I figure as I write this short piece, a large portion of the US population is running around, over-committed, exhausted, and stressed out, feeling as though they need to embrace the weekend, before their work week starts. This one’s for you.
Most people I know are over-committed. Additionally, almost everyone is fueled by sugar, caffeine, or some other type of drug or substance. The fact that modern living requires much more than what most human’s can experience and do, without assistance, begs the question of whether we are needing to start being more flaky, in order to introduce greater balance in our lives.
I am referring to a flaky person as being someone who shows up unreliably, and breaks commitments spontaneously, maybe without warning. A flaky person’s agenda tends to be guided by their own feelings or instinct, in the moment, rather than any other agreement they may have made.
I understand that to be flaky has a negative, shameful connotation, and most of us try to avoid this label, as though it were synonymous with being referred to as a low-life. In fact, we try to avoid being called flaky, to such a degree, we put many important elements of our lives at risk, in order to keep commitments.
As a love and relationship coach, I see so many couples who report the same story: “We are too busy, and haven’t had the time to connect”. I then ask them about whether they did their homework assignment, and they report they only partially completed it. These are couples who are at risk of losing their relationship, yet are too busy to take care of it. I then ask them to help me understand why they were too busy, and I realize they are over-committed with work and social plans, and do not protect the opportunity to spend time alone together. I usually need to highlight that this being “too busy” is not an accident, and is not just something happening to them both. They are making an active choice to de-prioritize their relationship.
We often are so fearful of missing out, failing at something, disappointing our self, or of being called out or criticized by work, friends, family, and community, if we don’t keep these patterns of over-commitment going. US culture is on hyper-drive, in terms of what it expects of each individual in the course of one day, so that we are perpetually striving and coming up short of being able to fulfill all goals, while keeping our self, and everyone happy. In this way, most of us live life constantly disappointing ourselves and others, and feeling like a failure, somehow.
So, choose to be flaky.
I have come to define flaky, in my own life, with this acronym: Fully Living According to Knowing Yourself. Being flaky is making choices, moment to moment, that reflect respecting your limits, and knowing who you are, and who you are not. It also means recognizing when you haven’t been respecting your limits of energy, resources, and self, and re-calibrating what your agenda is, even if it is last minute. This means allowing for others to be disappointed with a lack of commitment or dedication you might have towards relationships, projects, and goals that, to give our energy and attention to, in the long-term, end up draining us, rather than nourishing us. This also means recognizing that you are the only one who can live this life, in your body, with the unique needs, desires, and experiences you have, and that you have the right to protect this at all costs. And, lastly, this flaky way of living, is your act of empowering yourself to prioritize tending to what is actually most important: your health, well-being, and what makes you happy, as well as those you love.
Over time, this way of living, paradoxically, will make you that much more dedicated, successful and fulfilled, in all you do put your energy, time, and resources in to!
I encourage you to give it a try. Fully Live According to Knowing Yourself! Go on, be flaky, and allow yourself to revel in all the energy, time and resources this helps you save for what is most important to you!
I hope you have a happy and restful weekend!