Opting Out

A few weeks ago I read this post by Sarah over at Yes and Yes. 

"I remembered that freeing feeling of opting out and started applying it to other areas of my life. And I realized that there were plenty of things I could opt out of - things I could simply choose to not care about."

Perhaps it sounds simple, but when I read her post, a lightbulb went off for me about the difference between not being able to do something and choosing not to do something. 

A few months ago, I signed up for the trial period on one of those online exercise programs. You know these sites, right? You pay $10 or $15 dollars a month, and you get access to a library of work out (or yoga, pilates, etc) videos that you can do in your own home. Usually there are a bunch of filters you can use to find just the video that works for you in that moment. For instance, you can sort the videos by length. So if you only have 20 minutes, you can find a video that's short and only do those squats and lunges for 17 minutes. 

I tried out Barre 3 after learning about it from (never home) maker, and I did one of the 10 minute videos and liked it. And then every day, for the next 15 days, I thought about how I should do a video. But I didn't. I was busy or tired or forgot when I was actually at home. The next day I would chastise myself a bit for the previous day's failure and promise to sign on today. 

13 days came and went. 

And then I read Sarah's post, and it hit me. 

I could choose not to do these videos. In fact, I was choosing not to do these videos, but I wasn't thinking about it in those terms. Instead, I planned every day to do a workout video, and every day I failed. I was viewing myself either as a failure or as someone way too busy to fit in working out, both of which left me feeling crappy and not in control of my own life. 

What if I decided that walking my dog twice a day was all the exercise I was going to get? Maybe not forever, but for right now. What if I decided that having toned legs and sexy arms just wasn't on my priority list?

What if I opted out? 

I cancelled the membership. 

I have a lot going on, and I choose not to add home exercise videos to that list. 30 minutes of sitting on the couch and knitting while I watch The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is on the list, but home exercise videos are not. That's just how it is right now. I opt out.

I started looking for other places in my life I could opt out. 

Making the bed
Looking fashionable on the weekends (see photo above)
Getting my inbox down to zero
Saving old clothes to re-purpose them (now I just consign)
Giving up coffee 
Being an emotional stoic

I'm *this* close on high heels.

Opting out is basically about honesty. Either you're opting out already but not owning the decision or you're opting in but feeling miserable and stressed out. 

By finding places to opt out, I'm realigning my time and my energy. Sometimes you have to figure out what you don't want so that you can make time for what you do

I encourage you to do the same. 

Opt out.

p.s. Our stenciled bathroom.

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