You know what it was?

It was the thought of wearing stockings and blazers in the middle of July {yikes}. It was the thought of missing a perfectly sunny day at the beach {never!}. It was the thought of being cooped up in a cubicle, of having to stay overtime and say “no” when I would so desperately want to say “yes” to dinner, to concerts, to an opportunity to travel the world.

It wasn’t any life shattering “aha moment” but these thoughts, these relatively insignificant, seemingly selfish thoughts, that led me to where I am today.
Today, my life runs exactly how you might imagine. I spend Monday mornings {and sometimes Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings…} working from my laptop in Boston’s public gardens. I also sometimes spend hours making {and eating + photographing} strawberry ice cream or mango pie and consider that a perfectly productive afternoon. I almost always say “yes” to dinner with friends, intend to travel at least one month of every year, and if I’m lucky, make money while I sleep.
My life is quite like a vacation. And no, I don’t have stacks of cash hidden under my bed or a sugar daddy sending me annual checks to make it possible.

What I do have, and what I’ve had for as long as I can remember is a desire to do meaningful work“Make a difference in the world,” my mom would say, every morning as I left to catch the bus. “Will they know you were here and why?” my dad wrote to me in my first days of college, words that have remained with me ever since.

“But how?… what route do I take? Corporate? Non-profit? Academia?”  All perfectly honorable routes to take… I was overwhelmed.

Back to basics: the stockings, the blazers, the cubicle. If that wasn’t me, then… what was? What is me? Well… sundresses, salsa shoes, and freedom to start. Could it really be so simple? So far it looks like it can be. And if it can be for me, it can be for you.

Make a list of which parts of your day you feel most like yourself. These parts of your day will excite you, make you smile. They give you energy rather than steal it away.
Now consider how you can add more of these moments into your day, how you can add more YOU into your day. It doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and become a health coach. It might just mean being clear about your boundaries {“Nope, can’t stay late again”}, identifying what you’ll no longer stand for {“whether he likes it or not, I’m using all my vacation days!}, and figuring out what is non-negotiable {I’ve gotta make time for yoga 4 times per week}.

Summer is the perfect time to create a habit of doing what you desire, a great time to become a little bit more selfish… because heck, only by maintaining your own health and happiness will you be able to the meaningful work you’re meant to do!

So… what will you do to add more YOU into your day today? Join the convo on Facebook!