I am still a nomad. For exactly another 60 days. (But who is counting?) I was chatting with a friend last night and when I told her what was happening she a) immediately regretted asking how I was and b) responded the way everyone else is: I knew things were a little nuts for you right now, but I had no idea just HOW out of control!
And that’s the thing, really. This out of control-ness. I’m a natural-born control freak who has pretty much had to give up every ounce of control in my life. It’s like if someone who gets anxious on airplanes chooses to LIVE on an airplane for 2.5 months straight. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Yesterday, after a 10-person family photoshoot (my 4th shoot this week!) that had to be moved inside due to somewhat unfortunate turns in weather: think WINTER mixed with rain, I raced home to put on a dress and then headed to a Bat Mitzvah. When I showed up (only mildly late) I was wearing yesterday’s makeup and unbrushed hair, was waterlogged, and was sweating, kind of profusely.
In other words: I was a vision.
So, I’m trying to make an effort to not lose my mind (even though I have lost all of my underpants and my really good black heels) by compartmentalizing. By taking it exactly one day at a time, one hour at a time on particularly trying days.
I have decided to do TWO THINGS every day.
Thing #1: Say YES to something (that I would have otherwise said no to)
Say yes to coffee with a friend. Say yes to a second piece of cake. Say yes when someone offers to help you with something. Say yes to putting down my phone and watching my girls do their Vibe dances. Say yes to another game of Skip-Bo. Say yes to just one more cuddle before bed. Say yes to just five more minutes of sleep.
I’m trying desperately to remind my kids that this transition stage is not vacation, and they have school to get up for each morning. I’m trying desperately to keep some semblance of normalcy, which means saying NO a lot. But it’s important to say yes to things.
But one little yes can make a very big difference.
Yesterday, after I took the girls shoe shopping, I surprised them with a scoop of ice cream each. Emily looked at me with her beautiful eyebrows all scrunched, as if to say “Who are you right now?” when we stood in front of the counter and I told them to pick whatever they wanted. Sprinkles? Sure! A cone? Why not?! Something gross and pink and purple? Go for it!
Thing #2: Say NO to something (that I would have otherwise said yes to)
Say no to that late-night coffee you think you need. Say no to that one tiny favor someone asked of you. Say no to that photoshoot that doesn’t fit into your schedule. Say no to volunteering on that class trip that you absolutely cannot go on. Say no to hosting book club. Say no to that movie you only sort of want to see. Say no to that sponsored content.
I struggle so much with saying no. I don’t really sleep very much, and I am a type triple A personality, and I love, love, love to be busy. I also am A PLEASER and someone who feels everything so I get emotionally attached to, well, everything. Because of all of these things, I have very hard time saying no to opportunities, to jobs, to volunteering, to going out.
Also I really like movies.
But I realize that similarly to small YESes, small NOs make huge differences too.
Yesterday, I turned down a photography opportunity. I *could* have made it work. I could have switched some things around. But I said no. And I felt so very guilty about it.
Until I didn’t anymore.
Because it gave me time to watch my girls dance and play Skip-Bo with Isabella.
So for the next sixty days, and for the next sixty years, I’m saying Yes. And I’m saying No.