Dear Strong Woman,
How many promises to yourself have you broken?
I’ve set a few goals for myself. I’m talking the serious from x to y by when, reversely-engineered, this-IS-happening kind of goals. I have specific action steps, scheduled time to take action on said steps, and a compelling vision driving it all.
And yet, I’m slacking.
Not stalling. Not backsliding. Just…taking…a little more time…than originally planned.
While I sit here and remind myself that “baby steps are still steps” and “slow progress is better than no progress”…I can’t tell if I’m giving myself grace or giving in to excuses.
How do you know when to call bullshit on yourself?
Most of the time, my gut tells me exactly when that is. I know the answer by a feeling, before I can even put words to that feeling. It’s that still small voice. That tugged upon heart-string. That potential ping of regret.
But what if you feel none of that? What if your go-to bullshit meter isn’t sounding the alarm here? Is it broken?
Or does the lack of alarm set off a bigger siren?
While I’ve scheduled in time on my calendar to work towards these goals, your girl is t-i-r-e-d. I set alarms. I read my vision statements at night. I tell myself all the “I AM” statements to get me pumped about taking an action other than pressing snooze. But when the time comes for me to wake up and turn those dreams into reality, I often pull a solid Rosa Parks:
I literally just don’t feel like it. This results in the back-and-forth finger-shaking in my head where things like “Discipline is showing up even when you don’t feel like it” and “Listen to your body. Learn to rest, not to quit” try to duke it out for which is the right mantra in this moment…and I’m pretty much over the Pinterest Quote war going on in my head.
I mean, which is it?
Yesterday. Intention was to workout before work due to an evening work event. Reality was waking up so late that I had to forego hair washing. (As one does.) But, upside! I find out I don’t have to stay for the entire work event, leaving me time to actually get that missed workout in. Intention was to do just that. Reality was getting invited to watch Anders serve as a test patient for his brother’s upcoming physical exam evaluation. To be crystal clear: big brother agreed to let little brother poke and prod him for an hour. Can you not see the opportunity for childhood retribution here? Can you see why I didn’t decline the opportunity to observe? How often to moments like this happen? (Hopefully once more since I failed to make popcorn.)
Time spent with family is worth every second, right? Was this merely a perfectly opportune excuse, or an appropriate hall pass for me to skip doing the thing I said I was going to do?
This constant battle over what’s right or wrong…I think I finally came up with an answer.
I. Don’t. Know.
I don’t know…and that’s okay.
I don’t need to know the answer.
“But wait! Yes, you do! How else are you going to figure out what’s wrong?” Perhaps that’s your question. It was the question a previous me not only asked, but clung to like those spiderwebs you accidentally walk through.
I needed to know so that I would know what to fix.
But friends, I ask you:
What if there is nothing to fix?
What if instead of focusing on getting this whole thing “right” we focused on making the next right move in the moment at hand?
A plan is GREAT. (I’ve got all the planners to prove it!) Make them. Follow them. They’ll keep you facing due north.
But don’t be so focused on getting to your destination that you fail to take in your surroundings. Embrace the journey, even if it isn’t the most efficient path. Take the scenic route. Lean into the curves of the pavement.
It’s the winding backroads where our strength story is born.