2018 – Honesty

Every year (or nearly every year), I write a little something that speaks to the intention for the up coming year. It typically centers around one word couched in a cute, anecdotal story, tied all up at the end with a cute little “go get ’em” bow.

I have been trying to write the 2018 piece for over three weeks now.

I looked through old writings, new blogs, unfinished journals. I thought about revisions and memes and philosophical literary quotes. I contemplated all the strong woman, be positive, get motivated, you are amazing sources I knew.

I still had nothing.

So I did the only thing I knew to do; I just dropped it. This wasn’t the year for that. 2016 and 2017 had been overwhelmed with so muchness, maybe it was just time for a breather year. So I shelved it with promises of schedule keeping (which I have never done), gentler self talk (also not a strong suit), and greater honesty. Little did I realize the one thing I thought I had on lock would be the very thing that got me.

If you asked me if I was an overall honest person, I would immediately say yes because I am. I am not a thief or a liar. I am not a rule breaker, generally speaking, although I really like to play one on TV.

However, if you asked me if I was an always honest person, I would say no because, well, I’m honest. I would go so far as to say there are times when honesty is not the appropriate course of action. I would go further and say that I wouldn’t even want people to be honest with me all the time. And I think that’s mostly true.

This topic has my brain going in a hundred different directions. I am going to back up just a second and try again.

I shelved the idea and counted that an okay thing to do because 2018 was the year of schedules, gentle self talk, and honesty. As life is ought to do, it decided to test my gangster right off the bat.

I have been known to say often that I am a jealous woman. It is typically tagged with something to the effect of, “and I don’t even feel bad about that” or “that’s just the way I am.” I have even gone so far as to justify holding on to the trait explaining that I have very good balance on my jealous nature because I realize that it is often irrational and, as long as I have that level of self awareness, it’s okay.

I have come to the very uncomfortable conclusion that it is not okay. All of that up there is inherently dishonest. In a cute twist of irony, I came to that realization while utilizing that acute self awareness to enforce some balance.

Let me be clear that this is not a moral edict on jealousy. Jealousy just happened to be the fear based emotion that spotlighted my particular moment of intellectual dishonesty. And make no mistake, jealousy is a fear based emotion.

I was ate up with jealousy yesterday. The funniest part is that it was all of my own doing. All by my little self, I worked my brain up into such a tizzy that the distraction was consuming. It was all completely fabricated in my head, so I set about doing the self aware work to talk myself down.

Me ~ Oh my effing shit I think I am about to give myself a panic attack.

Other Me ~ Honestly, April, you are being a tad ridiculous.

Me ~ I am aware. This is all very silly and I am working on sorting through the asinine.

Other Me ~ Great. Let’s start with things you know to be true. [Super private stuff that I am not sharing here. #sorrynotsorry]

Me ~ Yes, all of that is true.

Other Me ~ So now we can safely say that all these things [more super private stuff] are not true.

Me ~ Yes we can say that. I feel much better. Thank you Other Me.

Other Me ~ You are very welcome. Now, how do we keep this from happening again?

That bitch. I really hate it when she does that. Especially when I am not ready. I wasn’t ready. Other Me did not care.

Side note – if you think I have complete control over The Many, you are wrong. While I have leashes for all and muzzles for some, complete control is not a tool I possess.

Me ~ That’s super sweet of you, Other Me. I’m good for right now. Just a little bout of jealousy and we all know I am just a jealous womaHHHHHH. SHIT!! What is that????

Other Me ~ The onset of another panic attack. A really good one too. I made it for just an occasion as this. You like?

Me ~ No. No I do not like. I do not like at all. I already did the work, sorted my brain, talked myself down. We are done here.

Other Me ~ Nope. You did the easy work. April 2016 work. It’s time for the advanced level 2018 work. The real, get your shit together work.

Me ~ Fuck you. I’m taking a nap.

And that’s just what I did.

While that course of action worked for the duration of my nap, the seeds planted still sprouted and this “what do we do with it now” idea hung around demanding that I address it.

“I am a jealous woman” is a dishonest statement. I can make it true if I used the fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions definition. I will defend me and mine with my life. But I don’t mean it like that and I know that I don’t. When I say it, I mean feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages and feeling or showing suspicion of someone’s unfaithfulness in a relationship. That, my friends, is fear not love. And I have committed to living a life of love and not fear.

So the truth is I now have to replace the word “jealous” with fear and figure out the root. I have to. Anytime I find that the talk down answer becomes, “because I am afraid” I have vowed to go deeper and work that out.

What fear causes jealousy? The fear of being unworthy of the thing that creates envy or suspicion. Being unworthy. In case you are curious, that flies directly in the face of my other promise of “more gentle self talk.”

The honest truth is I am not unworthy even while I feel unworthy. That’s honest. That’s how I am committed to 2018.

Liberation

“If you’re drivin’ down the road and you look over and see a truck in the middle of a field, you know what happened.. Liberation.” – Jase

I freely admit with pride that “Duck Dynasty” is my favorite show on TV. And Jase is my favorite personality (it is a pretty close call between him and his daddy though). As fate would have it, this quote came at about the same time as this post by Amanda from Run to the Finish.

And, as life is oft to do, it clicked and there it was.

My 2013 word. LIBERATION.

