Pink Toes & Teslas: Reflections on Resilience

The week of July 4th was a fantastic holiday week of celebration with love, laughter, and rum & gingers. We spent the week with family and friends.  My father-in-law recently picked up his new Tesla and I can honestly say it is the coolest, smoothest, most amazing ride I have every taken in any vehicle, in my life. Yes, it’s that cool.  A family friend recently had surgery on her shoulder and really wanted a mani/pedi so I volunteered to take her. We Pink Toestalked the entire time, she’s Italian after all, and I ended up with the most ostentatious hot pink toes I have ever seen (see right). It was a fabulous, soul-filling week. On the flight back home, I was reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and started thinking about my #oneword for 2013, resilient.

In order to bounce back from difficult situations, focus more on the big stuff than the “small stuff”, and treat myself with kindness, my focus and goal for the year is to become more resilient. In some ways, living a resilient life is challenging and small things get me down more than I care to admit, like a rolling storm cloud of frustration and stress. In other ways, I reflect on my life and realize it is a testament to survival and durability.

Over 10 years, I’ve gone from living in poverty to having a master’s degree, being married in a healthy relationships (which I’ve never seen role modeled), owning my own car and home (before that I was debt free), and being in a great place in my career. Coming from a background of poverty, family feuding, abuse and alcoholism, you wouldn’t think small things would get to me, but they do. Sometimes, my internal response to things that get me down is “Haven’t I had enough of this? My bullshit bucket is full.” There will always be crap. The only thing that I have control over, is how I react and this is what my one word is all about.  Six months into owning my word, I am learning a lot about myself, strategies for resilience, and caring for myself and the people around me with wholeheartedness.

Here is what I have learned…

Changing the focus on building the new

Resilience & positivity are a state of mind and a state of being. Like anything else, this state of mind and being require time and dedication to develop. A significant part of being resilient is taking time for myself physically and emotionally. Two weeks ago, I started training for a half marathon. Lurking on the #safit hashtag and Facebook page have brought me a tremendous amount of inspiration as a runner. Thank you to those who post!!!

Life is what happens Stop imposing unnecessary rules. My classic unnecessary  rule in life is my unwavering  commitment to the slightest  resemblance of a plan. It is not uncommon for Evan or I  to yell  throughout the house, “WE HAVE TO FOLLOW THE PLAN!” or,  “DON’T MESS  WITH THE PLAN!” With the exception of fire  evacuations, CPR, or some other life  changing emergencies –  this really isn’t necessary. Chances are, everything will be fine    with or without a plan. I need to lighten up and engage in the  adventures of life rather  than trying to plan them.

 People will try to make their shit, your shit. It’s not. This is  not to say that when people give you feedback or challenge  you in some way that the feedback isn’t legitimate or the  challenge necessary. When you are knee deep in a difficult  situation, it can be really hard to see that someone else is  making their problem, your problem. Only you can decide to let them do this.

Your perspective is yours. You cannot expect other people to know or care about your perspective unless you own it and communicate it. If you are not willing to be vulnerable, lean in, and lay your perspective out there, then you have two options: let it fester into something unhealthy, or drop it.  People aren’t mind readers. This is easier said than done, but developing the tools to engage is necessary.

You are enough. You do enough. You have enough. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.Mistakes are Proof you are Trying

Recognize the small failures & expect stuff to go wrong. Things go wrong and at times, I’m going to fail. Responding to these failures, no matter how big or small, from a place of worthiness makes all the difference. Failing allows me to better appreciate the successes and do better next time. Failure is proof that I’m in the arena and I’m trying.

What are you learning this year? How are you living your #oneword2013?

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