There’s a reason that “silly” is in the title … because I feel somewhat silly telling you this story. But if you get past the particular example that I’m about to give you, I believe there’s a powerful Motivation Monday message here, and I hope you find a way to apply it to your life.
Today marks 3 weeks since I announced that I was leaving my job. As I’ve said, the job was great in many ways, and the point of this post is not to say otherwise. However, one thing that really brought me down was the unpredictability. The work hours were part of this – I never really knew if I would be done working by 8pm and head to dinner with my team, or be working hard until 2am. But I got used to that. The part that nagged me more was the unpredictability of the travel. For most of my time consulting, travel was fairly predictable – fly out early Monday morning, and fly back home Thursday night. Every week was standard, and while I wished I was at home, I appreciated the routine. (picture source)
The last several months of my job were different. Although it meant a few extra nights in town, it also meant not knowing where I was going to be spending the night. Several times, I thought I would be staying in Dallas, but ended up rushing home, packing unexpectedly, and heading to the airport. Obviously, one thing that really helps in this situation is to keep your travel toiletries packed, so I did. My travel toiletry bag has a spot hanging next to my bathroom sink, and because my bag is bright teal, it was pretty noticeable when I walked into the bathroom each time. (picture source)
Even though I knew I wouldn’t have to travel for work for the past 3 weeks, I couldn’t bring myself to unpack the silly toiletries bag. Every day when I put on deodorant and dropped the stick back into its spot in the bag, or put on makeup and returned it to the bag, I thought “this is dumb, I should just unpack it, that would be so much easier.” But I didn’t. And I actually think I was somehow subconsciously holding on to the fear and uncomfortable feeling that I just might have to go at any moment … the one thing that bugged me most about the job. (picture source)
Well, yesterday, I unpacked it … and I honestly felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders! Now, like I said at the beginning, you may think this particular example is silly, but think about how it applies to you. Is there something you’re holding on to that is not serving you? Is there something in your life that bugs you, but you’re holding on to it because it’s always been something you have had to worry about?
- Maybe you recently lost weight, but you still have your “fat pants” and you cringe every time you see them in your closet.
- Maybe you got over an injury, but your crutches are still at the front door.
- Maybe you’re mourning a lost loved one, and allow yourself to re-feel all of the pain every day because of some moment that’s in a prominent place.
- Maybe it’s much lighter – you really the way your hand soap makes your hands dry but you haven’t swapped it out and it bugs you every time.
Only you know what it is, but I encourage you to recognize it … and change it. Today! I believe in you!
Foodie Pen Pals
Now, for a completely different topic (I’m not even going to try to transition!). You may remember that I’ve participated several times in The Lean Green Bean‘s Foodie Pen Pals program. Two people (bloggers or just foodies!) exchange small packages of fun food items, and get to know each other a bit. This month, I was matched up with Katie from Baking and Swimming, and I’m so glad I was! Katie is a college student, competitive swimmer, and blogger, and is training for her first triathlon! The package she sent was great – Kevin and I enjoyed the tortilla soup for dinner, and she must have known that I LOVE Peanut Butter & Co. products (especially White Chocolate Wonderful!). She also picked my favorite Luna flavor (in a perfect world, I rely on whole foods, but in a pinch I rely on bars!), and included some delicious tea and other goodies as well. I haven’t yet tried the caramel dip, but it looks divine!
So tell me in the comments … what is one thing you’re holding on to that is no longer serving you? Do you relate to the feeling of holding on to something that you know you should let go?
In some ways it’s like a minor form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or being “stuck in the 60’s” as I called it when I worked with vets in the VA 🙂
Letting go, moving forward, and looking ahead is a good plan!
That’s really interesting, Dr. J … I didn’t think of it that way, but I don’t think you’re wrong. Moving forward has been great!
Congrats on taking a big step and not letting anything hold you back! I think a lot of us hang on to things that hold us back simply because it’s easier to stay with what we know rather than make that leap. It’s scary to go with the unknown, but once ya do it’s amazing how much relief you feel!
Thanks so much, Mary! Yes, I’ve found that almost every time something is making me uncomfortable, it’s usually worth the leap!
I’ve been working on letting go of comparing myself to others. And damn that is one mean monkey that likes hanging on my back!!! To let go of that, you can be genuinely happy for other people and their successes, and when you are happy for them, they are happy for you and give you that “energy” back and good things happen. OK sounds new-agey I know. But…the point is I’ve witnessed the other side of the coin where people are bitter and seem to really hate other people’s accomplishments and gossip about them and try to cut them down. Usually those people seem to always attract negative things in their lives and play victim. Anyway, there are varying degrees of comparing, but it’s something I’d like to be completely free of! Glad you unpacked!!! 🙂
That’s a tough one, Tonya. It definitely doesn’t sound too new-agey for me, I completely agree! When I send out positive energy, I almost always get it back. I also notice the reverse – if I’m feeling negative energy from someone, it’s almost always because I’m feeling jealous/ spiteful/ angry/ who knows what. Good for you for taking steps to get rid of the comparison traps!
I don’t think your example is silly at all- in fact, it shows this vulnerable side of you which is refreshing (not in a negative way- in a really good way!)
