Today is Thursday, OK I lied, it’s actually Wednesday but I’m writing this blog entry a day early and saving it because I’ve been finding it work distracting to write during the day. I’m having a hard time focusing these days and that has to change.
My mantra these days, what’s keeping me going when I, for instance, wake at 5:45 and just want to roll over, is “Do Hard Things”. It’s as simple as that – Do Hard Things. It got me to thinking about hard things I’ve done in my life, so I’m making a David Letterman list of the top 10, organized like Letterman would do, from easiest to hardest
10. Private Part Waxing – stop laughing! This really was hard. The first time it’s probably about the most embarrassing thing you will ever do. I think I sweated this for days before I screwed up the nerve to do it! And of course, there is the pain.
9. Deciding it was OK to put my kid in all day nursery school when she was three. I fretted over the choice of full or half day, worrying that she would be emotionally scarred. My husband pointed out gently that it was probably less scarring for her to be in school than with me all day! Ouch!
8. Deciding to go to college in the
Midwest. I grew up on Cape Cod so it was odd to swim against the tide and “emigrate” to the Midwest for a secondary education. But really in retrospect it was an easy choice. My East Coast option was U Mass in a scary part of – I had planned to pack a gun. Boston
7. Getting married the first time to a Grosse Pointe
upper crust kind of a guy. My sister told me recently that I had innocently asked her, as I pinned up her matron-of-honor dress, “Do you think it’s OK if I marry for money and respectability?” Ouch, again. Michigan
6. Getting married the second time when I wasn’t in love - just wanted kids. It was a biological clock thing.
5. Moving to
….left the upper crust guy and moved here with no friends, having never seen the apartment I rented, to a huge job where I had just been promoted from a secretary to a professional. Picture me with three cats winding around my feet in a little Ford Escort with a huge doll house in the back seat. Freaky, scary. Chicago
4. Scat singing. I signed up for Spider’s class at the Bloom School of Jazz and was late for the first session because it is hard to find (you enter an unmarked door that you get to by way of an alley). Upon arriving, the fellow classmates were up on stage scatting and Spider said to join them. I had only two options: curl up in the corner with my thumb in my mouth or try and scat. I scatted.
3. Singing Cabaret and Jazz in public. I still get butterflies
2. Taking on my youngest daughter’s health problems and trying to be a good mother to her. Doing everything the professionals told me to do and knowing that much of her recovery was not within my control. Learning to not be in control all the time.
1. Psychotherapy, going into the childhood swamp.
0. My recent breakup. My sister pointed out to me that the loss of him touched on lots of my issues regarding attachment and loss – that the feelings I’m having are much bigger than the loss of a two month relationship. Or as Kaveh would say with his hand over his forehead, “We have SO much work to do.”
I could have gone on and on! As it was, I cheated and went to “0”. In my life, I’ve done a lot of hard things that took a lot of courage! I should be (OK, I am) proud of myself. This was a really good exercise, and I think I will expand upon this in my private journal – writing as many life accomplishments as I can think of! Wow I sure am missing some big ones: the huge weight loss, the intimacy work I did with a tantra teacher (so scary), starting my own business, daring to put on exercise clothes and find a personal trainer when I was so overweight, the US Cellular project which no one thought I could deliver on time (I did) – so many!
The challenge today is to make your own list of life accomplishments. This may sound self aggrandizing but, what it just did for me was make me take stock of the good stuff. Too often we take stock of our deficiencies and weaknesses – things we need to work on. Here is a chance to itemize all the awesome things you have done and gain strength from that list with the thought that, if you are currently struggling to accomplish something, or if the prospect of something scary that you need to do is looming, you can feel buttressed by the fact that you are a person who has great capacities – you have risen to challenges in the past and prevailed!