“You better before someone else does.” They were an attempt I’m sure to nudge me towards getting to know a guy better. A really nice guy. A really attractive, funny, sweet guy. But I knew better. I knew I was in no place to give anything that would suggest that me and Mr. Nice guy should be that “nice couple” over there. I could probably manage a few fun lunches and dinners, maybe even a day trip somewhere, a sports outing with wings and beer afterwards but anything more, I knew I wouldn’t have much to offer. If he had a bad day, I’d feel bad but my ability to offer some type of support other than perhaps a really corny joke wouldn’t be there. He’d get a good time girl. However, life has good times and not so good times. He’d need a real girl, a real me, for real life. At best he’d get a part time version of me which I wouldn’t want to offer anyone. I’d have to say “No thanks,” to Mr. Nice Guy.
Part time works for some things, like school and work. Usually school or work is part time while the other is full time. But for things like meaningful relationships and living on purpose- not so much. And by meaningful relationships I also mean with yourself. Being intentional with taking care of you with intent and purpose is not a part time gig. You are not a part person. You are whole and thus in need and absolutely worthy of your whole everything.
Your purpose in life is also one that complements a whole you; drawing on all of your energy, resources, talents, creativity, time, and attention. There is not a single person I admire for living a purpose filled life that has done so by giving portions of themselves to their calling. It just doesn’t work. Their fulfillment derived from living a purpose filled life is in proportion to what they have poured into it.
I’ve been pushing myself recently to part ways with the things I’ve been giving myself to part time. I’ve been honest about the people and work that simply don’t get the best of me and why that is. A huge part of the why is that it is no longer appropriate to be in my life for this time and or for where I see myself going in life. The great thing about saying no thanks to part time things is that it makes more time for full time things. As I’ve pushed out some part time folks and habits I’ve found myself pulled towards full time folks and habits I have time to commit to developing as a full time way of life.
I will also tell you that in my push to go full time with my life it has not been easy. It’s been beyond frustrating and resorting to part time is enticing. Go along to get along is alluring. Imagining that “it could be worse” and throwing in the towel on “but it could be better” seems absolutely reasonable. Yet I find when I sit with the frustration, cry it out, pray it out, call a friend or two, the perspective of the whole picture, a whole abundant life where wellness is not defined by the absence of what I deem bad or hurtful but the presence of what I deem good and purposeful- is a glorious vibrant picture. One that I don’t want blocked by shadows or discolored by part time effort.
May you find yourself this week living fully because you are giving fully. May you choose that one area in your life as a place to start full time, knowing the pay and benefits are simply a better version of you. May you go all in on the diet, the exercise routine, the counseling, the going back to school, the community engagement. May you choose just one thing to say no thanks to giving yourself part time to. May you have that conversation that was a long time coming with your boss or partner. May you actually stick to you savings plan this week and stop telling yourself that it’s just “$5.00” for the latte and ten just “$10.00” for lunch, and just “$23.97” for the dress that s 75% off and that you might wear to the holiday party you might go to because he might finally ask you to go on a real date and not just to come over at 2:37 am. In this whole week may you experience some wholeness because you decided to say “No thanks,” to part time living.