One of my big "yesses" became a "no" last week.
When we moved to Athens, Georgia at the beginning of lockdown in March of 2020 we didn't know how long we'd be here and I had only visited Athens one other time.
I wanted to make new friends but we were in a lockdown.
I wanted to be in other places than just behind my MacBook Air laptop but I just wasn't getting out much.
I wanted to be part of the community but I work from home and everything was now virtual.
Within our first month of being here, we visited the local Botanical Gardens.
Oh myyyyyy, it is gorgeous!
I fell so much in love with the Botanical Garden that I inquired about volunteer opportunities.
On a Tuesday in October, I showed up for my first official volunteer training shift.
It was a perfect way to meet people of all ages.
I loved being among all of the gorgeous trees and plants and flowers and noticing with all of my senses when new flora and fauna was starting to bloom.
I appreciated the commitment and structure it offered - every Friday at 10am, folks were waiting for me to show up and "woman" the garden gift shop.
Last week, I quit.
I'm sharing this with you, because five years ago I would've 100% second guessed myself on a decision like this.
I would've felt too guilty about changing my mind - "I made a commitment, I have to keep showing up."
I would've tried to talk myself out of the truth that I just wasn't enjoying it anymore.
And, when they asked if I could do an extra shift after I quit, I might've said yes out of guilt and obligation.
Here's what changed during my time as a volunteer:
- It got waaaaaay busier. Wonderful for the garden, but not my favorite thing to deal with some angry customers about having to wear a mask. Yikes.
- They decided to start accepting cash. So now when I showed up for my volunteer shift, I was counting coins and bills and punching numbers into a jumbo calculator to make sure I had the right total.
- My capacity changed. I'm working with more clients and I created a podcast - lately, there've been some weeks that I did work over the weekend that I could be doing on Fridays in place of volunteering.
- I'm now vaccinated and I want to visit my family and friends (I'm actually taking my first flight on Saturday to go celebrate my Dad's 70th birthday and my Grandpa's 92nd birthday in upstate NY!)
I share this "quitter's confession" to remind you that it's okay to change your mind.
You can change your mind about: activities / relationships / jobs / commitments / volunteer gigs / invitations / ANYTHING that you once said yes to.
So do our needs.
For me in this situation, a "yes" in October looked and felt very different than a "yes" in June.
Phuong-Thao Nguyen (@theuncagedpath on IG) shared this recently on Instagram and it resonated so deeply with me:
"Under capitalism, this system expects us to say yes all the time and function the same no matter what life throws at us; showing up 100% ALL THE TIME.
However, this way of living is unsustainable.
It means overriding yourself, your body to the point of disconnection where you could no longer see, sense, or notice your limits, capacity. There is no space for changing your mind.
There is no space to honor yourself."
Is there something you've been wanting to quit?
I'd love to support you.
I offer free sample coaching sessions where we can feel each other out and decide if we're a fit for working together. In the session, I'll ask you more about what you want from coaching (or what you want to quit!) and you'll experience my coaching in our 30 minutes just for you.
And, if you're looking for immediate inspiration, check out the first two episodes of Season 2 of Outgrow the Grind!
The episode is called "How to Have it All" because Adrienne knows firsthand how to design an abundant life you love without having to quit your job! Also in this episode, Adrienne shares a story about how saying no led to a great big YES for herself.
Sagan teaches us how to choose ourselves, how to check in with how we're feeling, and how to tend to our own needs so we have even more to give to others. If you've ever been in a job or relationship or volunteer gig that chose you before you checked in with yourself, you'll enjoy this episode.
Yes to honoring your needs- even when they change!