So What Matters?


In my last post, I talked about letting go of projects that don’t fit in my happy zone. And only taking on those that do.


Last night, I got an email from a colleague about a project I said yes to — five issues’ worth. I did the first one and it stressed the hell out of me. If it were a meaningful project, I might have soldiered on. But really, it wasn’t. Also, (my husband would say this should be my first gauge) the pay was good but not good enough.

So when I got the email last night about the second issue (which had a deliverable in a day’s time!!!), my first instinct was to do it. I am a good, obedient girl – which works against me sometimes – and I was already scrolling down to see what they needed done. I told myself, “one more issue wouldn’t hurt.” But something in my gut recoiled and I remembered what I had promised myself. What my goal was. I put my phone down and tried to put my daughters to sleep and the email out of my head.

The next morning, I picked up my phone, took a deep breath, and began composing what sounded like a breakup letter. I have never turned down a job I’d already committed to. I’ve resigned from actual jobs, but ever since I began freelancing, I would take on and finish everything no matter how tough.

But it’s different now. Two children (one being a 5 month old!) have taken control of my life in so many ways. I can’t even sit in front of my laptop now. When I told fellow writers that I write on my phone, they looked at me in shock. I don’t blame them. I still can’t believe it. Given this, I only have time for things that matter. And that project, sadly, doesn’t fall in that category.


But I not only closed the door on something, I threw it wide open to something else.

Last month, I had a flash of creative inspiration (probably in the shower), and I instantly messaged three writer friends about it (all authors). They all replied right away, each with a definite “YES!”

So we met yesterday morning in my house (with Tammy nursing and napping as we talked and Addie showing off her Rainbow Loom creations and asking me to prepare her Phineas and Ferb episodes), and we are now on our way to create something very exciting. This project may not pay the way the last project will, and I have no idea what kind of response it will get, but what I do know is it’s in line with my happy zone goals. And that’s all I need to know to keep going.

Besides, in a few days, I’ll be turning a year older and that, if nothing else, should be enough of a reminder that life should be lived right now. And lived the best way I know how.

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  1. I can’t wait for this new project to become a reality!!! I’m so excited for you all! Yay Nang!!!

  2. That’s my retirement resolution, too. So far, all the mini projects I’ve said yes to have been, if not fun, at least fulfilling,

    Of course, now I’m curious about which project stressed you out, haha.

  3. Happy Zone! I should live by that too! Congrats on the success for both the Happy Zone adherence and the new project!

  4. Being a domesticated wife and mom for 3 years now (without any helper and yaya) , I also learned to let go of opportunities that don’t fit in with my priorities. Disappointing to let go of such, but at the end of the day, what makes me really happy is that I get to spend time taking care of my family esp my 3-year old daughter. I get to experience everything first hand and witness her milestones too. Cheers to all moms and our happy zones!

    • Hi, Sheng! It’s nice to see you here too! Thanks for reading and commenting! Wow, no help at all??? That’s amazing! I don’t have a Yaya but I have help. I don’t think I can do it without help. You’re amazing! And your daughter seems to be growing up so well too! πŸ™‚ yes cheers to our happy zones as moms!!!

  5. Wow, this is huge! Sorry for my late reaction but still want to let you know I’m so proud and amazed with your decision!