Of obligations, guilt, and learning to be ‘type B’

So I’ve talked about that thing called guilt plenty of times on the blog, most notably in this post from a few months ago.

And you all know that I’ve been battling my brain this week – hello Type A on overdrive, much?

I’ve also talked a bit about putting yourself first during the hectic, crazy holiday season, when I talked about finding balance during the holidays, me-first style, just last week.

What do all three of these themes have in common? Obligations

…feeling obligated to see those ‘need to see’ friends or family vs. those ‘reaallly want to see’ friends or family.

…feeling guilt if things don’t going exactly according to plan, and/or things aren’t quite as perfect as you might have pictured them in your head. Obligated to live up to that perfect image at all times.

…or struggling to stop trying to be everything to everyone all.the.time. Forgetting to honor and adore a loved one sitting right in front you. Because you were too busy fulfilling all those other obligations first.

But why? Why do we let obligations drive us? 

I think it’s really quite simple. And I didn’t even see it until one of my best friends texted me to check in on me yesterday (mwah!). She wanted me to take a step back, breathe, figure out how to be slightly more Type B as I get ready for all the holiday hostessing I have going on this weekend.

That simple text chat showed me something. Obligations drive us because we’re too busy to recognize it. 

So busy in go, do, act mode that we (as in ‘I’) forget to breathe. 

So this is me, telling myself – and all of you – to remember to breathe.  Remember what’s most important in your life. Not just during the holidays, but everyday. Let go just a wee bit of that go, do, act mentality.

…and that sense of obligation will, quite simply, melt away. And you’ll remember – and more importantly, see – what’s worth focusing on. And what’s not. 

Just breathe. 

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34 thoughts on “Of obligations, guilt, and learning to be ‘type B’

  1. Great post. I need to remember it’s OK to relax during the holidays and enjoy myself! If I miss a workout and eat 5 cookies, who cares!! It’s not going to kill me. 🙂

    • Exactly – enjoying this time of year, but more importantly, every single day is so important and its sad how much we all seem to struggle with obligations vs. focusing on the things that truly matter…like cookies. hehe 😉

  2. I swear we are the same human being some days. I was just having a conversation with myself about obligations/expectations this morning before getting out of bed. It’s hard to let go the expectations of being the perfect wife/sister/worker/runner/human being – even though we’ll NEVER be “perfect”. And that’s what I love about being dedicated to being present and committing myself to being my best in this moment. It’s really helping me to get past some of my self-doubting issues.

    • Seriously, we so are!!! I’m SO glad this post was what you needed to hear today friend…I have been having MANY of those same conversations in the morning, or before I drift off to sleep at night and it was starting to really get to me (i.e. I was going CRAZY). But my friend knew just what to say in her text to me to shake it all out of me, helping me to see beyond my own view of “reality” – that perfection thing in me needs to subside a bit, it’s doing me no good to be this panic stricken if things aren’t absolutely 100% perfect all.the.time.

      Love the concept of staying present and have tried SO HARD To get there more…I’m glad it’s working for you too friend! xoxo

  3. What a well timed post. The holiday season can be so nuts that we don’t even allow ourselves to truly enjoy it! I have visions of myself with an apron on tomorrow baking away for Christmas Eve & day festivies. Will that happen? Who knows? It may end up being some simple chocolate chip cookies and a premade platter from whole foods. The universe always has a way to tell us to slow down…it could be a text from a friend or a cold (at least in my case 🙂 ). My goal is to start to recognize it myself before the universe has to send me a sign 🙂

    • I have those same visions tomorrow — but I’m looking forward to making that a fun experience, not a stressful one. I’m even making it a cookie baking party with my sis and friend so its not stressful AT ALL. A fun little trick, right??

  4. Abso-frick-lutely. I wrote about this too in the post I am putting up in a bit. I don’t want to overschedule myself with crap I don’t care about, and then wonder why I didn’t enjoy my vacation and holiday! It’s just not worth it. Chill, enjoy the ones you WANT to see and let go of the rest.

    • EXACTLY. I am so sick of doing things just to appease someone, especially if its someone who I don’t even WANT to spend time with…and I end up just caving for the sake of keeping the peace, vs. focusing on the people that I really want to spend time with. SO not worth it. I can’t wait to spend LOTS of time with YOU sis, you’re one I definitely can’t spend enough time with, hehe

  5. Yup, we’re definitely mirroring each other…in an awesome way! 😉 Your “weekend getaway” recently totally struck a note with me, and at the time it was just what I needed to read to realize how ridiculous my daily must-check-phone/interwebs habit is sometimes!

    We’ll get to that Type B soon enough… .

    • Great minds, great frickin’ minds. 🙂

      SO glad my disconnected weekend shook a few things loose for you!! That is so awesome!! Enjoy the disconnecting more often, I’ve been experimenting with it a lot more – and guess what? The world still moves along just fine even if I’m not tethered to the interwebs 24/7 – novel idea, right??

    • YES. I’ve done the same – but the more I think about it, WHY do I hang on to those difficult friendships? Why not just make a clean break and focus on the friends that truly matter? The ones that make it easy to be their friend? I’ve always said friendships should not be work…relationships SHOULD be work. Big difference in my book.

  6. I couldn’t agree with you more. We all feel overwhelmed at times, and we all feel like we should be all things to all people all the time. It just doesn’t happen that way. It’s ok to just relax and let things be. Not to worry you’ll find that you’ll get most of everything done 🙂

    • You’re right – on all counts. Even the “getting most of everything done.” I’ve knocked a ton of that to-do list today and it wasn’t nearly as stressful as I feared. Small victory 😉

    • It’s so hard to banish that guilt because you feel selfish for saying no, for not being a people pleaser all the time. It’s HARD to do. But once you put yourself first a few times, you’ll find yourself feeling happier overall and far less scattered and stretched thin. Isn’t that more important than trying to be all/do all, 100% of the time?

  7. I think that when we step back and stop doing things that feel like obligations, I think we gain perspective and start to *want* to do them again. Well said!

  8. breathing and letting go of the need to control is so important this time of year in order to really appreciate/enjoy the holiday! of course it’s easier said than done, but I love that you wrote about it to set your intention. 🙂 Love to you! xo

  9. I swear you have the same brain as me. Lol. that sounds weird but I don’t know how else to say it lol. I could not agree more with this!!! Back at you, just breathe. Happy Holidays 🙂

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