Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Have You Been Showing Up for Yourself?

A few months ago, a good friend and former co-worker of mine said something that's stuck with me since and that I still have trouble implementing into my life. "You've got to show up for yourself. You show up to do these other people's work, why not show up for you?"

Well surprise, surprise my attendance has been poor as of late. It's surprising how much energy goes into fulfilling other people's demands and how powerful the pull to vegetate afterwards is.

In my attempts to reform and focus on MY wants if only for tonight, I've walked over to Starbucks to get some writing done. (Is it just me or is their soundtrack the best music to work to undistracted?) On Monday, I checked out Wix Lounge, a free workspace near Union Square where other cubicle-less people go to avoid the solitary life that is freelancing. There's plenty of table space, seating, couches, free WiFi, and a kitchen area so you can play office even when you're only working for yourself. At the end of the work day, the group holds events and networking opportunities to get to know your workspace mates...or you can be antisocial like me and jet out of there whenever you're done. (Find other workspaces, cafés, and WiFi hotspots in NYC on

Because I need structure in order to function, I scheduled in Pow Wow sessions Monday and Wednesday evenings that *fingers crossed* will force me to leave the apartment and make progress in other areas of my life. The ones that should always be first and foremost. I've also started using little tools to improve my productivity:

1. I started creating task lists on Gmail or Google Calendar (they sync) instead of on pieces of paper, notebooks, phone, sticky notes, brain, etc. to keep them all in one location that can't be misplaced.

2. All events, invites, and appointments go onto Google Calendar, which syncs up with my Android cell phone.

3. To continue the Google takeover, I've started using Chrome as my default web browser to take advantage of their applications (new email pop-up messages, view web calendar while offline, Bitly app which shortens URLs and posts onto your Twitter account without leaving the web know, important stuff). I haven't missed Firefox or Safari since I made the switch.

4. I draft email and text message replies from my phone while I'm on the subway so I can send them off as soon as I'm above ground.

5. With I can glance at all my finances, accounts, and transactions from one page.

I'm hoping these little changes help because good gravy, I can't believe it's almost November and I still have all these plans I wanted to get off the ground before my 30th rolls around in January. Homegirl really needs to get her mind right and quick. If only it weren't so easy to just settle for things as they are. And if only that little voice would stop nagging me to move my ass.

So what have you guys been up to these days? Anything remotely productive on the YOU front?



  1. Google is great for automating your life. I don't know how people existed without machines telling them what to do all the time.

  2. Ummm, the YOU front. I've been trying to read for pleasure (or education) again, and that does not include blog reading. It means books, the Bible, non-fiction, fiction. Just reading for me. For fun.

    Been taking a few hours a month, once a month for some girl time.

    I started boot camp last month and go to that in the early wee hours of a few mornings a week.

    I really can't complain at the moment, so thanks for making me stop and truly answer that before I go and holler at Hubs for what he's actually permitting by being a helpful spouse. And loving. Blah, yes, he's loving. Sometimes.

    Be careful with your to-do lists....they can start to feel like pain in the ass chores as well. :)

  3. Setting up my apartment, which YOU showed up for and thank God! lol... In that case, I'm glad you showed up for another person, I needed your building capabilities.

  4. It's hard for all of us to do things for ourselves. Let's face it, working on our own blogs or websites isn't as important as helping a client who has put down a deposit, but your friend has a great point. Plus it sounds like you're finding your way there!

  5. I recently had the realization that I've basically been in survival mode for so long, due to lots of obligations for other people, that I don't really know how to live for me. I'm so tired anymore that most nights I go straight home from work and veg until bed time.

    It's just as bad to live this way as it is to be constantly doing things because someone else expects me to.

  6. Good for you. I recently have been looking at my life and FINALLY (yesterday) that I've been neglecting my health and well being far too long. I've been using my unemployment and financial issues too long and realize they are here, but I need to get healthy to move forward (stress has been eating away). I'm setting up routines and putting me at the top of the list. I want the passion back.

    Sounds as though you're headed in the right direction.

  7. sex mahoney, it's a bit scary how dependent and lost some of us become without them.

    tooje, man, I haven't read for a fun in a long time. I did finish The House on Mango Street (which was short, sweet, and poetic) last month, but have a few others that have been sitting on my nightstand since this summer. Mind you I bought this book last year.

    And I keep thinking, "Oh, if I just get these tasks done THEN I can focus on the other things I want to do." Only the tasks just keep on coming!

    Now go and give that man a hug.

    dama, it was great moving you into your first apartment! You're all growed up now. Hope you're enjoying the transition into this next phase in your life.

    claudia, the key is finding yourself in a situation where your work nourishes you as well. Though I wonder if most things you end up doing for money start to lose their appeal and feel like work sooner or later.

    karen, I've also been living day to day, pushing things for tomorrow until I get this to-do's out of the way. It is tiring and I just end up feeling guilty for it. I think we're all perfectly allowed to be selfish from time to time. We have to look out for #1 so we can keep going otherwise we'll eventually burn out.

    little ms. blogger, good for you! I've also been down the unhealthy road and it's such a wake-up call - or at least it shoud be. It's just not worth putting your life behind anything else because then you can't be there for yourself and you damn well can't be of service to anyone else. Here's hoping you get on the right path soon.

  8. Good for you for making time for... Well, for you!

    Yes, I'm doing the same. Not in the same way, but I'm taking steps to make my time more productive, make myself healthier, etc. If you don't look after yourself, you'll be in no shape to look after others, right?

  9. Exactly! Would love to know how you're going about it.

  10. Oh my... January 2012 is gonna be ... something huh?

    :) You'll always be 29 in my book.

  11. Great blog.. I have also been reconsidering my work options. Not everyone I know thinks this deeply about work in general, but I want my work to be meaningful and yes also want to make a living doing work I enjoy! Finding a way to connect my creativity to money is harder than I thought. So much competition because many other artists also have that dream. But it is a good way to look at it all, by asking if you are showing up for yourself. If not, what would make you want to show up for yourself.


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