i’m not going to try


I’m going to be honest, the past two weeks since getting engaged I’ve found myself so tired, overwhelmed, and exhausted that I’ve spent one night each week so tired that I feel ill and need to lay on the couch the entire night. I’ve also had back-to-back melt downs the past two days as well.

This cannot continue.

With all my heart and good intentions I have attempted to prepare five Jess LC product launches, train two full-time interns, do traveling workshops in New York and Seattle, visit family across the country, post on MML five times a week, re-brand one of my sites, stay on top of social media, do one-on-one consulting, train for a half marathon, run Business in the City, produce a fantastic pop-up shop on Daley Plaza, attend and stand up in two weddings, prepare to move into a new apartment with Mr. Lively, and plan a wedding during the next two months.

Oh, and after all that? We get a puppy.

With all my stuff stress on my plate, I know that if I don’t do something soon, I will quickly implode over and over and over this summer.

So now I’m looking at my life very carefully and deciding what I’m not going to do.


I’ve decided that I’m not going to:

  • Travel to Seattle for the BWI Workshop. (I have a new plan I’ll be announcing on Wish I Knew Wednesday which will serve not only Seattle residents but people worldwide.)
  • Try to keep up with Twitter. (I’ve never been quick, and now I’m not going to stress myself trying to be up on it all the time. When I get to it, I will get to it.)
  • Train for a half marathon. (Though Mr. Lively and I have talked about doing one in October, I will not stress myself out about getting long runs in every weekend. If it doesn’t happen, that is okay. I’ll keep doing my short runs for health and stress relief.)
  • Go to one of the weddings we were invited to. (I’ve already talked with the bride and filled her in on my intentions and she is wonderfully supportive.)
  • Worry about the puppy details. (I can figure out what I need to learn the weeks leading up to getting the puppy. I don’t need to learn everything three months ahead of time.)
  • Decorate the new apartment early. (Instead of dwelling over and over what I want it to look like, I will let myself see the space in person and deal with the decor at the end of the summer.)
  • Try to host an Olympic Opening Ceremony party. (As much as I was looking forward to hosting a party for the Olympics I’m going to just invite a few friends.)
  • Try to take on any new projects or commitments. (From now on I’m saying yes to very little until I move into the new home and have a chance to settle down.)
  • Plan the wedding reception. (I can deal with that stuff after the summer.)


Though I know that these steps will help immensely, there is still much to be done. So with the remaining things that are still on my plate, I am learning to break down the tasks week by week and having Future Jess take care of anything not on the current week’s docket.

As I always say, if I don’t like my life or career, I only have myself to blame. I designed it this way. It’s up to me to edit as needed for a joyful, balanced, and service-filled life.


This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Anne

    Good call, Jess. I often find myself in the situation of being stressed out, over-worked, and wondering why in the world I’m feeling like this *again* — and then I realize that I’m the one who signed up for this life, this job, and this path! It was up to me to create it, and it’s up to me to see that I’m happy and healthy. Sometimes it takes a bit of a meltdown to remind myself of this. Hope your plan works out well — it seems like it definitely should! 🙂

  2. Melissa

    Good for you! I know I’m burned out from the last few months… to the point that it’s hard to commit to anything long term right now. Hopefully with these changes, you’ll be able to enjoy all the exciting things going on!

  3. bethany

    I feel the same way, Jess, and I’m still wondering what I can say no to and live with myself. I have a feeling that no matter how I look at it, I won’t like the answer but I’ll feel better in the long run…

  4. Betsy

    You are going to try! You are going to try to give the best you can to the tasks that matter most and you can only do that by focusing as you are.

    “I’m not going to try” just sounds so defeat-est, which is not something you are.. I just had to put a happier spin on it.

    “You can do anything you want, just not everything” I’ve to remind myself of that so very very often but it’s not because you aren’t strong enough, it’s because you are devoted and dedicated.

    It’s a blessing to have to choose between so many exciting new tasks and I hope your new directions let you enjoy them 🙂

    We’re all so very excited for you. I’d send you deep breaths and extra hours in the day if I could.

  5. Jess

    Thank you all so much!

    Betsy, thanks so much for your thoughts! I understand that the phrase I’m not going to try can sound a little like Eeyore. But to me, I’m using it as a statement of power: I’m actively choosing to NOT try to do all of that.

    Instead of feeling like I “can’t” do those things, I’m actually “choosing” to not try to do those things. And for me, I think that active “no” is something I’m working on owning and being proud of.

    So though it may sound a bit “down” I think it’s a powerful statement I’m turning on it’s ear. : )

  6. Susan

    Agree! I got married last year and while I did enjoy some aspects of planning the Wedding I didn’t realzie how much it srtressed me out until it was over and I was like “Phew now I can think about something else!” I actually got horrible sick on our honeymoon and almost had to go to the ER! It will be an awesome wedding and at the end you will be married to the love of your life! The planning can wait until a time when you can enjoy it!

  7. Aimee

    This is good. I have a ton less things going on in my life than you do but I had to do myself a favor in February and stop taking any new freelance work. It was hard to say no to the extra money but I feel so much happier when I am not over extending myself.

  8. 17 Perth

    Agreed! Relax! Girl you are doing so much right now—and the one thing I can relate to is the puppy–and getting married. 🙂 We have two pups–we have had them for 10 years and 6 years–just enjoy them–especially when they are puppies–take lots of pictures. Yes, the are going to chew stuff (in my case my very nice and expensive shoes–yes–they actually skipped the cheap ones–they like real leather apparently) and they are going to pee on “stuff”. Once after taking them out–the youngest pup actually jumped up on the bed–immediately after being outside and peed–white comforter and sheets and all. Haha. But I would not take those moments back–except maybe the shoes ;). Take time to enjoy it because we laugh and laugh now about the things they did as puppies.
    I can though completely relate though to the “overwhelmed-ness” (new word I just made up). Just recently I learned to say no to things–even good or great things. Sometimes balance and quiet time with loved ones is what is most necessary to be even greater at the things you do say yes to.

  9. Kate

    Reading this post made me breathe a sigh of relief. I’ve been trying to do it all lately, and it’s just not working. I’m going to make a list like this too! Thanks Jess, you’re always an inspiration 🙂

  10. not to add to your stress, but I’m fairly certain that it is in direct violation of the Internet Code of Awesome, Section 27B-stroke-6, to tell the interwebs that you got a puppy without posting an adorably cute picture of said puppy.

  11. Alanna

    Hello 🙂 I just recently found your site and I love it!
    Good for you for going over your list and refining it! Good luck with the wedding planning. Also, Good luck with your new puppy when you get him/her! I used to work with animals and if you don’t mind me passing on a word of advice. Make sure the breeder has some sort of health gurantee for the puppy and that you can see the parents.
    They are so amazing to have, just be patient and consistent with the training and have fun with them 🙂
    Have a great day 🙂 Alanna

  12. CaJoh

    You had me at puppy…

    Seriously, it is great that you are organized enough to be able to prioritize. So often people are so eager to please, that they get stuck wondering how they will ever get it all done.

    Congratulations on your engagement, as well as your new puppy in your life.

    Be good and take care,

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