People From Behind And Two Helpful Words

I’m back from a week-long trip traveling in Greece and Albania.  Unlike most people who take time off, I’m fortunate that I don’t have to jump right back into a crazy work schedule. Instead, I have about ten days until the next chapter of my life begins. Sounds perfect right? Well, like most things in life, yes and no (and for those of you working, I understand if you resent me a lot right now..). In times like these, free of schedules and plans, I don’t know what to do with myself. I find myself grasping at straws. I want to keep active, I want to fill my days with activities that don’t feel meaningless, I want to do things that are both enjoyable but also fulfill my desire to keep pushing forward, to keep growing. But when I have many days ahead with boundless possibilities, I freeze up. I don’t know where to begin or how to focus myself. I end up feeling the pressure of shoulds. My mind becomes my own worst enemy. I should do this or maybe I should do that. The same ideas circulate in my head and I end up thinking about doing instead of actually doing. But, my friends, that stops today. I found a tool to escape these mental roadblocks, and I want to share it with you in hopes that if you struggle with similar problems, that you too can find your way out.

It comes down to two words: let me. Instead of getting caught up in a flurry of shoulds, I now change the should to let me. It’s not “I should write those emails” but “let me write those emails and then go to the park.” It’s not I should go for a run outside” but “let me go for a run outside.” You get the picture.

When we change our internal dialogue, it changes how we act. Suddenly, the same task doesn’t feel like a burden or something we must cross off a list. It seems lighter, just like a frisbee you toss into the air without much effort. As weightless as, “oh let me brush my teeth and go to bed.” Easy peasy.

Of course this will take time to become an automatic response but I hope that by recognizing my inhibiting language, I can feel more satisfied with how I spend my days, because as Annie Dillard says, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”

This quote also serves as the perfect segue to my second round of People From Behind photos. Taken throughout Amsterdam and Albania, these photos are here to whisk us into that magic land of wonder we talked about the other week, to get us thinking about how other people spend their lives so we can marvel at our similarities and differences.

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