That Time I Forgot to Have Fun

It’s been a rough time for me the last couple of months. We hit the first anniversary of my Dad’s death, the holidays (which I still haven’t pared down to where I need them to be, but I’m making progress), and then my husband’s month long trip to Chicago for January term. I thought I had a handle on it. I lowered my expectations for work a little (at least in my planner if not in my head, which would have been a really important extra step to take), despite my sense that January is a REALLY important month for life coaches. I called in some backup with the kids so I could have a little adult time. I hired a neighbor girl to watch my kids on choir practice nights. On paper it looked pretty good.

pexels-photo-366063And now my hubby is home, which is nice. But I’ve been really grouchy. I’ve been whipping out old and reliable complaints to argue about. I’ve been feminist ranting in my house while I tidy up. I’ve been snarky and sarcastic and generally less pleasant than I could be. I’ve also been SO unbelievably tired, some of which makes perfect sense, but it didn’t seem to be letting up. My body was speaking to me, but I was paying more attention to the angry story in my head.

And it finally overwhelmed me, that angry story. So I reached out to a coach friend. And she questioned. She gently prodded. She questioned some more. And as we talked, I felt my old angry arguments step to the side like the distraction that they are (they matter but weren’t the point). As we talked, I found the hurt under the anger. And then we talked about the hurt, because that’s what a great coach can do for you.

And what came out is that with all of this work: my business, my parenting, my husband’s seminary, I just haven’t been having very much fun. I’m not saying I haven’t had any, I’m just saying I’m not having much and given the difficulty of the last few months, I could have maybe benefitted from a little MORE fun than average rather than less. She laughed and said she was picturing that moment in The Shining: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy….” Yeah. Seriously. HERE’S Julia!!! If you don’t understand the reference, Youtube that scene so you know what really not having fun and listening to angry creepy stories can do to you. My lovely coach friend and I talked about a way out. We figured out exactly what I was thinking, how it made me feel, and created a path for something new. I am so grateful to her.

pexels-photo-341520-2I talked to my seminarian about our fun-less time and he agreed. We’ve sort of lost track of planning fun as a couple and neither of us take much time for fun for ourselves. It is draining. It is wearing. It feels like a grind and I KNOW the life that I’m building doesn’t need to feel like a grind. I’m in love with the things I’m doing, but no matter how much you like your job, sometimes you just need to be completely immersed in the fun zone with the people you love the best.

So I’m putting my creative thinking cap on to come up with some options and later today my seminarian and I are going to put some things on our new shared digital calendar so we can make sure we’re making time for that. We will honor our calendar. We will honor our fun and we will both be better for it.

How’s it going for you? Are you remembering to have fun? If you’re not, what are you going to do about it?

Coaching Is Expensive

I am fascinated by this idea.

Why?

Slide1Because the money that I spend on my own coaching (yes, coaches get coached) is the best money I spend every month. It’s the money I’m happiest about shelling out. It’s the money I would double and still pay, not because I love spending money, but because what I get out of that experience makes it not just inexpensive, but invaluable to me.

Through coaching I have learned to actually honor my own preferences, talents, and desires. Through coaching I have learned to stop imagining what everyone else is thinking of me. Through coaching I have learned to stop beating myself up at the drop of a hat. Through coaching I have learned to love myself – all of myself: the inner brilliant spirit bits AND the physical container for all of that light and possibility. Through coaching I have learned to listen to that body and feed it, care for it, and nurture it differently. Through coaching I have learned how to create actual joy in my days rather than relying on food to do that for me. Through coaching I have learned how to both seek and find myself.

When you spend money, how do you feel about it? Do you think about what you’re getting for it? Paying bills and balancing our books can be really stressful when it just becomes a mathematical exercise that we see draining our resources. How would you feel about your money if you began imagining and acknowledging what you receive for that money with each check you write, with each button you push, or with each automatic payment notification? What if when you saw the power bill you thought about how delightful it is to have electric lights and a refrigerator? What if when you saw the mortgage or rent come due you thought about the good fortune of having a space to live in, to claim, to be you in? What if when you saw the cable bill (or the streaming services bill like I get), you marveled at living in a time when so much choice is available to us?

How would you feel about bills and money if you focused on the value you receive when you spend? How would you approach financial decisions if you considered that value? Would your buying habits change? Would you face a new calculation of the real worth of that Frappucino (just as an example, no Starbucks shade intended… not much anyway)?

I like thinking about my spending this way because it clarifies things for me so much. It allows me to make decisions about what I buy and what I pay for that I can feel really good about and, perhaps more importantly, it makes me feel good about paying for the things I really need to pay for in order to live the life I want to live. For me, that includes coaching.

Slide2I want to live in a way that allows me to stop and ask myself how I’m feeling and to actually use that information when I make decisions. I want to live in a way that challenges me to grow in ways that I never thought possible. I want to live in a way that helps me grow in my compassion, my rootedness, and my capacity to be of service to others. I want to live in a way that allows me to question the messages society gives me and check them with my heart. I want to live in a way that listens to the wisdom of my body. I want to live in a way that feels like freedom.

For me coaching is not expensive; it is invaluable.