Sat with Nat

My 2017 Stop Doing List

Natalie and her partner, wearing a silver cardboard hat with Happy New Year written on it, smile at the camera
Marking the new year with my sweetie
I was sitting at Sam’s table one night chatting with Amanda (who has guest blogged here too!) when she asked if I was interested in joining a choir with her. I burst out laughing. In my mind’s eye a giant plinko chip ricocheted off all the things that are happening in my life, there was no time to take on a new thing. 

Some years I make resolutions for the new year. Often I make fitness changes around my birthday in October as the weather changes. And sometimes, like this year, I make a stop doing list. 

I have an overachiever A-type personality which can be a superpower and a giant, toxic liability. So, in the spirit of me doing me and you doing you, I thought I’d share (in no particular order) my 2017 Stop Doing List. 

1. Stop glorifying being busy

I get a buzz off being mildly overcommitted on my calendar but that is quickly followed with feeling tired, overwhelmed and exhausted. This is my tried and true path to being depressed as fuck. Fuck that shit. Busy can be good or bad but being busy doesn’t have to be tied to my self worth. 

2. Stop beating myself up over missed workouts

I’m committed to a Tuesday and Friday workout class at lunch. My workmate Anthony has invited me to do cardio with him on Mondays and Wednesdays. I’m spinning at home Thursdays and Saturdays. 

My work schedule is flexible but I don’t book my meetings so sometimes I can’t make a class. 

My kids are 15 & 17. It’s an oddly intense parenting time and things come up last minute. I’ve decided being there for them this year is especially important as my partner will frequently be on the road for work. 

Also I don’t have to hit every workout to be fit or to be taking care of myself  or to be a good person. Perfectionism is my path to procrastination and self sabotage. Fuck that shit. I’m not aiming for perfection, I’m aiming for a good quality of life physically and mentally. 

3. Stop apologizing for being a hot mess

My brain is not wired for schedules or knowing what day it is. I’ve this weird mental myopia where the next 24 hours are really clear to me and I can totally see where I need to be in 6 months. Between those two time brackets I seriously have no idea what’s going on. 

I use my calendar at work and at home to get the important appointments and kind of herd my family to things like haircuts. That’s all I have in me though, so I’m often a hot mess. 

My friends have chosen to love this about me. I often miss things because I thought it was next week or I forgot to put that Facebook event in my calendar. I’m trying but now I’m also accepting this is how I move through the world. 

To those who love me, thank you for accepting my quirky, uneven, mostly there for you self. My name is Natalie and I’m a hot mess. I will explain myself but I’m done apologizing for this. 
That’s it!

So I’m focusing on my physical and mental health and making time for naps and snuggles. 

I hope your fitness stuff is going well. Have you done a Stop Doing List? I’d love to hear of you have what was on the list. 

Also any thoughts this post has provoked as I get a big hit of happy when folks interact with what I write. 

14 thoughts on “My 2017 Stop Doing List

  1. I love this post. I rarely comment on this blog but I read it all the time. I’ve stopped feeling lost about my own bag of cats brain; it is what it is, it is part of who I am, and I like it.

  2. We are all busy. Choices is what it comes down to. Choice = privilege.
    I wonder about ‘busy’ as privilege and as drama. Privilege to go to a gym, a movie, take down time, cook a good meal. Busy for some = survival, 2 or 3 jobs, single parenting and more.
    Busy and drama are addictions, like adrenaline highs that need to be fed.
    I see it with people who live with and around trauma, we need a lot of stimulation and when it’s not there, we create it by adding heightened pressure like over embellishing small incidents and make our lives very busy. It fuels us in all the ways that make us feel important. You hit a nerve Nathalie. Thank you! Loved your article.

    1. Yes! I’m reading a book called “The Fringe Hours” and one thing the author addresses is how being “busy” feeds our ego. I felt convicted about some of my own behavior! I think part of it for me is, I had a mental health crisis a few years ago and some really low times. Being extremely busy is one way I try to prove how recovered I am- obviously if I can handle XYZ I must be fine. Even though sometimes I’m not fine! Thank you for sharing this perspective.

  3. I loved this post, Natalie. I appreciate those who have children at home, it is busier because of their needs.

    I am abit judgemental when I can’t be overly sympathetic to single people who don’t have children responsibilities, then they complain to me their half hr., or 1 hr. long work commute that they have no time to exercise, etc. And they aren’t taking a course, nor volunteering much/or not even at all. So what are you doing with all that amount of personal time?

    Then same child-free single folks, complain to me about cycle tracks and cyclists slow down traffic, their commute. Ok, are you an EMS, police, firefighter ..that truly needs to navigate traffic fast to save a person’s life?

    Agree need to quit emphasizing “busyness”…to bolster our own self-worth. I personally feel slightly guilty. I have luxury of much personal time (since I chose not to have children). I occasionally get into guilt trips….even after several yrs. of past volunteer work in race relations and cycling advocacy work plus past evening courses..yaddydadda.

    Wishing everyone peace of mind, less stress and some fun physical activities. Reflect well and enjoy present moments without multi-tasking on iPhone every hr.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this today. Fuck that shit indeed! I’m reading a book called “The Fringe Hours” that discusses some of these themes of overscheduling. One thing I really liked was a quote about making decisions about how to say yes or no to a particular commitment. “If it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no!!” My theme word for the year is “choose” so I’ll be keeping that phrase in mind! Happy New Year!

  5. The way we love ourselves is the greatest love of all. I love this blueprint! I love the perspective you show in accepting yourself as a hot mess, one headed up and reaching out to inspire so many.

  6. Love this! I live in other people’s expectations of me. That’s on my ‘Stop Doing List’ this year.
    You’re such an inspiration 💖 Your words empower; thank you for the beautiful, awesomeness that you are!

  7. Looks like great New Year Resolutions! And I love how you shared the little “backstory” or “snippet” behind each resolution so that it’s more specific and thus clearer for you to achieve them. I shared some of my own resolutions for 2017 on my blog, too! Good luck on 2017 to the both of us! xo, Stephanie

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