today is Christmas Day, and it is different. Unlike my usual habits I will not flower it up with any adjectives or descriptions, only that it is “different”. Different because I am a different person than I was a year ago (even different from yesterday), different because I see things from a different angle. Different because.
from the moment I opened my eyes this morning (and thank god I did otherwise I would’ve missed the chocolate-caramel pancakes) I have been thinking a lot about how conditioned we have become to “if I have this, then I will be ____________ (fill in blank) it’s no wonder we often feel like hamsters on a treadmill, running after imaginary happiness while the good stuff is directly at our feet. The “dangling carrots” can come in the form of the hyperbole of holidays, the need to acquire “stuff”, subtle or not so subtle suggestions that how we are is “not good enough”, and the reward/punishment system. I’ll be the first to point myself out that I’ve fallen in to every. Single. One. Of. Those traps. And then I have moments where I shake my head and wonder why I feel the way I feel or why I do the things I do. The blessing and curse of striving to be more self aware and live simply is that with each small change comes an uncovering of several other layers of growth.
One huge topic that my day has highlighted is “failing”. Ouch. I know, I just cringed too. Until I remember how if I had never failed, I would be a 34 year old baby in diapers, crawling around on the floor because I didn’t take the chance to try to walk. Perspective. Word. These days whenever I have a task in front of me that requires even the smallest amount of risk (just enough to increase my heart rate and cause some stomach discomfort) I ask myself “what is the worst thing that could happen if this doesn’t work out?” Usually the answer is “the answer will be no”, or, “I’ll be laughed at/make a fool of myself”, or “I’ll melt in to a puddle of green goo on candid camera”. Then I breathe a sigh of relief. I can handle the word “no”. It may sting and I may throw a few punches at my pillow afterwards, but I’ll be fine. As for making a fool of myself, well there is little I haven’t done in the fool’s department so I haven’t got much to lose there either. The only thing I’m working on changing about that is my self talk AFTERWARDS. I’m constantly surprised at how hallmark-card encouraging I can be to others (very sincerely, never lip service) but how harsh I am on my own self. Although just recognizing it makes me feel better already. Self love and people pleasing will be the next things to work on; today I will just be my regular, sticky, messy self on the couch.