Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Every Day is the Best Day

Before you go any further, let me warn you: This is a brain dump which might make very little sense. I'm only sharing it because every time I write something, I think--someone might relate to this today and feel like, "YES! Me too!" and that is one of my favorite ways to feel. Others might think it's a pile of shit; that's perfectly fine too. Here goes...

Rules for the rest of 2017:

1. Read only fun things. I gave myself permission to read cozy feel-good fluff. Chick lit. Beach reads. Yummy rom-com kind of stuff. I work so damn hard on being better all the time that sometimes I plain forget to be good enough. So here's to being good enough. And happy. And chill. And wrapping up in a blanket and reading for fun.

2. Stop worrying so much about missing something...remember, what goes by you wasn't for you. Sometimes, I jump out of bed to jot down an idea or yell, "Hey Siri, write this down!" This is rooted in Anne Lamott's super solid advice for writers to have a pen and paper handy at all times. Of course I took that good advice to a completely different level. Because that is what I do.

3. Stop rehashing everything you say. I surround myself with wonderful, kind, lovely people. Then after spending time with them, I go back through conversations criticizing and second-guessing everything that came out of my mouth. That was so stupid. Why would you say that? Here's the thing: Not one of my wonderful, kind, lovely people ever said that to me. It's my inner critic. You say the dumbest things. No one likes you. They're pretending. They all talk about you when you leave. She's such a bitch! This morning, when she started, I said, "You can't talk to me like that anymore," and she shut up. Just like any other bully. Stand up to her and she backs down.

4. Give yourself a fucking break. The other day my friend asked, "Do you ever sit down?" Huh. I never thought about it, but the truth is I rarely sit down. Sometimes...when I'm writing. And in the evenings when we watch shows. But mostly, I feel the need to always be DOING something. I only allow myself to watch my favorite shows when I'm on the treadmill. Sometimes, I stand at the kitchen counter when I'm working on long writing and editing projects because "they" said sitting for long periods of time is worse than smoking. It's okay to sit down.

5. Make more room for things that light you up and give less energy to stuff that doesn't. People, experiences, podcasts, books... So often I don't let myself enjoy something if it isn't stretching or teaching me in some way. Sometimes the only things I let myself enjoy are food and drinks. Wow. That's an aha moment. If the only pleasures you allow yourself are things that in turn cause you to beat yourself up, it's time to reevaluate what you're doing for fun.

6. Just write. Since finishing my book and starting the process of trying to find a literary agent, writing sometimes feels like work. I only let myself blog if I send out a query letter. Or I have to work on my proposal before I can work on anything else. So sometimes I don't write because I don't feel like doing the working part. It's a catch 22. I refuse to let "being a writer" suck the joy out of writing. Building a platform and finding an agent and selling a book...none of those things matter. Writing keeps me sane. Writing feeds my soul. Writing is where I speak my truth. That's what matters, and that is enough.

7. Be here. Really here. My little tweenager is going through a rough patch. Yesterday I whisper-scream-prayed, "HELP ME! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!" in the middle of a fit and then wrapped her up like I used to do when she was a toddler. Full disclosure: That was about as pleasant as trying to hug a cornered rat that's more than half your size. Still. I held her really tight, kissed her head--which I barely have to bend down to do anymore--and smoothed her hair, repeating, "It's okay," while she screamed, "IT'S NOT!" ... until it was.

You guys, about half the time I don't know what the fuck I'm doing as a mom. I feel like an imposter. I fear that I'm monumentally messing up these souls trusted to me. I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Here's what helps: Meditation. Yoga. Essential oils. Praying. Grace. Sweet Jesus, less anxiety and more grace. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a remedy.

And just like that I'm done. The well is dry. It bothered me to stop at a random number like 7, but that's where I am this morning. 7. And then I remember...7. God's number. The number of wholeness and completion. March around the walls once a day for 6 days. 7 times on the 7th day. Forgive 70 x 7 times.7 days of creation. More than 700 references of 7 in the Bible. One of the best sermons I ever listened to was called: Don't Stop on 6--the gist of which is don't give up too soon, or you might miss the miracle that was coming. And it's an awesome one to listen to if you need a pep talk.

I'm going to try to spend the rest of 2017 being fully here. Showing up for my people and for my life. Good enough as I am. Listening and loving. Giving grace...even to myself. Letting every day be the best day.

xoxo




Thursday, November 9, 2017

I Love Food

When I was little and thought my body was fine, people told me: You're too skinny. You're too bony. Your legs are too long. Your feet are too big. You have no butt.

When I got older and thought my body was not okay, people told me: You're not skinny. You're curvy. Your legs are not long. Your feet are very small. You're butt's huge. 

Over the course of 44 years of mixed external messages and an inability to hear the still small voice above the LOUD OBNOXIOUS INNER CRITIC, I lost all sense of my physical body. I thought I was bigger, smaller, taller, shorter, thinner, fatter, you name it than I actually was. 

One thing told the truth, without judgement or condemnation: The scale.

Today, if my husband sees me getting off the scale fretful and sad, he says, "Baby, you're beautiful. Stop getting on the scale." My friends say, "Throw the scale away." I don't even really care about losing weight, but I've attached some sort of power to the scale that it didn't ask for and doesn't merit. I've made the scale a truth teller and labeled everyone else a liar. 

Why? Why do I give that power to an inanimate object? Why do I give that value to a number? Because I value the truth? Because I still hear the voice in my head (and the back of my house) that says, "You should not weigh more than ____?" The scale hasn't shown me 112 in at least 10 years. 112 pounds. That's the number my mom threw out years ago as being "fat." It stuck in my head because--at the time--that was what I weighed. 

But why...why am I (we, because I know I'm not alone) so obsessed with that number? Because people, society, mothers, coaches, mentors, doctors, ex-boyfriends, who-the-fuck-ever impressed upon us that we needed to be a certain number on the scale in order to be acceptable? I call bullshit.

I read a blog the other day that said when you really decide enough is enough, that is when you can change. This morning, I got on the scale and said out loud to myself and the cats, "Well, is that enough?"

I felt sad and discouraged that that number was more than what I thought it should be. That number would be enough to make me do what? Starve myself? Stop drinking beer? Stop enjoying food? You guys, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. My mom was right years ago when she said, "You don't have the eating habits of a thin person." I. Fucking. Love. Food. But you know what it was enough of? Holding myself to some crazy external standard of weight.

My weight has not changed significantly for the last 4 years. A few times I lost a few pounds and gained them back, but for the most part I've been consistently the same weight. For the last 4 years, I saw that as a failure. I couldn't lose weight. Today, I'm reframing it. I eat what I want. I drink what I want. I'm healthy, happy, loved, and roughly the same size all the time. I wanted bigger boobs my whole life and now I have them!

The scale only tells one truth: how much your physical body weighs. It can't tell how full of love you are. It can't tell how many people cherish you. It can't tell how much good you bring to the world every day. And despite what you may have been told, it can't tell you how beautiful you are.

I know I write about this all the time. Truth is: I've been way too obsessed with my weight for way too long because I never measured up to the standard that was set for me. I'll probably write about it again. But today, I'm going to go eat delicious food with a dear friend I haven't seen in years, and I'm not going to have any thoughts at all about what the scale, my inner critic or anyone else thinks about it.

xoxo