So glad you were able to let go and feel the weight lifted off your shoulders! I still have some t shirts and slacks from my overweight days…I think I need to toss them out although part of me feels like its there as a purpose that if I fit into them again, it means I’ve fallen back into the past. Stupid!
Thank you for your support, Arman – it means a lot! Did you move the old t-shirts and slacks with you to Sydney? If you did, would you be willing to bring just one item to Goodwill (or the Aussie equivalent) this week? I’d love it if you didn’t have to let those bring you down anymore!
This is so true -we hang on to these symbolic things like a safety blanket of familiarity. I kept my “fat” pants for ~8 years. Seriously.
Wow! Thanks for sharing! It’s things like that – that kind of seem “crazy” after the fact – that really nag at us and take so much more away than we realize. Glad you’ve kicked those pants to the curb, because you look amazing now!
Also… with all this free time you should take a field trip to ATL. 😉
I agree! AFTER your crazy weather clears up. Glad you’re OK!
I don’t think that’s silly at all.
I think it’s a wise observation, and sage advice.
Pretty sure we could all unpack our toiletries bag at some point.
Thank you for your constant support, Robert! Much appreciated.
I had the same thing where I was traveling most of last year. Being a guy my travel toiletry bag was less involved (short hair, no makeup, etc), but I had a fully separate set of toiletries – razer, toothbrush, deodorant, etc. I initially did it because the project had us flying down on Sunday early evening and getting home late Friday evening (ok, so it WAS a private jet, and the airport is 10 minutes from our house … but it STILL sucked 🙂 ), and I wanted to maximize home-time. But even in August when travel stopped , I didn’t unpack that bag. It wasn’t until November that I REALLY accepted that I wasn’t traveling again and started using things from the bag.
Lisa has a sad one – her sister had asked us to watch her cats while they moved from New Jersey to Texas, but then never took back the cats (yeah, THAT was great). One of them was about 7 and scared of everything, the other was ~20 and very sickly. We knew the sickly cat was not long for this world, but one morning Lisa was heading to work and went to back out, and somehow the sickly cat got out into the closed garage and was under her car … yeah, you can see where this goes. It was 3 years ago, but she always checks around the car and honks her horn … not sure if she can ever let that go.
Awww, the story about Lisa and the cat is awful – I bet that was (and is) so hard for her. It’s crazy that you had a similar experience with your toiletries! Traveling really does a number on those of us that miss home, although it’s such a great experience for those who enjoy the travel. A private jet and a close airport sure sound nicer, but I honestly don’t think that would have helped the issue at all for me – I just wanted to be home, sleep in my bed, cook my food, not know the hotel employees 10 times better than I knew my neighbors (although the hotel employees were super nice).
I travel for work significantly less than I used to (usually a single trip per month on average now, totally manageable), but I actually found that leaving my toiletry kit packed makes me very happy and makes packing for work or fun trips so much easier, I only have to add my contact case. Separate deo, makeup, toothbrush, hairbrush, etc. in my travel toiletry bag. It’s kind of fun sometimes because I wear the same lipstick at home, but when I’m out of town, it’s sometimes like a little surprise, oh yeah, I forget this is the one in my travel bag! But obviously, I know what you meant about the importance of unpacking yours! Glad you’re settling into the new routine.
EVERYONE told me that was a good idea, Carina. I think I’m just too stingy to buy 2 sets of make up since I hardly wear much anyway, and then once I had to trade out the makeup, it just made sense to kind of keep everything in one set. (At least in my head, it made sense!). I love that you find joy out of the thing that was frustrating me. We just have to know what works for us!
Good thing I am sitting at home because you brought tears to my eyes… is that silly? I don’t think so. I also don’t think that your toiletry example is silly either. It’s a metaphor 🙂 and a wonderful metaphor at that. I’m not sure if I can pinpoint a physical item that I am holding onto but I think there are a few mental ones that I’d like to let go of. Thank you for this reminder and push in the right direction.
You’re amazing. Thank you for being so encouraging and supportive! Hope you’re able to slowly release your grip on those mental nags … those are some of the worst, but I know you’ll get through it!
great post Megan! It’s funny how its sometimes it’s the littlest things that you hold onto. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you, Angela! Hope you had a good day!
Ahhhh yay for unpacking it! I’m so happy you’re feeling relieved. I know that feeling all too well. My schedule is actually slightly more unpredictable since it depends on store demos a lot of time and I totally miss my coworkers but I am SO much happier now. Wouldn’t trade that for anything!
I really want to hear about your schedule and everything you’re doing, Miss Caterer Extraordinaire! Let’s try to catch up soon!!
Congrats on taking that next step! 🙂 I love being able to fully let go of something it always makes you feel so released! Have a great Monday!
Thank you, Sara! I hope you had a great Monday, too!
I am so proud of you for breaking such a barrier & letting go of such a powerful part of your life. I don’t see how you could even think it was silly. You’ve been living this way for so long, It’d be a surprise if it were so easy to put behind. Good for you girl xoxo
Jessie, like I said on Twitter, I REALLY appreciated this comment today when I got back from my run and was wondering what people had thought of my post/ if they thought I was crazy! I appreciate your support!