Oh, no…I’m the problem

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of self-help books and listening to a ton of self-help podcasts and I’ve noticed that there’s a theme that pervades almost all the self-helping there is out there. There’s one specific phrase that everyone will repeat to you until they’re blue in the face. “You need to show up for yourself.” Okay, I’m sorry, maybe I’m dense, but I’ve been thinking about that phrase a ton. I was getting frustrated because I didn’t understand what they were talking about…until this morning when I almost threw my computer against the wall. 

About two months ago, I made a promise to myself that Fridays would be my days that I would set aside for writing. I try and use other days of the week, too, but my job takes up a lot of that time so I decided to carve out an entire working day that is just for my writing and me specifically. A day where I shut off my phone and my emails and just focus on the “other” part of my life. However, it seems, things have gotten in the way. Sorry…let me rephrase…I have let things get in the way

I check my emails before I sit down to write, because “there’s just one or two that REALLY need a response,” but sitting down to write those one or two emails leads to 20 or 30 getting answered and then by the time I’m done answering the 30th email the people from the first email start responding and then I get caught up and need to make just one or two calls. And then I book just one appointment for the day because I’m sure I will still have time and I don’t really need eight hours for my writing. 

I make excuse after excuse. I let time slip away and then I get mad at myself. I get so aggravated that suddenly my blissful Friday is over and I have to wait a week before I can dedicate a full day to what is so important to me.

 That’s what happened this morning. A client needed this, a phone call came in for that, I wanted to get to the gym…the list could go on forever and then, when I sat down and really tried to write, I couldn’t think of anything because my brain was in a totally different mode. 

When my brain is in “work” mode it’s hard to be creative. I came downstairs and started yelling near (not at) Domi, “I just don’t understand why people can’t leave me alone so I can freaking write. This is so stupid annoying. I am so pissed off and now I can’t think of anything. I’m walking around the block. This is ridiculous.” And I stormed out the front door. 

Of course, I took my phone with me. Of course, a client called and not so shockingly…I picked up. I came back inside and again went off about a litany of reasons why I was so annoyed that I couldn’t get anything done. My anger started to rub off on Domi and he got upset. “I hate that you can’t focus on your writing. I’m so mad. This is so frustrating.” 

“I know. But it’s okay, it is what it is,” I responded coolly.

And then, all of the sudden, I ran out of the room and up the stairs diving for my computer because I realized what showing up for oneself meant. Showing up for myself means making the decision to put down my phone and not give a crap if someone calls. It means not checking my emails before I get to my writing. It means taking the time for myself and actually sticking to it. It means keeping the promises that I make to myself. It’s not my clients’ fault that they called or emailed or texted. They don’t know about the promises I’ve made. How could they? Why am I getting mad at the rest of the world? I should be getting angry with myself. Well, ok, not angry because we also have to be gentle with ourselves, but this was my wake-up call. I am the reason that I am not getting my writing done, not the outside world. I am placing blame on everyone else because it’s easier than admitting that I am afraid of what this new chapter means for me. 

So, I have a decision to make here. Will I show up for myself? Will I make the time for me? 

My therapist told me that when I decided to dedicate Fridays to writing that the universe would test me. I kind of chuckled. Yeah, okay, sure. (Lots of somewhat unintentional eye rolling involved). But hey, she was right. The universe is testing me and I just forgot to listen. It’s asking if I am really ready for this new chapter. It’s asking if I am ready to commit to making my heart whole. If I am ready to commit to me. 

I am ready. So, off goes my phone, on goes my out of office reply and if a client has an issue with that, then unfortunately it just isn’t going to work. It doesn’t mean I’m not dedicated or hard-working. It means I am taking care of myself and that is ridiculously important, and even more importantly I am keeping a promise I made to myself. No more excuses. My Fridays are mine. 

This is scary. This is new. But this also feels powerful and exciting. The kind of new and scary that also lights a fire in me. And above all else, I am really excited to have finally figured out what all of these enlightened people are talking about. I get what showing up for myself means. Hallelujah!!

Have a happy, happy weekend friends. And don’t forget to show up for yourselves…now that we all know what that means…i think xoxoxo

  • You are doing a good job. I am also proud of you. I really believe blocking out time for whatever we are creating or becoming is one of the keys to happiness. There is always a lot going on in life and there will always be something we “should/can’t/want/wish” we could be working on. Carve out time now and it will become a habit that you can apply to anything you are working towards in life.

  • I am enjoying your writing so very much!! It speaks to me on many levels. It is helping me to understand myself.. yes even at my age (:-) and I love being able to get to know you even better. I will take a hint and really try to show up for myself as well. Love you

  • well, I certainly am happy that you are learning this at 26; I am still getting in my own way at 68, but maybe it is just the commitment…… or keeping your own word, even when it is to yourself…… thanks for leading the way!!!! Daddy