dying or getting sick with last side effects that nobody knows how to cure, or if there is even a cure. Yes because we were forced to slow down and our society has been upended, hopefully paving the way for some better years.

Through all of the trauma and pain and change, we have a unique opportunity. We get to rebuild a new life. We get to design how we live our life as we come out of this pandemic. Do we know when exactly that will be? No. We don’t need to. We get this time to slow down and really take stock of what is important to us. Did you want to go back to school but couldn’t find the time? Did you want to start a garden? Yes, you did because all of you new gardeners took all of the supplies I normally buy. Did you want to pick up a new hobby or side gig? Did you want a new pet but didn’t have time to dedicate to training? Yeah, a lot of you have cleared out shelters. Thank you and be good to those pets.

For me, I don’t know how I will rebuild my life. What I do know is that I want to be more intentional on my health, my personal growth, my relationship, and my hobbies. I want to make more time for the house projects and the family (this includes friends) that are close enough to see. We need to be with them more often. I want to grow this website and our overlanding site as well.

I am going to build my life coming out of this pandemic intentionally.

How are you going to build your future? What are you changing? What are you keeping?

I Am Truly Blessed

My birthday is coming up and my mother-in-law and two of my sister-in-laws asked me what I wanted. I honestly had no idea what to tell them. Things that I want at this point of my life are pretty expensive because I simply buy the little things. Right now, what I want includes a new camera body or additional mods to add to my 4Runner. I would never ask them for any of that because I don’t want them to spend that much money on me.

As I sat trying to figure out what to tell them, I realized how truly blessed I am. I go through my life every single day writing down the simple things I am grateful for from the last 24 hours and acknowledging other things I am grateful for as I am finishing my morning meditation, but I don’t stop and think about everything I am truly blessed with. These days, with the economy the way it is and people losing their jobs because of COVID, I am at what feels like, a unique spot in life. I am blessed to still have my well paying job with a company that is continuing to break barriers in our industry.

I am also blessed to have my home and all of our stuff that we can simply purchase as we want or need. Compared to when I was growing up, I don’t have to go without anything. If I want something, I buy it or I save and buy it. I am healthy, have what I need or want, and live in a safe place.

You know that saying ‘stop and smell the roses’, well, the same applies to gratitude. Stop and take notice of what you are blessed with. Be grateful for whatever you have along with your health. There are people who are far less fortunate than we are. I am truly blessed and grateful for everything.

Rise to Your Potential

Never let a good crisis go to waste. It’s the universe challenging you to learn something new and rise to the next level of your potential.”

Kristen Ulmer

I read this quote in Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss and immediately it dawned on me that this is life right now. We are all living in this pandemic, this crisis. Life is challenging for everyone right now, some much more so than others. Either we can lean into this challenge and come out of it better than we came in, or we can stay stuck in the challenge and how we’ve been impacted.

I’m not going to lie. Other than not being able to get out into the mountains, I’m enjoying being “stuck” at home. I am blessed that I get to enjoy this time. I am not sick with the horrible effects of COVID-19, nor have I lost my job and am financially struggling. I am in my home, working on renovations, working at my awesome job enriching the lives of seniors, spending time with my husband and pups. I am blessed.

So how does this quote actually apply to my life?

This crisis has taken away some of my excuses for not being able to work on my dreams. It has also given me the ability to refinance and put more money into my home. The crisis has given me more opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally.

I am being challenged and my fire is burning brighter to bring this blog into something more than I’ve trudged along with. I’m being challenged to expand my way of thinking and conquer my fears.

When Kristen wrote the above quote, I am sure she had no idea what would come in just a few short years (the book was published in 2017). Nobody did. What she had was the experience of personal crises that led her to develop her next level potential. I believe that Kristen’s quote can apply to almost any crisis. The only qualifier is how each one of us looks at whatever crises we are living through.

The crisis today is the pandemic and the many stay at home orders that have been enacted across the country and the world. Life has changed dramatically in just a few short weeks. Or long weeks depending on how you look at them. This crisis is challenging every single human in one way or another. Most of us will come out of it. The question is, what will have changed for us personally when we do?

How are you going to use this crisis, this pandemic, to grow and come out the other side stronger? Are you even going to use this time to grow? Or are you going to sit at home and whine about how shitty it is that we can’t go shopping or out to eat or to hang out with other people? How are you going to leverage this time?

I’ll tell you what I’m doing to leverage it. I’m working my ass off. I’m working for the company I get a paycheck from to enrich the lives of seniors AND I’m working on my personal goals. I’m not giving up and complaining about what was normal and what I can’t have. I’m creating my own new normal. My new normal makes life different than just a few weeks ago and will have my life different as we come out of the crisis.

Are you still taking for granted all of the blessings you have?

Are you only complaining about what you can’t do?

Are you only recognizing the pain in our world?

Are you ignoring what opportunities have been opened by being home more?

Are you forgetting that this is temporary, even if that temporary is longer than you want?

Are you ignoring the fact that we as a society always come out to the other side?

What are you focusing your mind on?

Have you even stopped to ponder anything other than your frustrations?

Yes, this pandemic fucking sucks. Yes, people are dying, Yes, people have lost their jobs. Yes, people are working in shitty conditions. Yes, our economy is not as strong as it was. Yes, yes, yes. There is so much struggle and pain in this crisis. Yes, we need to acknowledge that. But those people who are working our asses off don’t need us to dwell on the pain and the struggle. They need us to get our shit together so we can come out the other side.

Getting our shit together will look different for every single person. Getting our shit together may be as simple as not going out just to go out. Getting our shit together may be going after those goals and dreams that we keep putting aside because that will help our economy in the long-run OR it might help one of those people working their ass off have a little humor or inspiration in their day.

What are you learning during this crisis? How are you going to rise to your potential?