Bless her heart. She was so sweet and offered me such a kind and sincere compliment. I didn’t mean to look incredulous–I really didn’t. It’s just that the compliment that she so generously paid me seemed so…well, crazy.
She approached me after I had given a presentation for a local business association and told me how much she admired how “together” my life was. She said that she had seen me a few other times at various functions and had read about me when I was recognized as one of twelve Colorado Women of Vision. She said that she was inspired by how upbeat, energetic and “with it” I was.
We did it! We survived the long, cold winter. We have emerged from our caves, shed our wool sweaters and are squinting our eyes as we blinkingly gaze at the bright, promising sunshine of spring.
Birds are chirping, trees are budding and baseball gloves are being dug out of the closet. Spring is here and with its longer days comes the fresh hope of new beginnings.
Still, as exhilarating as this fresh new season is, in order to truly harness the creative and rejuvenating energy of spring, we must first make sure that we have cleared the cobwebs and dust bunnies that have taken up residence over the winter months. Many of us use this time of year as an opportunity to “spring clean” our homes, but how many of us make an intentional effort to “spring clean” our psyches?
Where Are You Going? I Don’t Know But I Think I’m Almost There
That was an actual exchange that I recently had with my husband. I was driving to a meeting that was to be held at a beautiful country club in the mountains just west of Denver, Colorado. I knew that I had to be getting close to my destination but the more I drove around on the winding, mountain roads, the more confused I got. Even Siri was confused—she kept telling me that I had arrived at my destination but the only thing that I had arrived at was a house on the side of a mountain. The house was nice and all but it clearly was not a country club.
After making a call to the meeting’s organizer, I discovered the reason for my (and Siri’s) confusion. I had mistakenly entered the final destination as River Ranch Rd. instead of RiverValley Ranch Rd. into my GPS. I left out one small detail but it was enough to send me (and Siri) on a wild goose chase. Fortunately, the meeting’s organizer was able to give me better directions and I didn’t end up being too late for the meeting.
Now, as I look back on that experience it occurs to me that (just like I spent too much time driving around lost in the mountains) so many of us spend our days, weeks and years driving around on our own figurative mountains looking for something but not knowing exactly what it is or how to get to it.
Back in October, I posted what has now become one of the most popular posts on FabYOUlous Life. That post was called The Joys of Masturdating and was all about the benefits found in spending time alone (you can read that post here). When I wrote that post, I immediately wrote another one that I meant to use as a follow up. However; other things surfaced and different posts took precedence. Now however; as I look back through my old drafts, I realize that the information from that original follow-up post is good and worth sharing.
The funny thing is–my living situation has completely changed since October. Back when this post was originally written, I had two young adult sons living in my house which meant that space in our home was at a premium. That all changed in February when my boys found a townhouse across town that they now share with a few of their friends. I’ve decided to leave my post the way that it was originally written however; because the entire premise of the post is about the importance of finding a sacred space of one’s own–even when space is limited. Yes–I now have two extra bedrooms which means that my office and guest bedroom no longer have to share the same room, but even if extra space is not currently a possibility for you, you can still create a special place that is all your own and doing so can make such an incredible difference in your life.
Here’s my original post…
This morning I sat across the table from my husband at IHOP as we worked on our crossword puzzle and gobbled down our pancakes while chatting about our kids, work and the upcoming MLB season (go Yankees!). There was nothing particularly extraordinary about this morning because this pancake gobbling, crossword puzzling routine is one that we engage in nearly every weekend; and yet, today, in the midst of the normalcy of our Saturday morning, I was suddenly hit with a wave of emotion that, were I not in the middle of a busy IHOP and worried about looking like a lunatic, would have brought me to tears. I was suddenly overcome with feelings of such peace, joy, love, gratitude and overall well being that I almost couldn’t breathe for fear of losing the moment. This, I thought to myself, is what contentment feels like.
The Racecar Effect is something that I came up with a few summers ago while chatting with a good friend of mine who also happens to be a professional racecar driver. After one of his races, I mentioned how frightening I thought it must be to go around a track at such a high rate of speed because the slightest mistake could spell disaster. I could just imagine myself careening into the wall or another car if one of my tires accidentally slipped or I hit a slick spot on the track. That’s when my friend told me something that I will never forget.
Cough, cough, sniffle, cough. UGH!!! Being sick is the WORST!! It seems like my husband and I spent the entire month of January passing the same cold back and forth to each other and it was awful!! Fortunately, I think that we are both starting to get back to our normal, healthy selves and neither of us ended up needing to see a doctor for this particular round of ick. Still…being sick sucks and it sucks even more when you know that you should go see a doctor but dread the thought of appointment scheduling hassles, crowded, germ infested waiting rooms, sitting (nearly naked) in a cold examining room, having to make a separate trip to go pick up a prescription…etc. etc. etc..
The last time I was sick enough to drag myself to a doctor, I thought to myself, “there has got to be something better than waiting an hour and a half to see a doctor for seven minutes before getting shuffled out the door and on my way to a pharmacy”–and guess what…there is!
As we progress along our year-long series on FabYOUlous Changes for a FabYOUlous Life, I think it is appropriate that January’s change is do something new & different because the onset of a new year is when all of us start thinking about the new things that we’d like to experience in the new year.
The challenge however, lies not in the wanting of new things but in the experiencing of those things. Experiencing new things means getting out of bed, out of our head and out of our comfort zones–all things that are MUCH easier said than done.
Even though I blog about personal development and encourage women to ditch the drab and find their FAB, I too struggle on occasion when it comes to busting through my comfort zone and expanding my horizons. That’s why I’ve chosen the word BRAVE to be my “word of the year” for 2017. I (just like many of you, I suspect) long to experience new things but sometimes balk at the idea of actually taking action on those things. This is my year to change that and I hope that you’ll join me!
There is a song by American punk rock band, Pennywise called “You Get the Life You Choose”. Don’t ask me how I know this–I just do (besides, those of you who know me well already know that I have questionable taste in music–ha!)
While some would see this song title as negative (because we want the life that we want right?), I love the empowering notion that we get to live the life of our choosing. This is a message that was drilled into my head on a daily basis back when I was in treatment for Anorexia and working to put my life back together after escaping an incredibly toxic marriage. My therapist told me repeatedly that our lives are the results of the choices we make. If we want better lives, we absolutely had to make better choices. This sounds so simple doesn’t it? Want a good life? Okay then–make good choices. Easy enough right?
Go Big or Go Home!
Ugh! I hear this phrase ALL the time. It has become the battle cry of the personal development movement, and though I understand the sentiment behind the phrase, I have to confess that I feel a tinge of angst every time I hear it (or see it emblazoned on a t-shirt, or as a perfectly styled & filtered Instagram meme).
I mean seriously…what’s so bad about going home? I for one, LOVE going home. Home is where I can put on my pajamas, curl up with my cat and relax with my knitting next to my protective, football watching hubby. Going home is awesome. On the contrary–going BIG can be scary, disruptive and well…did I mention scary?