The 5 Non-Negotiables I Can't Live Without

I think we can all agree that our world feels out of control right now, and we have no idea what we’re gonna wake up to.  

But there is one thing I can count on every single day, no matter what (and it’s not that I wake up and want chocolate*, although that happens!? #truth).  

It’s my top 5 strengths. And they're the most awesome, busiest, life partner non-negotiables a girl could ask for.  

I literally wouldn't be me, without them.

For example, this past weekend my 10-year old reminded me that I promised to buy her a new hoodie 😐. So even though I was neck deep in creating content for my online course, my Responsibility said OK.  

I knew it would. A promise is a promise.

And then my Positivity said, “The bright side is that you’ll get some QT with your baby girl and you can bond over how much you both love The Voice.”

Always glass half-full with that one.

My Restorative said, "I'll help you figure out how to restructure the day."  

Hat tip to my trusty problem-solver.

My Harmony agreed, “You can’t let her down," and my Empathy said, “Imagine how you would feel from a broken promise.”

My strengths were ganging up on me, but in the best way possible.  They were just helping me do what I do.

And mostly, they were spot on with the assessment of the afternoon.

I wouldn't go so far as to say the shopping part was fun  (I do not ❤️ shopping AT.ALL which my wardrobe can attest to)  although I loved spending time with my daughter.  

She let me hold her hand for a split second, we made plans for her upcoming birthday party and I dished on my growing crush on Adam Levine.  

I rely on my strengths – every single day –  to do what I say I’m going to do, to not let people down, and to always see the upside of any situation all while probably over-extending myself.

Aaaaaand then my internal record player stopped with a screech.  

Oh God.  Courtney has an upcoming birthday I need to plan?!?!

And just like that, Adam Levine is a distant memory and my Restorative and I are off to fix the next “problem”,  because that’s just what I do.

The issue with the birthday is that I have a reputation of making elaborate cakes and cupcakes for my girls’ birthdays.  But this year, I don’t know if I can make it happen.

I’m trying to launch a business, we’re traveling the week right before Courtney’s birthday, and I don’t know when I’m going to find time to sculpt fondant in the way that will make her proud.

Coming up with the creative ideas and then figuring out how I’m  going to pull it off takes me months (usually this is where my Restorative – my problem solving strength – really shines.) But this year… yowza.  I’ve got nothing.  

But then....my Restorative just can’t help itself.  

“What about, instead of fondant, you make colorful macarons and put them on top of cupcakes?”

“What if you do chocolate paintings?”

“What if you teach the girls (all 13 of them! 😳) to make their own fondant flowers so they can decorate their own cupcakes?”

Ding ding ding!  We have an Instagram worthy winner that even Courtney agreed to.   

Virtual high-fives all around. To my Restorative for troubleshooting, my Harmony for not wanting to let her down (for a second time that day), my Positivity for the willingness to blaze on with party plans anyway, and my Responsibility for recognizing how important this whole fondant tradition is to her.  

Don’t get me wrong.  This revised birthday plan is still going to be a LOT of work, but it’s work I can handle, because this is what I do.  I’m queen of the constant dance of taking on too much but getting (most of) it done anyway. 😬 (Popcorn for dinner anyone?)

And it’s very likely I’ll throw in an extra DCN day or two.

So, yeah, I know I’ll get it all done.  

And after teaching 13 girls how to work with fondant and dealing with the aftermath of a no-sleep slumber party, I can guarantee I’m also going to say, “Never again”  until my Positivity pops up and says, “But look how happy Courtney is, and you don’t have to think about fondant for another 350 days.”

Bring it on.

P.S. If you want to find out what your non-negotiables may be, you can grab the Magnetic Actor Method Action Guide here.

*P.P.S. I've figured out a way to wake up and *sorta* have chocolate without the gross feeling that comes from stuffing my face with the real thing at 7:00am.  

It's chocolate tea and it's awesome. I don't drink coffee, so this is my morning obsession. I make it in a french press with a dash of sugar. I use a combo of brewing chocolate and chocolate tea that I buy from my favorite bean-to-bar chocolate factory, ever. I usually buy it in the summer when I'm home visiting my mom (the factory is on Oahu in the town where I grew up!) but they sell it all online, too, which has proved dangerous...   🍫☕️