Monday, June 30, 2008


Ever have so much to say, that you don’t know where to begin? That, is the story of my life. Not that I am unable to speak it, but more importantly, that I can’t slow my brain down enough to write it, to share it, to capture it all. I have running dialogues, essays, commentaries inside my head 24/7 but 5 seconds in front of a keyboard and I am rendered “speechless.”

A few years ago I took some writing classes. What I gleaned from that experience was, 1) I have issues getting to the “it”, the essence of my person, my authentic voice; 2) there are a lot of talented people in the world who never get read; and 3) sometimes, you just need to shut up and do it.

I made some wonderful friends during the classes, whom I still run into and email with from time to time. When they ask if I am still writing, I am embarassed to admit that I’m not. Frankly, I am just lazy enough to let life be an excuse for what I really wish I was doing. Does that make any sense? If I could write for a living, I would absolutely do it. But the part of the job that becomes work, getting read, getting published, getting purchased, are soooo exhausting and overwhelming, that it is far easier to do nothing but dream about what might have been.

Last night I was speaking with a gentleman about the benefits of Pilates for men, particularly golfers. How the practice can improve core strength, increase distance and accuracy and reduce the risk of injury. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “But then you have no excuses.” And I realized that this is true of anything. Once we have no one to blame but ourselves – not the kids, the job, the economy, the weather, etc. – the wall comes down and it is revealed that we are lazy or lack confidence…or both.

I just finished talking to a colleague who is determined to be a failure. She came in the door identifying herself as someone who always quits and always fails. She wants to lose some weight, maybe eat a little better, maybe do some strength training. She is so prepared to be unsuccessful, that it’s almost harder to convince her that it is possible to get what you want. Maybe not all in one bite, or one sitting. Maybe you have to come back for years and years, but if you are really, really honest with yourself and set practical, realistic and achievable goals – you can get what you want.

As I write the paragraph above, I realize that I am the biggest culprit. I set unrealistic, unachievable goals every day. I have a comic strip on my fridge that reads “I aspire to be a soccer mom. Instead, I am a slacker mom.” So true! I have mini negotiations with myself…I’ll eat a donut today and then I will quit sugar entirely. Or, I will go back to Pilates and lose 15 pounds by the reunion. That one would have been okay if I made it more than 5 minutes after the reunion.

There are no easy answers – and that is the simplest truth. The practice of living is overcoming every challenge, from breathing to being, over again each day. Whether it’s society, religion, culture, peer pressure or tv that makes us set these lofty standards and goals, we build a very tall tower to fall from. Those failures, rejections or setbacks can be hard to recover from and hard to forget. Instead, we should use each one as a notch in the belt of our lives – every small victory, every big failure is a mark on the world that says that we are here.


Post a Comment

<< Home