If you’ve been following my social media, you might have noticed that I have been tagging things with the #oneyear hashtag. Mostly that tag is for me, but I thought I’d give a brief explanation on how I plan to spend 2015.
2014 was, truly, a year of muchness. Everything was thrown into the mix, including incredible highs and devastating lows. But I saw some of my biggest successes in 2014, which made me realize something about myself that I had forgotten.
My capability to be awesome is completely intact.
I don’t say that to be conceited, by the way. I’m just as surprised about it as anyone else. I’ve been downplaying my own personal power since I was a kid in church, warned repeatedly against the sin of pride and vanity. I grew up thinking humility meant denying all the special qualities that made me me, especially the parts that made me, dare I say, great or powerful.
It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Marianne Williamson.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
No matter how things are going, whether I’m dancing on top of a mountain or pressing my way through the flames, I have any number of amazing qualities to face every challenge and claim every triumph. I don’t think that I ever realized that before, even when I had significant success in my career, in my personal life or realizing my own tremendous, lofty goals.
Since 2013, I broke through the ranks and became one of the coveted 20% who could make a living as a self-published author. This is a big deal considering 80% of my colleagues make $1000 or less annually. For the last two years, I’ve been an established writer making a better living than I ever made in any other job. I have an small but mighty (dare I say Fierce?) fan base, who have done their part spreading their love for my work to more and more folks, which finally got me “discovered” by a powerhouse of a literary manager. I sold my first book to a publisher AND my manager and I are eying other venues to conquer, like TV and film.
With something as simple as a year or two with my nose to the grindstone, I’m on the very precipice of where I want to be.
My health, though improved greatly by the use of medicinal marijuana, has become a concern. I had a couple of troubling incidences last year that reminded me that I’m not invincible. And maybe I could ignore a shortened lifespan from the safety of my thirties or forties, but the real problem, the practical problem, the one that affects me in the here and now, is that I’m not properly conditioned to keep running the longer, bigger marathons I have planned.
So I decided to approach my health the same way I approached my career. I’m devoting 2015 as the Year of Transformation. Though I’ve repeatedly “failed” to conquer this particular mountain in the past, I sort of had an epiphany a few months ago that I have everything within me to make my physical body as much of a success as the surreal reality of living my dream job.
In one year – November 2014 to November 2015 – I’m going to focus on all the things I can do to make myself stronger and healthier. I’m going to condition myself for a life bigger than what I’m currently living, to prepare myself for things I had only dreamed about in the past. I’m not really worried about losing weight, though I will. This is so much more than fitting into a certain size or seeing some phantom number on a scale. Those things I can’t really control. My body is going to be what it’s going to be, and it is entirely possible I’ll never fit into a size 6, or wear a two-piece to the beach even if I wanted to.
This isn’t about that. I finally realized that it can’t be. Because of my issues from what happened to me when I was four, “losing” my shell around me has terrified me for years. Becoming smaller or more attractive to more people makes me feel vulnerable and uncomfortable, and that is the one thing that has blocked every attempt to become what I thought I wanted to be. I’ve been too locked up in my own neurosis to let that happen.
It also outsources all of my power to things I can’t control. This isn’t my first rodeo. I can do all the right things and still not lose the weight the way I planned. There is really no practical way I could give myself a goal of X amount of pounds or X amount of inches lost by a certain date. A significant body transformation is a marathon, not a sprint. I can’t be swayed by a weekly weigh-in that somehow justifies my existence because I’m running as far away from the fat girl as I can.
That fat girl is still me. And she’s still the amazing person who has raised two kickass men, who has turned her dream into a career and who has made a difference in ways large and small. I’ve been waiting for more than 40 years for someone to notice that. It finally dawned on me that person has to be me. I need to love her and take care of her… because it’s onwards and upwards from here.
Therefore my focus is about longevity and strength and overall health. The 2016 Me is waiting for me at the finish line, and she’s depending on me to make her as strong and powerful as she can be. Truth is I don’t know what she looks like yet, but it hardly matters if I did. She’s going to be even greater than the 2014 me, who is still pretty damned cool. And I know I have everything within me to walk each and every step to get to her.
This year is about living life to my fullest potential, which I can’t really do if I don’t make my health a top priority. I have too much to do to check out early, or call for a Time Out because I can’t physically handle the increasing challenges at hand.
At age 45, those are more powerful motivators that something as arbitrary as a number on a scale.
So yes. I’m going to be one of those annoying people who updates on exercise and posts pictures of (healthier) foods. It’s a matter of accountability and it’s part of the year-long process which I may or may not turn into a book/memoir someday. Most of these journal entries are personal/private right now, but I reserve the right to publish one from time to time.
This is the “DURING” part of the Before and After journey. It’s the ugly part, the frustrating part, the hard-working part, complete with all the amazing triumphs and crushing failures that come with doing anything really significant. (Kind of like the last two years were for my career.)
I’m locked in, ready to see where this roller coaster takes me, marking the calendar for one year just to see what I can do with it.
I’m excited for what it will bring.