I was moments away from having a meltdown on the 405 freeway. My hands tightly gripped the steering wheel as a knot formed in my stomach. I can’t do this. I hate this. I can’t do this.
What was I so worried about, you ask? I’m embarrassed to even admit this. Save the dates. Save, the freaking, dates. The designs I wanted weren’t looking good with our photos, I was worried I was going to spend a fortune, they needed to be perfect. Cue the mini meltdown.
As adults, I think we’re guilty of taking life, and ourselves, way too seriously sometimes. Maybe it’s my high strung, perfectionist nature, but I’m guilty of getting so caught up in the little details that I lose sight of the big picture and make everything feel like a huge deal. Instead of focusing on the fact that I’m planning a wedding to marry the love of my life, I’m too busy stressing over if the font on our card matches the one on our website.
However, with that meltdown the other week came a breakthrough. Before I called my mom to complain and stress out, a thought popped into my head. Something I’d heard before from Lori Harder. Life is fun and easy when I let it be.
In that moment, I realized I could either give power to my frustration by complaining more and making it a bigger deal or I could flip the script and decide it was fun. I could turn it into a creative project and enjoy myself more along the way.
As a personal experiment, I chose option two. I decided it was fun. That night, I poured myself a glass of wine and got to work creating our save the dates. As a result, I had so much fun during the process. I got into it, I played around without any expectations. I ordered our cards that evening and felt really excited about it.
This experience formed an idea in my head. Why do we have to wait for the end of the work day or the weekends to enjoy ourselves? Why do to-do lists have to suck? What if we had more fun while we completed our work and responsibilities?
Quit complaining. Decide it’s easy and make it fun.
As a recovering stress case, I’ve thrown my fair share of adult temper tantrums over having to do things I seriously did not have time for. I’ve slogged through the mud of responsibility and deadlines. I’ve spent many lunch breaks at my desk with my shoulders up to my ears as I complained to everyone about how busy I was.
My breakthrough the other week was seriously radical for me. Sure, daily meditation helps me calm my high strung nature, but this idea of “letting it be fun” really shifted things for me. I’ve been applying this mindset to every aspect of my life, and I have to tell you, I feel more relaxed as a result.
It can’t be that easy, can it? Actually, it can. It really, really can. When you’re working on something you don’t find enjoyable, ask yourself, “How can I let this be easy?” or “How can I make this fun?” By letting ease or fun even feel like a possibility, you’ll start to relax a little bit. Your mind will start looking for ways to enjoy the process a bit more.
Because, let’s face it. As adults, we have responsibilities. We have bills to pay, budgets to create, jobs to do. We have to do a lot of things we’d rather not, but I hate to think that we have to feel miserable while we’re doing them. Otherwise, what are we living for? The little break we have after getting that dreaded task done?
I invite you to try this with me. Just try it and see what happens.
Have fun with things that aren’t usually “fun”.
My best friend is remodeling her house right now. A notoriously stressful situation. Like myself, she can be a perfectionist. But when I asked her how it was going, I was really impressed by her response. She said, “It’s super exciting!!! More stressful than I’d imagined but I’m super thankful I’m able to do this and am having so much fun!”
The other morning, my fiance was getting ready for an important trial. Out of nowhere, he started dancing. He looked so carefree in that moment, even though he was about to step into what many would consider, a very stressful situation. It’s not like he wasn’t stressed, he just knows how to have fun along the way.
I had several projects due at work last week. And mind you, I’m still fairly new in my role, so everything is still a bit challenging. Cue the stress. It was one of those weeks where I could’ve easily felt overwhelmed. However, I decided to try my tactic of letting it be easy. While the work I was doing was anything but easy, I let myself feel at ease. Meaning, I made it a point not to stress over it. I played relaxing music while I worked and trusted that I would get everything done. I did. And I felt happier along the way.
As you pay your bills, run errands, or make dinner, I challenge you to think of ways to “let it be fun and easy”. Give it a shot. Let me know what it does for you. Feeling better, having more fun, is always an option. Remember that your experience, of any situation, is always your choice.