Oh I know I have oft pondered and excitedly spoken of storytelling. I admire the power the voice gives us to do and be what we are, what we want to be. Our story is our perception and our map of ourselves and our lives. And it can be our undoing as well.

Whatever you say you are, you are. What you choose to do and think becomes what you live. But what if the story you tell is starting to get on your nerves? Have I told you this before? Sit tight because here it comes again.

There are certain stories that I’m telling myself these days that I am sick of telling.

I dislike telling stories of how I can’t.

we were all yellow from Shalavee.com

Recently, I heard myself repeating my story how I couldn’t make the time to clean my disgusting kitchen floor. Until I finally heard myself tell this same story out loud to my mother-in-law and then I was done with telling it. You best believe I found the time and a way to be toddler free just long enough to mop that floor quicky quick.

I don’t want to model this unempowered behavior to my children. I want them to see anything as possible and that it’s a matter of just concertedly planning life out and taking the opportunity to do something, anything else when that opportunity arises.

flowers on the mantel

These days, I’m trying to tackle my to-dos even before they get on my to do list and then get on my nerves by hanging out there a beat too long. But prioritizing chores sometimes means that some tasks continually get put off. These waylayed chores are like that broken umbrella in the hallway that’s been there since March, my can’t stories develop the same invisible force-field. You see the umbrella sit in the same spot and somehow you are unable to reach over and grab it and throw it out. My dirty kitchen floor was under a similar can’t spell.

I’m declaring war on the incomplete projects, the tasks that keep being put off, the unnerving I can’ts. I no longer want to hear them being uttered from my mouth. I’m almost irritated at the thought of them. Maybe I can’t now but then when? I have zero tolerance for the martyr that I’ve been. Giving your power away to excuses and powerlessness is a boring story and I’m tired of giving a precious commodity away to anyone who will listen. Especially when they say, OK whatever. You’re just telling them to re-justify your Can’t and they’re kind enough not to blow your cover.

Fiona in the crusty stairwell on Shalavee.com

Allow me to out myself on a couple of my other can’t sore spots. My garden has reached such tragic proportions in my pitydom, I no longer want to tell that story. I desperately needed to just ask for help from anyone and everyone. And my two friends are swooping in to help me and my garden pity party out. Hooray! Rewriting that one is feeling like hope.

Some other sick of my can’t stories include the Etsy shop I keep putting off opening. The shelves at the top of the garage steps that remain a mess. The drawers/shelves/closets anywhere in my house because it’s Spring. And the inside of the truck which is disgusting. But the hallway that has remained undecorated for several years is a sad and bad little pocket of mental puss for me. In an email comment I made to Kathleen of Braid Creative, she spoke of weird spaces in one’s house and this is what I responded with,


    The weird spaces piece got me thinking. I really believe this is absolutely true. My entryway/hallway is wounded. I began to reinvent it but have not finished the vision. And the same is exactly true for me. After taking the Braid Branding course, I am still working to see myself as a new entity, artist, entrepreneur, and creative and writer with a “career”. It’s becoming clearer as I work hard to raise my esteem and create projects I like and make connections.

    So my feeling is I need to do something with the entryway even if it’s wrong. Add color and sparkle until a clearer vision comes. Because it’ll never be exact, it’ll always be a work in progress.

    Thanks Kathleen for this thought parallel.
Love it.
I wrote this at the end of July of last year. The lack of hall decorating direction is a direct reflection of how I’m feeling internally. The indecision matches the indecision. So I am setting an intention that the hallway needs a makeover before a year anniversary for my outing myself comes around.
me and a flag on Shalavee.com


And the blog here. Let’s not forget that I’ve wanted to redo this space for so long but I’ve been waiting for clarity on who I am and what the heck I’m doing. I believe I’m closer to telling you how that one actually turns out.

I know this too. If I finally mustered the energy to redecorate Fiona’s room and overcame that block than I’m darn sure I can move the same energy onto other places in my house, life, and head. I am committed to stopping myself from telling this story that I’ve become sick of telling: That I can’t. I want to hear “I Can”, whether it’s true for today or for next week, I want to believe I Can. And  I want to live the hope that this bad/sad story of can’ts shall pass and be replaced with the hopefulness that I deserve to feel because everyone deserves hope.

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  1. Shalagh!

    You speak for so many of us with the ominous to do list.
    We know that if we get just one of those put-off items accomplished we’ll feel so much better, but we keep shoving them
    to the bottom. I really enjoy how you frame so many of your blog posts in the “in common” experiences we all share. You make me think of the humor I so much enjoy of Ellen. Do you ever
    get to see the show? He monologue at the start of the show often hits home and makes one laugh at oneself. It’s on at 4:00
    on NBC. She has some very good books, too.

    1. Although I have had the chance to meet the brilliance that is Ellen, see this post, I don’t get to see her but at the dentist office maybe as we killed our cable a number of years ago. The funniest best stuff is the simple stuff. And if it means anything to any one person for me to share my thoughts, than I feel I have a purpose. So thank you for this and it helps me to know I’m on the right path. Slow and laborious but right anyway.

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