I fired my fears and told them I won't work for them anymore.

The other day my mom stopped by our apartment to eat dinner with us before she headed off to her counseling class. It was a quick dinner and we didn't have a ton of time to really have the sweet deep and caring conversations I am lucky to have with my mom, but she said something in passing that really tapped into my inspirational-living heart beat.

Right next to her Freebird burrito was a bracelet I've been wearing a lot lately. I'm not a huge jewelry wearer, but bracelets I can handle. (Side note: I really want to be a jewelry wearer. This is a 2015 goal. Watch out Sam Moon.) The bracelet isn't even a bracelet, really... it's a broken watch I tried to repair two years ago, but the watch face kept falling out no matter how much Gorilla Glue I used, so I just decided to let the bracelet go commando. Or maybe I should say I embraced the bracelet's decision to get rid of it's face. Or, if you really want the unpoetic unpinned version--- I gave up on fixing the watch. You'd be surprised how many people ask me what time it is though, even without a clock face. 

My mom picked it up and said something like, "Look at that, a watch without the time. It kind of just makes you want to live in the moment. I'm always living in the past or worrying about the future. What a good reminder."  

I just wanted to stop her right there and say, "I can't help that my style and jewelry choices are so unintentionally inspirational that way. Stop telling me how awesome I am, mom."

But she was right. It is a great reminder to live in the moment. 

My co-worker, Lauren, and I have been giving Storyline presentations to the college students we work with the past few weeks on productivity, living intentionally, and dreaming big. One of the questions we ask our students is, "How many of you feel like you are working for the clock instead of the clock working for you?" Most people raise their hand with a big groan.

We work for the clock, feel guilty when we don't accomplish "enough", feel rushed to get things done, procrastinate out of guilt, and constnatly feel like we are trying to keep up or catch up. We live lives of response instead of pro-activeness. We let fear, worry, and overwhelming to-do lists freeze us. They keep us from moving forward or becoming who we want to be or doing what we really want to do.

I mourn the fact that I've lived a lot of my 25 years as a time-waster, frozen by fear, rejection, and "what if's". This last year I really got fed up with being depressed by what I wasn't and what I didn't have. I'm not sure when identity-depression sinks in for you, but I tend to get attacked most on the weekends, when work isn't at my fingertips and spare time makes me question my worthiness and purpose in this world. So I faced my fears, found the roots of them, stopped caring so much about the "what if's" and  just. started. doing. I started chasing dreams. I started taking fun creative pictures of people. I started my blog and paper shop and gained clients and figured out how much I love/hate custom orders. I started reading more instead of wanting to read more. I started saving instead of wanting to save. 

I stopped tracking how much I wasn't getting done and started tracking how much I WAS getting done. I started enjoying projects even if they took longer than I thought they would. The clock stopped controlling me so much. 

So this week, even though I work on a schedule with a-ka-ba-jillion appointments and to-do lists in my planner, I am going to continue to strive to let go of what I can't finish and embrace what I DO have time to do. I'm going to be on time but not let time and progress control how I view my self-worth. I'm going to let good conversations last instead of letting my to-do list guilt trip me through the day. I'm going to look to how I can let my time be life-giving to myself and to others.

I'm going to wear my bracelet and be reminded not of a failed attempt to fix a watch, but be reminded that living, instead of worrying, is one of the best ways to keep moving forward.

What is an area of your life you feel frozen by fear and worry in? How do you see yourself moving forward?  

Stacie Stine

Design Jamboree, Denton, Texas, United States