I'm trapped in a 70s children's game suffering with Overitis. Are you, too?

Posted on January 15, 2013

Well, the holiday season has come to a close for another year. 

[Phew.] 

Did you have a bad case of Overitis this year, too? You know...'twas the season to overeat, over-drink, over-spend, over-schedule, over-stimulate, over-caffeinate, overlook, overachieve, etc.

Confession time: I am an Over-scheduler. Guilty as charged. I thought I had it under control, but somehow something happens every year with the first waft of Thanksgiving dinner. Life becomes that classic 1970s game for the fledgling Type A person, Perfection. I scramble to plug as many family members and friends into my calendar before the figurative timer pops on New Year's Day. Just like playing that game as a kid, the whole thing usually ends with my heart beating way too fast, my stomach churning and my body feeling tense and exhausted. (Sorry, darling adrenals.)

What's the first thing that so many of us do next? Oh right, we dust off those self-torture techniques known as New Year's Resolutions. So, I've decided to do something different this year. It's free of cost, calories, sweat, and deprivation.

I'm flexing my No muscle without guilt.

For most people, this muscle is so under-developed or totally covered in existential flab. It takes real strength and commitment to keep it supple and toned. (Pssst, you won't really find that muscle in any anatomy book, if you're a scholar.)

Some of you may already know this, but I'm saying N-O all over the place. It's not because I don't value people around me or their requests. In fact, I want to give people a less pooped, pre-occupied, happier version of myself. I've decided to say yes to myself as much I say yes to everyone around me. I've committed to only saying yes to things that feel fun, easy and generate flow. I've set boundaries on new projects, opted out of things that don't meet my new metrics, and removed (gasp!) appointments from my schedule. I feel as free as a toddler. Those munchkins know the word "no" and have no qualms about using it.

By dropping some of those shouldy scheduling shackles, I've created the space and perspective to really assess what's happening in my life. Better yet, there is space to be creative about all options in front of me. Decisions feel easier. As soon as I committed to being a little more spontaneous, I heard from a friend in LA and a friend from London that will be local this week. Instead of stressing about how I'll ever fit them into my schedule, I just get to enjoy my time with them. By choosing to do absolutely nothing, it seems I'm creating something really awesome. 

How can you tone and sculpt that No muscle this week? Just start with one small No; it could go all Butterfly Effect on you.

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