A Messy Summer Break

by Nikki Mark

Hi everyone,

I’m taking a European-style summer blog break! Meaning for the rest of July and maybe part of August, too, my blog articles will be a bit more sporadic than usual.

The old Nikki (and the critical voice deep inside begging me not to go through with this) would NEVER suggest such a thing. I have so much to share. I like routine. I want to be a reliable friend who checks in every week with something I believe is meaningful to share.

But as my second 21-Day Play Challenge continues (I’m on day 28 total, by the way…!), I’ve had an unexpected urge to get M-E-S-S-Y….messy!

What will happen if I miss a couple of Sunday blog articles? I’ve asked myself.

Does it matter if I stop posting on social media for an extended trial? I’ve wondered.

What would it feel like to ignore certain details of life and roll with the consequences?

As a student growing up, I fulfilled every assignment. I turned in my homework on time and prided myself on giving my best. I didn’t always get straight A’s, but I was known as a straight E’s (for Effort) kind of gal.

I’ve carried my propensity for details and responsibility throughout my career and into my home. And I’ve unconsciously infused it into every part of my being.

But after Tommy passed away five years ago, life showed up out of nowhere and taught me the true meaning of messy. I went from having complete control over every area of my life to experiencing what it feels like to have absolutely none.

Now that I’ve regained my footing, I am choosing to mess things up…just a bit.

What will happen if I don’t plan dinner one night and see how and what we all end up eating? What if instead of writing a weekly blog article, I submit something I write to a media outlet instead? What if I explore my Hungarian roots, play like a European, and literally shut down for six weeks of summer?

I have no idea… but I want to find out.

Not because I don’t like writing my articles. On the contrary, I love it.

And not because I’ve run out of things to share. If anything, the list of lessons I’ve learned on this healing journey of mine is only getting longer.

I simply want to try messy on (for a few weeks) because I’ve never consciously chosen to do so before. And what better time to do it?

Best-selling Author Brené Brown says, “The middle is messy, but it’s also where the magic happens.”

Well, it’s the middle of summer. It’s also somewhere in the middle of my life. What better time to violate my self-imposed rules, break out of my routine, and shake things up a bit?

By messy I don’t mean lazy by the way. That’s going way too far.

It simply means giving myself permission to spend more time preparing for the opening of our second Tommy’s Field in August. It means shifting priorities for a few weeks and creating a marketing plan for my book that’s being published in January 2024. It means acting like a typical European on vacation knowing that when I return and get back on the job, everything will be just fine.

Last but not least, it means trusting Brené Brown and waiting for the magic to happen.

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