I had a bit of a meltdown on my birthday, folks. I cried for 12 straight hours. I thought that it was because I hadn’t exercised for a few days, but when I got to the gym and got on the treadmill, I bawled straight through a lot of happy, electronic music and three miles. The saddest three miles I’ve ever run, that’s for sure. After the gym, I went home and felt sorry for myself some more. I tried talking to people about it and then I tried praying about it and I thought I was better until I went to yoga and I pretty much sobbed my way through an hour long Vinyasa class too. WHAT.THE.HELL. Then I went to a meeting and I cried all the way through that as well. It felt pretty good to get all those tears out, but I was confused as to where they were coming from. I’m actually pretty pleased to be getting older. I feel like most of my really big mistakes are behind me and what lies ahead of me are some bad decisions, but mostly good and exciting stuff. Better bank account balances, stronger friendships, healthy relationships, etc. So, why the tears? Why so much sadness? And then I realized something very important…I was starting my new year off feeling pretty physically worn out, which is not the greatest thing ever. I was feeling pretty sick (ear infection) and was listening to the voice in my head that was telling me that I needed to get rid of my trip or call in sick. I know better than to listen to that voice, but I was listening in pretty intensely that day and my head was SWIMMING with all kinds of thoughts about what I would do at home with all my time off. It wasn’t until I got home and had a little time to myself that I realized what the true problem was….
In the weeks leading up to my birthday, I got started on this amazing journey of self-improvement. Working out, eating healthy, meditating, watching my spending, making lists of goals I wanted to accomplish, and praying everyday for God’s guidance in helping to make my life the beautiful painting that I know that it can be. Then the weekend before my birthday, I got off track with my prayer and self-care. I was going from one moment to the next without any pause, which has become perhaps the most important thing about my spiritual life. A lot of beautiful stuff happens in the pause and I have come to rely on it. Without it, my life is hectic, jumbled, stressful…unmanageable. As soon as I started to feel sick, I forgot about the pause and went straight to putting my trip in give away and accepting that if no one picked it up, I would have to call in sick. And that thought is what guided me for the next 24 hours, which lead to all of jumbled emotions, hectic behavior and all around sadness. All of which made me feel like I was giving in to something that was the opposite of all these goals that I have set for myself to achieve in the year ahead. Of course I posted these goals on Facebook and it wasn’t until I got a comment from a random friend that said, “What are you doing about these goals today?” that I realized that it wasn’t even 12 hours into my 33rd year and I was headed in a very bad direction. A direction that is the opposite of my core values and the opposite of the person that I want to be. The person that I want to be shows up for her life and is of service to others. That person would not call in sick when she knew she’d be feeling better in about 24 hrs. She would suck it up and pack her bag and go to work. So I took my trip out of give away, I packed my bag, I set my alarm, I went to bed, and the next day, I went to work. And wouldn’t you know it, I felt about 200% better than I had the day before because I was on my way to a job that I love where I get to make people smile. The best part is that it’s two days later and I still feel so much gratitude for that moment of realization that made me get my act together and get to work.
Something very important is getting drilled into my head with each growing pain, each new lesson that I learn. It doesn’t matter how many times I make a list of goals I want to accomplish, if I’m not being true to myself and living up to the values that I set for myself and others, I’m going to end up far off course. This applies to all areas of my life, too. If I say that I want to quit smoking and I keep smoking, I’m off course. (Three weeks without a cigarette today, btw!) If I write a budget for myself, I need to stick to it. If I don’t, I’m in danger of getting off course. More than anything, what I must remember is that I’m human and I’m gonna make mistakes at times. What is important is that I become more aware of how certain mistakes make me feel and that I remember that I’m the only person that is standing in the way of achieving the things that I really, really desire. It has become very clear to me that I have a tricky relationship with my job and that something that I need to strive toward in the year ahead is finding a healthy balance between my life on the road and my life at home. Maybe I’ll never find that balance, maybe I will. At least I know that the only thing standing in my way today is myself. What a beautiful thing to know!