My “It’s Okay” List

What a difference a week makes. Remember this?

Last week I was in one of the biggest funks of late. Smiling and feeling positive about not only where my life is heading but also just something as simple as making it through my day seemed impossible. I was exhausted, yes, but not just in body. In spirit, too. I felt an alien had taken up residence in my body. For someone who makes such a big deal out of really getting in tune with her true self, you can bet that I was freaking a bit.

(This was actually a really delicious banana nut muffin and definitely didn’t deserve to be freaked on.)

I can’t say for sure what brought it on but I suspect that my crazy worker/student/commuter schedule was wearing on me. Usually I am able to look around and say, hey, everyone’s got their stuff. Lots of people work and go to school. Everyone else on this bus is watching that woman over there pick her son’s nose for him with her 17 inch long finger nail (yup, really happened). Many aren’t able to stick to the workout schedule they planned on Monday because by Friday they are just way too worn down. Basically, I just know I’m not alone. The daily grind is, well, a grind! And I’ve got it made in nearly every way and all of this junk just makes the happy moments that sweeter.

Last week, though, the happy moments were few and far between. I finally had to throw up my hands and say enough. I want this crazy person pretending to be me out of my body. I want me back.

I realized that my emotional implosion was a lesson in not trying to be so damn pulled together all of the time. A lesson in how to be kinder to yourself. If you’re anything like me, you’re incredibly self-critical when you fail to meet your expectations.

I started to make an “It’s Okay” list and felt the weight lift off my chest. I could breathe again and remembered why I do what I do, believe what I believe…you get the idea. This “it’s okay” list became a mission of separating the big deals from the small beans. Some of this list likely seems totally absurd but I’ve decided I won’t make any apologies for it. That would completely defeat the purpose of the list, you know? By writing down the petty, insignificant moments that built up until I was ready to run away and never come back, I understood just how insignificant they really are. This list lets me get back to center, gain “perspective” (whatever that overused line means), and stand a little taller (although that’s not saying much at 5 feet even ;)). I have a feeling this list-making tactic will surface again, whenever I find the workweek hustle to be crazier than I would like or if all of the balls I’m juggling come crashing down on my head.

It’s okay…

  • if I go to work with dirty hair. That’s what ponytails are for.
  • if I leave dirty tupperware in my lunch bag for three days. It’ll get washed no matter what.
  • if my bed never gets made. I only use it for sleeping, anyhow.
  • if I waste away my 40 minute bus ride staring out the window. My book’s not going anywhere.
  • if I don’t bring lunch and dinner to work every single day. Someone has to eat at Flour. Or from the vending machine…
  • if I stop at Boloco for lunch on my way home from grocery shopping.
  • What? I had a coupon.

  • if I called the fire department about my CO detector only to be told it wasn’t plugged in properly. What’ve I know?
  • if my undies were unknowingly sticking out over the top of my yoga pants at the gym. They were clean…
  • if I need a good cry sometimes. It’s good to make sure the old eyes still work…

I’ve been a bit uncomfortable with this post while writing it. I’ve always tried to be of the mind, oh, I shouldn’t complain, at least I have food and a warm place to sleep. The thing is, though, I complain anyway. Maybe It’s Okay lists mean I can get back to the place where I recognize and appreciate my wonderful life? Give it a try. Share your thoughts. And good luck getting through those alien moments. You’ll find your way again.

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2 Comments to “My “It’s Okay” List”

  1. What’ve I know…. go Helen D. Evil head is gone. Yeah!!! Now where’s the recipe?

    • Is that who said that? I couldn’t remember if it was from a movie or your life! I can’t always write about food, Ma…mainly because everything I ate yesterday was scrounged from the freezer/various BU lunches. No recipes to be found!

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