I was having a talk with my mother last week and she asked me something that has been in the back of my mind ever since. She asked when I was going to be proud of myself?
Allow me to provide a bit of background … I was at her house seeking guidance on how to do a better job at something. I had just laid out my prep work for the goal and went into how I couldn’t figure out how to kick myself into gear to get it done. She stopped me and asked the following questions:
- Did you come back after ten years to finish your undergraduate degree? Yes.
- Did you continue on to get two post graduate degrees? Yes.
- Have you worked hard to lose a bunch of weight? Yes.
- Did you write a book? Yes.
- Did you write a second and third book? Yes.
- Do you make it a practice to be kind and help others? Yes
So, what the hell is your issue? When are you going to stop pushing and be proud of yourself?
The only thing I could come back with is ‘but I don’t make my bed every morning’. You see, at some point near the end of last year, I watched a FB video when a military officer spoke about the importance of making your bed every morning. Of course, he was making a much bigger point but it all started with making your bed. One of my new year goals was to make my bed every day. I lasted three weeks.
I was doing great until the morning I overslept for work. I leapt out of bed, hopped into some clothes and rushed to work. I failed to make my bed. Truthfully, I never gave it a second thought until I got home at the end of a very long frustrating day at the office. I walked into my room and found the covers exactly where I had left them ten and a half hours earlier. I had failed.
I don’t know about you but, once I fail at something a little it’s all downhill. I believe that officer from the video would have told me to shake it off, set the next day’s alarm to go off five minutes earlier and make my bed. He wasn’t in my bedroom the next day and I didn’t make my bed. In fact, I haven’t made my bed since the first day I messed up.
Why am I sharing this? Excellent question. One, I set a goal to post a blog every Sunday for a year, second, it isn’t about not making a bed in the morning. This is about how I deal with messing up. This is about every motivation quote that I have stuck on walls or in my planner about getting up every time you get knocked down. When someone or something external knocks me down I work my ass off to get back up. Go hard in the paint! That’s how I operate until … I knock myself down. Until I let myself down. Until I fail. Getting up is tougher from those types of hits.
It’s bigger than whether or not I make my bed in the morning. It’s missing a workout and not being able to get myself right back to the gym. It’s skipping a day of scheduled writing and not being able to jump right back into writing the following day. It’s about the hurt of letting myself down and not knowing how to forgive myself enough. It’s about not being so freaking hard on myself for messing up.
Common sense says I didn’t fail by not making my bed that morning. Shit, common sense says it isn’t the end of the world if I make my bed in the morning or spread the comforter out before I climb into bed at the end of the day. The uncommon sense that inhabits my head needs some work. I need some work.
The topic my mother and I were discussing wasn’t bed making. It was bigger and more private. It’s a goal I’ve set for myself and I’ll share it when I am ready. And, her question about me being proud of myself wasn’t about the challenges I’m facing in meeting a new goal. After many days of deliberation, I think the question was about taking a bit of time to celebrate and honor the accomplishments I achieved and giving myself a break when something derails me from my path.
A friend once told me that the joy was in the path with all the obstacles and detours. He said if we reached where we were going too easily we would miss all the lovely sights along the way and never be able to appreciate our destination. My life has been filled with lovely sights, obstacles and detours.
What does this all mean? I have zero clue. I do know that I have accomplished a lot in my forty-eight years of life. I also know for a fact that I will accomplish a lot more. I am determined, focused (most of the time), and I have a tough time being satisfied with what’s been accomplished yesterday. Most importantly, I am my mother’s daughter and, with every year that passes, I discover I am just like her.
My goal for this week … freaking be kind to myself and skip worrying about the damn bed.
NOTE: All my blogs are posted as they are written. If I go back and edit them, I will chicken the hell out and delete the embarrassing parts. Please forgive the typos, basic grammar mistakes and whatever else is wrong.