For over a decade, I’ve had a job that includes a fair amount of travel.
Flashback to the day before I left on my most recent trip. My husband was in California for a conference of his own and my brain ramped into overdrive as my flight time approached. Here’s what I really, truly thought I should do:
- Finish the laundry
- Sweep the kitchen floor
- Cook a few dinners for my husband to heat up later
- Manage the bins for garbage day
- Finish the ironing
- Update our budget
- Do my nails
- Curl my hair
- Clear my inbox
- Change the sheets and make the bed
- Shave my legs
- Revise worksheets for my Defying Gravity program
- Follow up on a request from my bookkeeper
- Provide my web developer with login credentials
- I’m sure the list went on…
Guess how I felt with that list running through my brain?
Obligated, in fact.
And when I do things from obligation, it’s only a matter of time (and usually not all that much time) before resentment sneaks in.
Because nobody likes being told what to do. Feels like captivity. And deprivation. I want to be able to do what I want to do when I want to do it. (Can you hear me stomping my foot on the floor?)
Good news is, I can always do whatever I want to do. I could leave any one of those things off my list and no one would die.
So, the day before I flew to Texas, I told myself the truth. I could do whatever I wanted. From this headspace, I was able to focus my energy on consciously deciding what tasks felt most useful to me rather than spending my energy spinning in how my life was busy and so unfair.
I chose to change the sheets and make the bed because I love my husband and wanted him to have a nice space to sleep after traveling all day.
I chose not to make dinners because he’s totally capable, I didn’t want to spend my time that way and I noticed obligation creeping in on that one. I reminded myself that I’m a good wife because I’m kind and loving and the amount of dinners in my fridge has nothing to do with my worth.
Watch your choices this week, Bees. If you’re doing something because you feel like you have to, get curious about whether that’s true.
You don’t have to go to work.
You don’t have to stay home and care for your kids.
People quit both of the above every single day.
Consider that, on some level, you’re choosing to work and choosing to care for your kids. You want to have the money and/or challenge that your job brings and/or you want to have the experience of being home to watch your kids grow. There’s something you want about what you’re doing, so be honest with yourself about that.
And if there’s nothing you want in the thing that you’re doing… you could stop. Really.
I know some of you might disagree – I did too at first – but just think about it for a while. What if I’m right about this?
What if you never have to do a single thing out of obligation ever again. How would your life change?
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash