When was the last time you had a knockout weekend?
Earlier this fall Tanya told me that T wished I would make weekend plans for us more often - that I would take more initiative with what we get up to. I was shocked and offended. I was always down for whatever. Since when did our down time start feeling like it wasn't enough?
And yet, if you were to ask me to name which of our adventures I’d initiated over the last several months, I would be stuck for an answer.
I could blame our wedding - we planned the whole thing, start to finish in just under 8 months. Hello decision fatigue!
I could blame my childhood, heading out on a family outing almost always lead to a blow up right before we left. Planning an adventure meant planning for conflict.
Heck, if I wanted to, I could blame my business. As a solo business owner, I wear every hat under the sun as part of Be With - I make every decision, initiate every creative project and mitigate for every risk.
Here's what threads those excuses together - fear and scarcity.
FEAR AND SCARCITY
I wasn’t really pouring my all into our weekends together, because I was afraid there wasn't enough of me/money/time/everything to go around.
When we're stuck in a fear of "not-enoughness" aka scarcity, most of us believe our joy has to wait until our circumstances shift. When we do this, we unintentionally defer our ability to feel joy - right here, right now.
Here are some of the ways I got stuck deferring my joy over the last few months:
- When we own a car, then we will get to visit with our siblings more often.
- When we have a summer house in the country, then we’ll spend more time outdoors.
- When I feel better in my body, then I will dress in a way that’s hip, sexy and free.
- When we get our finances locked down, then we’ll get to have babies.
THE DEFERRING JOY FORMULA
As you can tell, it's a pretty simple formula. It looks like this:
when I finally do/have/am __________, then I get to be/feel/do ______________
All of us are living SOME version of the above. And that's okay - we live in a consumer culture build on scarcity (hello capitalism), and come by this mindset honestly.
Having said that, it really doesn't serve us.
And it sure wasn't serving me in the first few months of my marriage!
Here's the great news! The last four weekends of my life have been some of the most deeply satisfying and fulfilling weekends I’ve had in years. And making that happen wasn't even all that hard.
WHAT I DID DIFFERENTLY
I decided I was done deferring my joy, and got curious about what it would mean to give myself permission to LIVE out the latter half of all those sentences above without demanding the first halves.
When we have a summer house in the country, then we’ll spend more time outdoors.
Let's go on a hike, and rent a by the hour car to get out there!
When we get our finances locked down, then we’ll get to have babies.
Let's start talking about having babies with our community and each other! Conversation is free!
When I feel better in my body, then I will dress in a way that’s hip, sexy and free.
Let's go for a walk down by the water! I'm gonna wear my favourite outfit for the seagulls!
In short, I am having the TIME OF MY LIFE. And I got here by giving myself permission to stop deferfing my joy till I "earned it"
TRY IT YOURSELF
Fill this sentence in for me…
When I finally do/am ___________, then I get to do/be ______________.
For what good reasondo you not deserve to be happy right here and right now?
I know you’ve got your reasons, just like me, but here’s what I also know. As adults we get to make new decisions about how we see and understand the world. We get to choose our mindset, and our mindset is what shapes how we live our lives.
Whatever you filled that second blank in with - what would happen if you allowed yourself that freedom right now? If you gave yourself permission to feel sexy, to leave work early, to spend time with who you want to, to be who you actually are? What would change for you?
What's one thing you've been delaying enjoying until (fill in the blank here). Tell me about it in the comments below, and then take a chance this weekend - give yourself just ONE joyful experience that you've been deferring till later. I promise you'll thank yourself.