Now if you are not a “Duck Dynasty” fan, first, that’s just weird. If you aren’t acquainted with the background of the above quote, let me see if I can sum it up quickly.

The Robertson family have accumulated quite a bit of wealth through Willie (son) creating a million dollar business out of Phil’s (dad) duck call (which was already doing really well). Phil is serious backwoods, salt of the earth, pioneer man. He is very mindful of the “yuppiefication” of his children and grandchildren. Willie is probably the biggest offender. A $100/hole bet between Willie and Jase (brother) leads to Jase discovering the plethora of bullfrogs at the country club golf course. Jase decides a group needs to go catch those bullfrogs after dark, however country club security disagrees. Phil makes off safely with the bullfrogs, Willie has to come pick the rest of the crew from security. Willie is not happy. His reaction brings criticism of his qualification to wear the beard. Having had enough of the ribbing, Willie pulls off into a field and proceeds to get some mud on the tires.

“If you’re drivin’ down the road and you look over and see a truck in the middle of a field, you know what happened.. Liberation.” – Jase

2012, if I had to be honest, was full of a bunch of backseat riding. There was a ton of metaphorical “no, I am not going frog gigging today.” All too often I would be afraid of the country club security. Seriously? I mean really, I can run faster and my gun is bigger.

  • Liberation ~ the act of liberating…the state of being liberated
  • Liberating ~ to set at liberty
  • Liberty ~ the quality or state of being free, the power to do as one pleases, of choice, freedom from physical restraint, arbitrary or despotic control, the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges

Hell yeah.

There is a lot of power for me in that idea. And understand, “liberation” does not equal “reckless.” But it does encourage a bit of confidence in one’s decision to make more “to hell with the box” choices. It begs the opportunity to harness the big ideas and ride the wave of possibility for a while. It shuns the notion of reserved and safe. It downplays the need for subtle. It urges the bright pink toe shoes and 100 mile races. It pokes in the side for large professional accomplishment. It shouts to the roof tops “HELL YEAH!”

For far too long I have been concerned about the whispers of the unknown masses taking personal inventory of my journey. They aren’t there. I have long been convinced that there is a group of commentators working my choices over in the press box. They are obviously not. However, if they are, pop tall ~ I am about to take 2013 in a way that makes Clowney’s Outback Bowl hit look like a preschool game of “Red Rover.”

“If you’re drivin’ down the road and you look over and see a truck in the middle of a field, you know what happened.. Liberation.” – Jase

New Year’s is Overrated!

<<<This is what I woke up to this morning. But I am not an idiot. I knew this was happening. I have ignored it for quite sometime. But during my morning meditation (which is really prayer time, but I understand this practice is different for everyone), I knew that I had to confront it. And everything that went with it. And I knew I had to pull back the curtains as well.

Curtain pulling is important. I have been watching the confessions on Scary Mommy and it is easy to see the biggest problems are not the actual things confessed, but the feeling of isolation and aloneness. So many folks feel like their demons are special only to them and they are a failure in some way. The truth is, we all have them. Fear prevents us from naming them, refusing to name hinders support, lack of support hinders the battle, lack luster battle hinders victory. To me this says that we have to take out fear first. I am not afraid.

I am particular about my physical appearance. I make no excuses or apologies for that. I accept no judgement for it either. It is the way I am wired and I appreciate the barometer that it provides for other aspects of my life (we will get to that in a moment). Therefore, as it is beneficial to me and it is not a quality I require in others, I own it and value it.

I have gained 15 pounds in 6 months. For my height, this puts me on the outer limits of “normal” on the BMI scale. Not that I have ever put a whole lot of stock in “normal” but in this instance, the value refers to scientific guidelines on “healthy.” In that regards, “normal” is pretty important.

Understand, I am not a person that believes there is a certain dream weight or size that we should all strive to attain. There isn’t. I have been a gym rat size 2 in my late 20’s. The husband didn’t like it and good thing – the regime was so strict, I would have never been able to maintain it. Interestingly enough, I have come to the conclusion that if it is that hard, maybe it’s not my right fit. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate hard work and dedication to the science of healthy – it just shouldn’t be a near impossible feat.

I am a person that believes that most things are consequences and symptoms – not necessarily the main issue. My weight gain is not the issue – it is the barometer speaking to the issues.

Since my bout with postpartum depression after the birth of my second child, mania and manic have been my demons to contend with. I am fortunate. They have been named, there is support and the battles – so far – have always resulted in my victory.

Since forever I have feared failure. In my family, in my social circles, in my professional life – this fear can be paralyzing. But it is named, there is support, and there is victory.

There are obviously other nuances in my self talk that create issues, but I think you get the point. I do not find glory in brokenness. There are no kudos for having the most demons. I do not believe that one person’s accomplishments are more heroic simply because the adversity was more great. I do not believe that a person must be in a gutter for us to appreciate their ability to climb to the apex. So I will not wallow – I will simply provide example so that you will be assured – you are not alone.

While I am fortunate to have victories, many demons take many victories to be completely conquered. And those battles can be exhausting. It is easy for one to become lazy and complacent. It is easy for one to justify lazy and complacent in the light of “don’t I deserve a break?” Of course I deserve a break…but breaks are uplifting and supportive. Lazy and complacent is sabotaging and enslaving. Obviously not the same thing. I have obviously allowed myself to slip into the latter.

Forget New Years…time to engage in this battle today…