It’s Time to Go

One of my wonderful coworkers was telling me awhile back that “It’s time to go” has become her new phrase to everyone in almost every situation. I’m inclined to agree with her. Is someone angry and saying things he or she will regret? “It’s time to go.” Have you been thinking about doing something for a long time? “It’s time to go.”

She also told me that a friend of hers had decided to move away and start a new life and wrote to her in a letter (my wording may be off), “When it’s time to move on, the place where you are will tell you.”

My theme this year has been very close to this statement. I’ve told myself and others, whether justifying my own actions or encouraging theirs, “It’s time to stop thinking and to start doing.”

I don’t mean we should launch into endeavors without plans or make foolhardy decisions. What I mean is most of us think far too much and far too long and we let valuable time pass when we could be actively working toward where or what we want to be.

Over this past year, I punched my inner naysayer in the throat long enough to shut her up for awhile. Some of you have read my 30 before 30 and 11 for 2011. You may have noticed that I accomplished barely 1/4 of those items, if even that (I truly haven’t counted). Why?

I sailed on opportunities that presented themselves this year. I turned down very little. Did that make for overcommitment? Yes. Did that get worrisome at times? Certainly. Was it better than if I’d declined? You bet your ass it was.

Now, I did hesitate at times. I did negotiate. I did pull back. I’m not saying anyone should take on every. single. opportunity. offered. That would be ridiculous. One has to make decisions. I cut back on sewing and pole lessons. I put off researching PhD programs. That’s fine. They’ll be here next year, and I hope to be here too.

So, if I didn’t get through my lists, what did I do? I’ll hit the high spots.

April 4 — I joined Weight Watchers, one of the most out-of-character things I’ve done. I hate “diet programs” and generally don’t do well with restricted eating. Eight months later, I’m only 12 pounds down, but it’s been an impressive 12 pounds. I’ve reached a point at which it’s hard to follow the plan due to increasing hunger. However, I told that inner voice that said, “It’s okay that you’ve gained weight” to be quiet, put down the cookie, and got a jump start on fixing the problem. At one point in my life, I weighed close to 200 pounds (I’m 5’6″ with tall hair). When the scale crept up to 165, it was time to go. I did. I’m still going.

May — I got back onstage for the first time in many years. It was exactly what I needed precisely when I needed it. I’ve got a dear friend to thank for pulling me back into it.

June — Mr. B and I took the trip of a lifetime (though I hope we go on fifty more). We traveled across the country in his mighty Tahoe and saw 19 states in 18 days. We camped for three nights in Yellowstone. We saw unbelievable natural sights in Utah and South Dakota. I, without question, wanted to take this trip. However, I had misgivings. I had to silence that little voice that said “You’ll fight if you’re in a car together that long; bad things will happen. That’s a long time to be gone. You shouldn’t buy that much gas.” (My inner voice is often the voice of my neuroses.) It was the best trip I’ve ever taken. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I’d even go as far as to say that it transformed our relationship into something even better than it already was. (Even more surprising: We never fought on the trip.)

July — Mr. B and I drove all night to the last space shuttle launch. It was a moving experience. At one point in my life, I would have said, “Why drive all night for something that may not happen? We don’t have a place to see the launch.” I’m glad I’ve learned to plan less and go more. Mr. B has been a big catalyst for that. I’m thankful.

Also in July, I made (hesitantly) the decision to be editor of Drawl. The now-publisher had to talk me into it, not because I wasn’t interested, but because I was afraid I wouldn’t have the time. I’d finally gotten comfortable at work and backed off my spa business and editing. Luckily for me, she was persistent. I’m thrilled we took the plunge on it; Drawl is truly a labor of love, a creative outlet, and a project with a mission we both believe in.

August & September — New work responsibilities and the magazine’s first issue kept me ridiculously busy.

October — I started working on getting our living space in order. I will defeat this clutterbeast (shut UP, inner voice!) eventually. I also turned 30 and evaluated where I am in my life. Surprisingly, I’m right where I want to be.

November — I traveled to LA for a friend’s wedding. For normal people, this would be cake. For me, it was terrifying. I don’t fly well, I get vertigo on planes, and I’d never traveled alone. Luckily, I have a friend who lives in LA and drove me and lodged me. Even so, the trip was an accomplishment for me. It was also a reminder that I need to touch base with friends from different parts of my life, and I don’t need to let years go by between those touchdowns. (And what is more fabulous than a gay wedding of costumers in Hollywood?!)

December — The month is young. Despite all I have to do, I’m calmer than I’ve ever been. I’m also actively working toward task completion rather than getting overwhelmed and hiding under my desk.

This isn’t a dazzling list of accomplishments to most, but to me, these events have been somewhat life-altering.

I know it’s not the new year yet, and I do not advocate preparing far in advance for holidays; I want to enjoy the here and now while it lasts. However, the holidays are often a time of reflection. What is it you’ve been waiting for? What is it you’ve been talking about?

Whatever it is, start taking steps toward it. If you are unhappy at work, look for a new job. If you don’t like where you live, think about other options. If you’re not doing that thing — whatever it is — that you’ve always wanted to do, that you just know would make you happy, start finding a way to do it. Actually, scratch that. Start doing it, somehow. The place where you are is telling you it’s time to go.

Tell the voice of negativity to take a hike and listen to that other voice, the one that gets drowned out. That’s the voice that tells you to write that letter, to fill out that job application, to actually contact that school you’re looking at, to get involved with a community theater production, to sign up for that dance class you’ve considered.

I’m not advocating walking away from your job with no plan or funds or doing something similarly foolhardy. I’m not telling you to intentionally hurt or anger people. I’m telling you to pursue those goals that require action. You’ve already thought about it for ages.

It’s time to stop thinking about it and start doing it. It’s time to go.

3 Responses

  1. Persistence says:

    I’m glad you’re glad I was persistent. Others would have thought me an ass, and they’d probably be right. :)

    Viva la Fra…er… 2012!

  2. Kimberly says:

    I’ve read this twice and started crying both times. It popped up in my reader quite literally on the day that I most needed a push, on a day where I was trying very hard (again, again, again) to deny that

    Thank you.

  3. TheBitsch says:

    I am so glad that this post reached you, and thank you so much for responding. I’ll be cheering you on to go, go, go!

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