"It’s January and everyone is talking about what needs to change as if nothing is good enough; as if I am not good enough. What if I like the way things are? Is there something wrong with me?
Last Saturday, it dawned on me that there are many parts of my life that feel really good. I feel stable, aligned…… solid! I’m content. But I kept hearing everyone talking about the changes they should make like….
- Change now and earn more money.
- Change now and find love.
- Change now and lose 50 lbs!
- Change now and never feel sad again.
I can’t say that I’ve ever started a new year feeling as positive as I am right now. My tendency is to pick apart any accomplishment crediting “I was just lucky” instead of honoring my effort. And my “gap analysis” of what didn’t get done in 2019 is far more focused on what fell short or is lacking more than any progress or success.
Of course there are things I want to change in 2020! I have a mindset that enjoys continuous improvement. This is very different than coming from a mindset of criticism and punishment. For instance,
- I bought a standing desk so I am not as sedentary on office days
- I will increase my awareness to catch myself anytime I feel resistance and then PAUSE; become curious instead of critical.
- I’d will be healthier which includes healthy food choices, weight loss and movement.
And there are things that I won’t change like how I align myself with positive people, laugh too loud and wear pajamas as much as possible!
" What is really clear is that change has to come from an internal place; a decision that I myself make and a process I manage. I’ll be my own boss, Baby! You can stay in your own lane!
A request for you to change which is really an ultimatum. Nope. Doesn’t feel very good on the receiving end plus it’s great fuel for ongoing resentment.
A request for you to change as the result of unsolicited advice. No way.
A request for you to change so you “fit in better” or join the popular crowd is also really unacceptable. Uniqueness is a gift.
"Any request for you to change is not going to be successful unless you buy into the benefit of the change. The motivation must come from within; from the place of clear choice.
I’ve spent years wishing, suggesting and threatening my son to change. He has a substance use disorder and I cannot control him or his disease. Talk about sobering! There has been both a physical and mental not to mention financial toll which threatened my own health and sanity. It’s taken me thirteen years to understand that all I can do is love my son and equally love myself while practicing healthy boundaries.
So in closing, remember that you have the ultimate right and responsibility AND CHOICE regarding change. Go out and live large; change or no change required. You are a beautiful human. Don’t forget to use your Girlfriend...
Singlehood of The Traveling (Hiking) Pants
It’s September and I love this month for so many reasons but especially because it is a month of transition. I am still transitioning even though it’s been a year since the “Un-divorce” became final — final. To celebrate the next chapter of my independent life, I gifted myself a two week SOLO adventure to Peru– my first time in South America! I have to admit that I am quite proud of myself for possessing the courage to get away without a traveling companion. As a result, I feel stronger both mentally and physically.
Now why Peru of all places? I have been fortunate to visit places like The Great Wall of China, The Pyramids in Egypt and Angor Wat in Cambodia so I was anxious to explore the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu. More importantly, I was ready to explore myself — take a deep turn inward by creating the space necessary to get in touch with my Soul and clear out the clutter! Plus there is something delicious about being “anonymous” in a foreign country that deepens my sense of adventure. Plus — plus, Latin men are “muy caliente”! (“Meow,” said the cougar!)
The trip was full of excitingly rich and spiritual experiences as well as many snort and laugh moments such as when my gorgeous tour guide Roger inquired, “What’s wrong with you? You have no husband, no boyfriend and no friends? Why do you travel alone?” My response, “Dearest hot, handsome, young Roger (he is a mere 35 years of age), it is by choice I’m alone and if you keep smiling that way, you are going to get lucky with this Gringa!” OK, I didn’t say ALL of that BUT I thought it quite longingly! Turns out Roger needed no encouragement to pursue said Gringa but that’s another story altogether (wink, wink)!!
Do I always seem to find the party or does the party always find me??? Two memorable evenings included dancing and music. A family invited a few of us into their home for Chicha (Yuck!) and even though they only spoke Quechua, we danced and laughed regardless of the communication barrier. “I don’t need no stink’in language to have a good time!” In another village I joined the festivities by dancing and drinking (bottled beer this time) with beautifully dressed ladies celebrating their patron saint Rosa de Lima. Get drunk and dance, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so hasty to give up Catholicism?
Did you know that the definition of “wealthy” in these villages is simply that there is ample food for the family? In fact many of the indigenous principles still practiced are simple yet extremely powerful. In an article by Dutch journalist Peter Liefhebber he describes, “The Incas had...
I almost can’t decide what I want to write about today! Maybe I will tell you how I had a giggle fit drinking champagne straight from the bottle at the movies on Saturday night with a girlfriend– it was a first! Or there was the voice mail saying, “I am on my way to help a Mom with a drunk 13 year old. What should I do??” Well, let me tell you. I have a little too much experience parenting teenagers – is this because I was such a good teenager that my kids paid me back quadruple fold with their “learnings”????
What a minute, I see a correlation …. My kids have driven me to drink! Not only can I help you with your parenting, we can tip our glasses to the joys and wisdom of midlife!
Speaking of kids, can women have it all? This is the headline of a magazine for smart people in the checkout line. (I try not to mention names because I am anti-advertising. It is also easier to diss people, places and things when they are either anonymous or the names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
So is it a slow news week or am I missing something? Perhaps I am feeling a tad bit bitchy (it was cheap champagne after all) but I believe the majority of women already know that we can’t have it all. We make choices and then make the most of those choices. Comprende?
What is the “ALL” in this article? Well, it is referring to a simultaneously creating a happy family and a fulfilling career–
This year I turn 50 so I feel like I have a realistic perspective to share. When I entered college, the plan was to head off to medical school but by my junior year, I had no desire to live the lifestyle of a physician. Very fortunate for me, I found a career that balances the science and the business. I was driven to be a career woman and I knew that marriage and family could coexist with my professional life. Don’t ask me how, I just knew it or was too stubborn to admit otherwise.
I married young and had two babies before I was 30. I chose to work from home and travel very little once I went back to work. Did this limit my advancement potential? Damn right but I was doing what my heart or MGV said was the right thing to do. I thought I had a supportive partner (no further comment, especially since I am feeling bitchy today) but I was managing it all alone while my husband’s career continued to blossom.
Editor’s note—there is no “balance” in the life of a working parent. Something is always tugging at you and you have to let some things go. Pause and Prioritize; those PP moments!
I could go into a deep philosophical discussion about why we women want it ALL but glass ceilings, boy’s clubs, historical precedents, gender bias, biology and so on…we women are often swimming upstream.