The Underused Eff-It. My Hi-Five
Things are very hectic with me right now. I'm somewhat career driven and a recent opportunity has consumed me more than I have ever allowed since having children = decompressing has served me more than I have ever needed since having children. Whether you're on assignment, planning an event or loaded with multi-tasking on any given day there's never a shortage of periods of intensity in our lives. Intensity I welcome. Burn out not so much. Admittedly I like to keep my foot on the gas aaand I happen to have a lead foot; the irony here is that stillness is the key to making sure my momentum carries me and the fam in the right direction.
What does this mean? It means making sure I have a kit and the key to unlock it very often starts with a variation of eff this or eff it or simply eff. When that's been uttered it's time for the kit. That kit made of reliable essentials we can reach for as we speed ahead. The simple stuff you have for the occasional flat tires and don't lose too much momentum.
1. Music - It's not quality of life if you can't even enjoy Bey
That playlist, the volume knob, the wedding caliber dance party at the dinner table; the 90's hip hop jams blasting in your ear at your desk; the coworker that will bust out the electric slide with you just cuz. I read somewhere that listening to music from certain periods of your life resurrects feelings associated with that time and my music moods are typically (via Pandora) - Madonna (Dress you up) - Motown. Reserved for Saturday mornings - HI-Five because I graduated high school in 1996 And these days our family dance party playlist is like the first time every time (via Spotify)
2. Anything Funny - if your face is saggy you need more laughy
The best time to make me laugh is when I'm tired, frustrated, anxious or annoyed because that's when I'm so wound up only nonsense can short-circuit that noise. So my kids are hilarious 80% of the time. I remember all nighters in college and laughing hysterically with my study buddies about the foam in my latte. Zero logic but does that always need to matter. Neh. What does that mean? Don't miss an opportunity to laugh. You've heard the saying "success begets success" - totally works for humor too. And if no one is funny seek funnies. When my boys were smaller and in the middle of a hopeless meltdown I would pull up YouTube and play videos of babies laughing or funny videos with puppies and kittens. Instant neutralizer.
3. Words of Wisdom - where emojis can't go
I knew someone who would take a moment at the grocery store to read greeting cards every now and then. Why not. For many of us there's a library in our minds of things we've read, heard or said ourselves and essentially becomes a point of reference at any given moment. I was raised Catholic and later studied Tibetan Buddhism so there has been organized religion has been part of my life. However, nothing has been more accessible to memory than a poem my mom kept on the wall in her powder room. This poem was called "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann. She initially came across it as a young girl in the Philippines and had found it much later in a random trinket store in Canada as a mother. Calls home or to close friends are always comforting and having your own library is equally helpful when it's your turn to listen too.
4. A Living Calendar - all days are not created equal
Hawaii is home. It is sunny and amazing when I look out the window almost everyday...[I know. You want to stop reading lol]...and worst part of it is after a while you take this for granted. This can be symbolic of time itself. And so to curb and recklessness my calendar is the anti-recklessness-er. And doesn't just mean throwing birthdays and doctor appointments on it. It means making plans, checking things off the fun checklist, hosting anything. I consider my family calendar the keeper of all my commitments to exploration and fun. And on the days I'm consumed with obligation I can open that calendar and remind myself of things ahead. In my life "Looking-forward-to-stuff" type of events are just as valuable as those doctor appointments.
5. Warm Hugs. [Self explanatory]
Everyone needs a kit no matter how fast or slow you're moving or which direction you're heading. I hope yours is readily accessible wherever you are whenever you need it most. You never know when someone else needs something from it. You can ask my sisters...
Sister: so...[insert long story short = woman not happy]
Cat: oh man [insert big sister over protective advice]...Eff it....
Sister: really. Eff it.
Cat: sometimes you just need to let the words fall out of your mouth. Are you hungry? Or omg have you watched this?
Sister: [insert laugh laugh laugh sister inside jokes] what the hell were we talking about?
Take care xoxoxo