If not now, then when?

Although this post has absolutely nothing to do with Mother’s Day, I’d be remiss not to mention all the mothers out there who are giving their best today and EVERY DAY.  You deserve a million days dedicated to the work that you do.  Seriously. 

And while today’s celebrations might look a little different than we’re used to, I’m confident that none of us will take for granted being able to hug those mommas again when the time comes!

Alright, onto the meat …

I have mixed feelings in writing this because I don’t want it to come off the wrong way.  I talked in my recent post (It’s okay not to be okay) about how it’s normal for our energy and emotions to ebb and flow during these uncertain times.   And I truly believe that. 

In fact, I love this post I saw recently from The Life on Purpose Movement.  It read:

“Friendly PSA:  You don’t need to have anything “to show” for your time in quarantine.”

This is in stark contrast to all of the social media influencers implying that we should be using this time of self-isolation to learn Spanish or get fitter than we’ve ever been.  Ideas which clearly don’t take into account that for many of you, this season feels busier than ever.  And while your calendar may LOOK a little emptier without soccer practice or book club, it certainly might not feel that way.  Instead, it may feel like you somehow have LESS time, what with trying to work from home, entertain your children (ie. keep them from killing each other), and just generally coral the chaos.

If this is you, and you’re just attempting to survive each day, please revisit the PSA above.  Reread it.  Fully digest it and try to release any and all guilt.  In fact, maybe you stop reading right here. 

I do, however, think there’s something to be learned from this gigantic, unfunny, social experiment we’re living through.  Hear me out.

Recently, I was watching a video by one of my current favorite Youtubers, The Minimal Mom.  In it, she and her family were tackling little projects around the house that they’d been putting off.  And she used the phrase, “If not now, WHEN!?!”. 

Here’s how I interpreted this statement and why I think it might be worth a moment of self-reflection. 

We all have those items on our to-do list that we relegate to the “someday” category.  For me there are two that come to mind.  Purging my filing cabinet and making photo books to commemorate past trips, family memories, etc.  If I look back at my paper planners from the last few years I guarantee I can find these tasks listed somewhere under my 3 month or 1 year goals.  And guess what?  I’ve still never done them!!

Why is that?  I can say I haven’t had time.  But I know that’s not true.  I’ve watched countless hours of Netflix over that same time period.  The more honest answer is I haven’t made these projects a priority.  And if I haven’t made them a priority in three years, it means I probably don’t place much value on the outcome.  I might give it lip service and I say I value it, but do I really?  

If I do, and my actions just haven’t aligned with my values and priorities, then I need to make a decision.  I need to decide to make the photobooks, and actually do it.  Or else decide that I’m simply never going to do it and be okay with that!  Are those memories less valuable to me because I can’t display them neatly on my bookshelf?  No.  So maybe I can declutter it from my long-term to-do list once and for all.

If you’re struggling with this decision, consider whether that project is maybe more in line with your fantasy self than your real self.  If you’ve never encountered the concept of a “fantasy self” I encourage you to google it.  But essentially, it’s the person you think you would like to be but deep down you just aren’t.  In this example, my fantasy self keeps impeccably logged and organized photobooks for every important season or trip, but my actual self, evidently, does not.

As for the filing cabinet, well, I know that eventually that will need to be done if I want to keep my filing system (and sanity) in check.  So while I don’t get particularly excited at the thought of doing it, I DO value a calm and organized space.  And with a baby on the way this fall, I’m never going to magically have more time than I do right now.  If I’m not going to do it now, when my evening and weekend commitments are drastically reduced, when the heck am I going to do it?!

As I said, my aim here is not to add more stress to your plate right now.  But moreso to give you permission to look at those unfinished projects and decide.  Decide to let go of the things that no longer align with your values or life circumstances.  Or else decide to finally get a jump on them, with maybe a touch of fresh resolve. 😉

Afterall, if not now, then when?



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