I was spending so much time focusing on making other people happy that I have forgotten what makes my heart sing. As a result, I started becoming incredibly stressed out, irritable and unhappy. I love my bridal couples and wedding vendor friends, don’t get me wrong — but besides them, I didn’t have any other outlets besides my husband and my cat.
Last year, I connected with my friend Amy, and she and I talked about how I used to swim competitively during high school and college. I hated looking at myself in the mirror because I had picked up more than 70 pounds since college and I felt so sluggish. She told me that you make time for priorities, and 30 minutes a day could easily become a priority. That didn’t sound too hard, but I was concerned about my lupus putting up a fight. (That’s largely where the weight came from — the drugs that saved my life.) She encouraged me to try anyway, and I started doing Les Mills Combat and embarked on a healthy eating routine. One year later, I am now 40 pounds healthier, have a great virtual support network, and have a passion for eating clean and organic.
Before opening the wedding planning business, I used to perform and work on the production team for community theater. I sang as a cantor at our church, and in the past I had sung the national anthem at the Xavier Men’s Basketball homecoming game, the Buffalo Sabres, the Toledo Mudhens and the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. I wanted to have a career in musical theater at one point. So what happened? Why did this passion leave my life? Music and theater had always been such a great creative outlet for me.
The lessons I learned this past year? Simple — in order to take care of others you need to take care of yourself.
(1) You make time for things that are priorities. If you really want to make a commitment to do something you will find the time. There are 24 hours in a day — eight are spent sleeping, ten are spent working, two are spent eating — what will you do with the remaining four? How will you spend your 32 hours of your ‘awake time’ on your days off? That is up to you!
(2) Set boundaries. If you don’t someone else will for you. Saying ‘no’ isn’t a bad word, it is simply a decline.
(3) Make a date with yourself each day. Whether it be a 30 minute workout, meditation, journaling, bubble bath, a walk in the park, cooking to music — it doesn’t matter. Make a date with yourself each day. I carve out ‘Kathy time,’ which is time for me. I spend it alone doing something to make my body or spirit feel better. It is a great opportunity to recharge your battery and regroup to tackle the rest of life’s stressors the rest of the day!
What about my singing and performing bug that was inadvertently squashed? Jim and I recently rejoined our church, and I asked the office manager to tell the music director that I was interested in cantoring again. Her email back said ‘he’ll be so happy to hear you’re back, we need good cantors!’ It’s a start, right? I also hear there will be auditions for a show at the Sharonville Cultural Arts Center soon that will require an Atlanta accent! 🙂
Don’t worry … Be happy now! (Ooo… ooo, ooo, ooo, Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo….don’t worry…are you humming along?)