Today is my birthday, a great day to publish my personal manifest about how to be Valentina. It’s basically a reminder for myself to stay true to myself, no matter the circumstances. May it inspire you to find your own rules.
Do to be
I thrive on action. At the same time, I get easily trapped in analysis paralysis, trying to find the perfect solution. From experience, I fare best, when I act and then course correct, instead of waiting for divine inspiration or complete information.
This goes hand in hand with acting like what I am aspiring to do. If I want to be a runner, I need to run. If I want to be a writer I need to write. If I want to create change in the support industry, I need to act that way.
Use your calendar
I have lots of ideas. I also aspire to sleep 7 hours per night. And I have twins. That means my day has a limited amount of hours. By consciously adding everything to my calendar (including buffer time in between) I force myself to not overcommit and to allocate enough time to actually get the things done that are highest on my priority list. Because let’s be honest “when I have time” never happens
I won’t just assume that other can read my mind or know what I want or need (or that they’d necessarily act in my interest if they did). I have to ask for what I want. It’s my responsibility to request what I need. This also means that I need to accept getting a no from time to time. And that’s OK too (because, see above). A clear “no” is better than being stuck in the loop of “they should have known”. I can’t read other people’s mind – they can’t read mine either.
This won’t kill you
Things go wrong. Situations turn awkward. Insecurities ensue. And still, the embarrassment I might be feeling in this very moment will not kill me. I will live to tell the tale and hopefully learn something of it and/or laugh about it at some point in the future.
When preparing for difficult conversation, I can remind myself of the feeling I get every time I run a marathon: This won’t be easy. It will probably hurt along the way. But I can do it. I have done it before!
This too shall pass
It’s one of the secrets of motherhood: it’s just a phase. For better or for worse, the current situation won’t last forever. You will look back at it with endearment and joy or with relief that you’ve made it through. Enjoy it if it’s great, endure it with grace if it’s difficult. If I can’t change it, I will remember: it’s just a phase, this too shall pass.
Listen to your body to hear your soul
Breathe. Listen to your pulse. Register that headache. My body usually knows the state I am in and whether I need sleep, a cuddle or just a quiet moment for myself. It knows better than my logical mind (who’d love to be in charge all the time). Taking a moment to actually listen to my body instead of rationalizing everything might change my plans in the short term, but it’s much healthier over time.
Let it go
If it does not serve me, or if it does not embellish or improve my life, it’s time to let go. This works for stuff as much as for emotions, activities and people. It is also one of the tenets of minimalism: keep it, if it adds value to your life. Let it go, if it has no purpose.