I’d gnaw off my right arm for a plate of buttery, fluffy pancakes, and deep fried calamari drizzled in lemon juice and cocktail sauce. Don’t judge me – I’ve lost 6 pounds in 7 days, and I’m Donner Party starving. If this is the road to skinny, give me back my cellulite. I choose rice pudding over rice cakes!
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about perfection and the insane standards we hold ourselves to. Is it either perfect figures and 80 hour work weeks, or you’re not good enough? Couch potatoes or death by overwork?
Autumn Croci are the most deadly flower in the world, and if I had to be a flower, I’d be an Autumn Crocus. But I used to act like a Pansy. A doormat, a pushover, a Self-Confidence School drop out. Now, however, if you ate my petals, you’d die within minutes. I didn’t buzz my hair short, or start Instagramming photos of my bong rips, but like Miley Cyrus, I butterfly-ed.
I used to think I liked going out all the time. That I enjoyed whiskey coke hangovers and losing my IPhone once a month. Au contraire! I’m actually a 50 year-old spinster whose idea of a great time is Jane Austen, a hot bath, and a glass of Shiraz.
There’s sacredness in baking cakes, cutting flowers, and DIY crafting that I much prefer to TV or making myself feel bad on Facebook.
I am such an introvert, it hurts, and in the process of this happiness project, I started saying “no” to invitations and friends who hurt my feelings.
To be happy, we need to be deliberate and inspired about our choices. We do this by letting go of the need to perform, please, and perfect. We do this by knowing, that at the end of the day, no matter what we have or haven’t accomplished, we are enough. Brene Brown says successful balanced people are: “Deliberate in their thoughts and behaviors through prayer, meditation, and simply setting their intentions; Inspired to make new and different choices; and they get Going. They take action.” They DIG deep.
David Richo put it perfectly when he said, we need to let go of long-standing habits and patterns that were once choices, but have been our limitations ever since. They usually please others, but diminish us. Once we grieve this loss, he says, we “release our hidden inner world of unused and unrevealed qualities and notice how much better we feel about ourselves.”
Leaving the medical building yesterday, I saw life and death rolling towards the elevator together. Not literally, obviously. I didn’t take that much Vicodin. I saw a baby in a stroller, and her grandpa in a wheelchair. Two helpless human beings at the two ends of human life.
Once I was that baby, and it doesn’t seem like too long ago. Someday I’ll be in that wheelchair. Before I get there, there’s a lot I want to do. And like surfers put base coat on their boards, the foundation of my happy life is spending less and less of my time in my neurotic mind.
I want to walk down an aisle in a white gown. I want to be a mother, an author, and a good short boarder. I want to move away from San Diego, and see new places. What I don’t want is “I’m supposed to be this,” and “I didn’t do this,” and “I’m not good enough. So more solo dance parties, vacations, flowers, and complimentary drink-fueled plane rides riding high above the cloud line. I’m tired of living my life thinking I’m not good enough, and I hope you are, too. Happy Friday, have a fabulous weekend.