I’ll go to lunch as soon as I finish this spreadsheet.

I’ll start going to yoga regularly as soon as I have more free time.

We’ll have friends over as soon as the apartment is completely finished.

I’ll take a vacation as soon as work dies down.

I’ll stop putzing around on Facebook as soon as it hits the top of the hour.

I’ll do dishes as soon as I get home from rehearsal.

I’ll go to the doctor/dentist as soon as I feel any pain.

I’ll start eating healthier as soon as I finish the cartons of ice cream in the freezer.

I’ll go to the pool with friends as soon as my acne clears up.

I’ll write that book as soon as I feel more inspired.

I’ll start saving up as soon as I pay off my car and credit card.

I’ll go to sleep as soon as I watch one more episode.

I’ll stop hitting snooze on my alarm as soon as I’m fully caught up on sleep.

I’ll figure out what I want to be when I grow up as soon as this next show closes.

I’ll start living my best life as soon as I have my shit together.

The problem with as soon as is that the second I say “I’ll do x as soon as y,” I’m giving myself permission to continue bad habits; bad habits in thought, action, or inaction.  It’s a procrastination technique deployed to trick myself into thinking that the self-imposed delay is justified.  And when I notice I’m habitually procrastinating, it’s either because I find the task at hand unpleasant – like doing dishes – OR because I am scared of undertaking the task itself – like figuring out what I am actually doing with my life.

With as soon as, essentially I’m saying:  I’ll start living my best life as soon as I have my shit together…but my shit isn’t together right now so it’s OK to keep putting off doing the dishes. And there will always be a reason to delay anything – so I skip lunch, clutter piles up in the apartment, friendships become neglected, creativity and skills go unused, fitness declines, and days of unfocused living speed by.

I’ve noticed an uptick in as soon as this summer, so I am challenging myself to woman up and dig into the reasoning behind the as soon as when those three words pop into my brainspace.

If it’s because I find a necessary task unpleasant – then don’t I want the task to be completed sooner rather than later and be done with it?

If it’s because I’m scared – GOOD!  Shaking things up is scary. The risk of failure is scary. But what is scarier is the idea that days of unfocused living are given the space to create years of a life lacking intention – the thought of coasting by and letting life happen vs. *making* life happen.

So I’ll start living my best life as soon as I have my shit together…but my shit will never be 100% together, so I may as well start living my best life now.

If you need me tonight, I’ll be doing laundry and dishes as soon as my partner and I enjoy a healthy, home-cooked dinner … or maybe this evening we’ll do some dishes first!

Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love…

One of my dearest friends challenged me to do the Love Your [Person] Challenge on The Book of Face and because I freaking love her, I’m going to play*. But instead of doing a 7 day posting thinger-majigger…I’m going to post one picture here and say 7 gross, vomit-rainbow inducing things about my friends, love in general, and my Onesie.
1) To MegaLee – you guys are a freaking admirable couple and the love you have and devotion you show to one another constantly inspires me; and that BIG Love you have for one another spills over into the love you share with your friends. I have been lucky to have you both as an example of love over a bunch of years – and now specifically as an example of married love. You’re wonderful and I love you guys. So. Very. Much.
2) I want you to have a life of a million lovers. Yes. You. All of you. Anyone reading this.  This write-up is love-ly despite the horribly click-baity title. But this is what I want for myself and what I want for all of my friends – lives steeped in love. And whenever we – you and I – encounter, “I would like you to leave our time together feeling loved and free and full of your most vibrant and luscious hue of you-ness.” Because *that* is real love. 
3) And when it comes to romantic love, I want you all to experience what it is like to be with someone who “makes your cells dance” – you deserve nothing less: “You ruin your life by choosing the wrong person. What is it with our need to fast-track relationships? Why are we so enamored with the idea of first becoming somebody’s rather than somebodies? Trust me when I say that a love bred out of convenience, a love that blossoms from the need to sleep beside someone, a love that caters to our need for attention rather than passion, is a love that will not inspire you at 6am when you roll over and embrace it. Strive to discover foundational love, the kind of relationship that motivates you to be a better man or woman, the kind of intimacy that is rare rather than right there. “But I don’t want to be alone,” we often exclaim. Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself. Wait for it. Please, I urge you to wait for it, to fight for it, to make an effort for it if you have already found it, because it is the most beautiful thing your heart will experience.” — Bianca Sparacino 
5) Self love is important, too. Because…
6)  And to my Onesie:  I don’t mind that we’re often the people caught schmoopsing. I don’t mind that the world narrows when you’re around. In fact, I quite like it. You make my every cell dance. And I am so lucky to have you in my life as my partner and my teammate and my Love. Thank you for being with me. Thank you for showing me what Real Love looks like.  I love you. The most much.

Code Red Schmoops Alert

7) You are Love and you are Loved. We should all keep this truth with us through our daily journeys; life is easier to navigate when we let this fact rise to the surface of our interactions – with ourselves and others. And if you are ever in doubt, give me a holler and I’ll be happy to remind you.
* I have heard people talk about this challenge being one that initially began to remind people of the sanctity of marriage and that marriage should be between a man and a woman under a Christian faith. After some googling returned nothing notable, I decided to participate. But clearly, I am all for love being expressed between all people of all faiths and all sexual and gender identities. Go forth and love, kittens. In all the ways you can.