Every Tuesday morning I hike with a friend at a well known nearby trail. It takes us about an hour to hustle around the 3.3 mile loop. We chat about everything under the sun, exercising our bodies and exorcising our petty annoyances at our worlds. At the end we’re sweaty, happy, and feeling ready to face another week.
During one of these walks my friend mentioned that 2014 was going to be the year she gets fit and thin, and 2015 would be the year when she’d fix whatever hadn’t been “fixed” with the help of some plastic surgery.
Now, I’m not averse to plastic surgery. Heck, my father-in-law is a plastic surgeon and I’ve seen first hand how it can truly be a wonderful thing.
But the whole plan, the two year process, just the mere thought of all that time, all that effort, exhausted me. Not the actual effort, the working out, the eating better, etc, just the sheer amount of time that would have to be spent self-analyzing, self-critiquing…. bah. Exhausting.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent my whole life seeking out my flaws, physical and behavioral. I’m over it.
So I told her I was skipping straight to the 2016 portion of the plan. The part where we shrug and say “oh well, what you see is what you get” and get on with the business of living our lives.
I’m not going to stop eating as well as I can, or working out as often as I can. But I’m going to stop berating myself for every little perceived failure.
Because that’s what they are, perceived failures. Who sets that bar we all seem to measure ourselves against? Do we? Does society? And why do we allow ourselves to move that bar whenever we feel like it?
Madness I tell you. Or at least it leads to it. And I’m done with that for now.
2014, your word is Embrace.
This year I vow to embrace who I am.
All my flaws.
All my shortcomings.
All my failures.
All my successes.
All my quirks.
My sense of humor.
My habits, both good and bad.
And it’s going to extend to beyond my personal sphere.
This year I vow to embrace what happens to me.
The changes in plans.
The challenges along the way.
I tell a lot of my friends that life flows along like a river. You can spend a lot of effort and time fighting the current, trying to force your way up stream or even force the river to change direction. Or you can relax and let the river flow, see where it takes you, open yourself to the uncontrolled adventure.
I’m convinced that the destination is the same. The river drops you off where it wants. But if you change the way you approach the journey, you’re the one who’s changed upon arrival.
I’m tired of fighting the river. I want to embrace the journey.
Last year my word was Brave and it served me well as I faced down many a personal demon and triumphed all the way!