Saying ‘No’


In the words of my friend, Sean David Burke ‘Learning to say no is really, really difficult.’

I have been presented SO many AMAZING life opportunities this year.  I mean amazing, never in a million years would I have thought that they would happen.  Cool S#!t.  It is so easy for me to get completely jazzed and psyched over even the littlest of things, imagine TV shows, magazines, dream jobs, passion project #1, passion project #2, passion project #3 and a want to keep a simple life all coming at you at once, OH!  and the most rad baby and relationship…  Every day I somewhat fear everyone getting over this whole ‘tiny house’ thing because it’s become such an unexpected but huge part of my life (ironic, huh!).  I did not get into this to turn into a blogger, to be in magazines and movies but those things and more are and have presented themselves, how can I NOT take part!? right?  Well, this weekend it has all come to a head, I think.  There is too much and I feel like it’s getting in the way of my real priority, which is my family.

It’s funny, I am attracted to the tiny lifestyle because I am a simple person with simple needs and believe it or not I am hugely introverted!  All of this attention IS draining.  I have realized yet another thing about myself though through all of this, I am PASSIONATE about teaching.  That part of this has re-energized me continually.  I love inspiring, I like seeing/hearing/reading ‘that moment’ when a major life development is made in strangers and minds are shifted to an understanding that gives a person much peace and confidence about their own life and how they want to live it,  I love hearing things go from ‘that’s cool’ to ‘I’m going to do that!’  I LOVE helping to empower people to do that for themselves.

So I am attracted to this lifestyle for it’s simplicity yet it has deeply complicated my own life (in all the best ways! not complaining, just stating the fact!).  At this point literally every single day brings a new opportunity, business or personal.  It seems that I have an idea and before I can even look into it further I am approached by someone with a similar idea.  Sometimes this is annoying (when people just want to piggy-back on my site for their own personal gain) but sometimes it’s amazing and there is a real opportunity to combine synergistic energies to truly help people.  That is my only one and remaining goal with this site by the way, to help people.  I will do this as long as I get questions, as long as people are gaining from my information and as long as I can pay for my bills (this is not really as lucrative as some think… but then again I don’t have a lot of bills! ahhhem… buy my book if you like! ;)).

Well, my point to all of this is that I have hit it, I hit the wall, the end of the road, there are too many options, too many ‘things’ pulling at my attention and none of them are getting enough attention to be successful.  At this point I HAVE to master the art of saying no.  I HAVE to pick my priorities and focus or nothing will be done well or at all, and THAT is just not an option.  THIS, right now, is the point that I have too many balls in the air.

Back to the drawing board:

Several years ago I had a very good friend, her and I started blogging together simply because we wanted to.  We wanted to stay happy and positive, that was our only real ‘rule’ about our blog posts and we used the whole thing as a means of self exploration.  I owe much of my present life to these conversations, that process and quite frankly that girl (thank you Mari), she picked me up and shook me off when my life got hard, she asked me questions, she engaged my mind and made me think of what I wanted for my future.  THAT process got me here.

THIS was my very first post of that process!  I wanted to really clarify what I am all about and so I went through the process of making my very own ‘personal mission statement’.  It was:

“To love life completely, live honestly and humbly, while actively creating a better environment for my family and community with optimism and passion that all things are possible.”

This was over four years ago and about a year+ before I started my tiny house build.  At this point and I have referenced THAT mission statement hundreds of times.  I generally live my life and when a situation comes up and I need a little direction, I reference my personal mission statement and let it be the guiding entity.  This has done very well for me.  In four years though life has changed.  I think its time to reevaluate and go a little bit deeper.  At this point I have so many opportunities coming up and they ALL fit into my personal mission VERY well.  I can honestly say that my wildest dreams have come true time and time again.  I need to tighten things up though so that my mission statement can guide me better from here on forward.  That is what I will be focusing on because without that guidance I have no impulse control I would be saying yes to a good many of the things coming my way.  If I did that I would fail at them all.  It’s time to focus in and clarify my goals and the direction for my future.  That is what I will spend this weekend doing, so stay tuned! ;-)

PS. Going through my old blog reminded me too of something I used to love doing!  My weekly 5’s, 5 things I am grateful for and 5 things I am excited about, for old times sake here are some current 5’s:

I am grateful:

  • To have my whole family AND Hazel’s whole family (both sides) in town and near enough to visit often!
  • To have my life, my health and to be happy!
  • I am so grateful for the time I get to spend with Hazelnut, I am VERY fortunate.
  • To have my friend Becca to be a fairly normal adult with and have our weekly outings and baby dates!
  • That Hazel has been the absolute perfect vision of health from day 0.

I am excited:

  • That Sagey will be here in a week and a half!
  • To decorate my tiny house for Halloween!
  • To dress the munchkin up for the spooky occasion (ideas on what??? I’m thinking a tiny little witch or a fairy (she likes tinkerbell))
  • For fall to be here!  My most favorite season seems to always be the one looming on the horizon but I am particularly stoked for red leaves and apple cider, I LOVE fall.
  • For movie and bonfire night at Nater’s (brother) this weekend!
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Jay Shafer is Doing a Workshop! Oct. 4

Jay Shafer

I got a pleasant email the other day and just wanted to pass on the info for anyone that may be in the bay area.  Jay Shafer from Four Lights (He comments on MY blog one time, it was a highlight of this whole adventure!)  is doing a reasonably priced workshop at his house!  You get info, a tour of his house and a tour of BA’s house (and maybe you get to meet her dog too!?)  I haven’t seen Jay doing a workshop in a while and I am happy to see him back at it!

Here’s the info:

‘I want to present a local workshop for Bay Area Meetups’ – Jay Shafer

​October 4th, 2014, Graton, CA (just west of Santa Rosa)​

​”​There’s a lot of erroneous building information being bandied about in the small house world these days, and half of it originated with me. When I designed and built my first tiny house I knew virtually nothing. Now, it seems like I know almost all there is to know about wee abodes and little about anything else. It pains me to see folks building big problems into their little houses because they got some bad information from someone who seemed like they knew what they were talking about. 

Because I am limiting the gig to 6 1/2 hours plus another hour 1/2 for lunch in the middle and hosting at my in Graton (near Sebastopol, CA) instead of me and my Power Point show flying out to some fancy-shmanzy conference room somewhere, I can swing it for $140 per person, instead of the usual higher rate. As an added bonus, we could spend the last 40 minutes of the day touring my tiny house.  And BA says she will open her tiny house for tour for 30 minutes in the morning.)

I’d cover building, design and regulations, and there will  be a lot of time for Q&A, since the barrage of questions I was getting at Alek’s recent gig is what spurred this idea in the first place.  I won’t limit the event to just Bay Area Meetup people, but that is likely where the bulk of folks would probably be coming from. I’ll send this idea off to the East Bay Claustrophiles now too.  Anyone is welcome to attend, however.

I’m looking forward to this workshop format – local and more casual than my usual workshops.  Thank you! “~Jay Shafer

It was also mentioned that “if someone from out of town is interested in attending but can’t make it in person, I would suggest leaving a message on the Meetup page letting Jay know they can’t be there in person but would like to Skype in if possible. If there are enough people interested in that option, I think he’ll make it happen.”  So there is that!