Present Tense

My Year of Living Honestly

I’m not much of a rear-view mirror gal, but I think it’s healthy at the end of the year to sit quietly and allow the last 365 days to settle around you like a nice, fluffy layer of snow or a scratchy, irritating barbed wire fence.  If we figure out the theme of the year just lived, maybe it can teach us something for 2013.

2012 was a good year for me; for us, in our little nuclear family of husband, wife and two dogs.  2012 was my year of living honestly. I haven’t had a whole lot of those since I grew up.  I’ve had years of lying to myself or deluding myself or self-medicating myself or just flat-out, not paying attention.  I’ve even had a few where I was deliriously happy.  But, completely honest?  Not so much.

This was the year that I challenged many of my long-held ‘core beliefs’ about politics.  The year I stopped drinking the Kool-Aid and started looking for the truth that underlies all of the spin and manipulation of the two political parties.  It was shocking, painful, humiliating and in the end, freeing.  The realization that you don’t have to be ‘right’; that you don’t have to fight to the death for your side.  Pure liberation.

2012 was the year that I realized that my radio persona had bled so much into my personal life that I had lost track of ‘me’.  What’s funny and entertaining  4 hours a day on a morning radio show, isn’t quite so charming the other 20 hours.  That the professional necessity of always having to have something to say about everything is fake and tedious.  That real life dictates that one listen, learn and absorb, rather than spew.

This was also the year that I admitted that family is important and that I miss mine; terribly.  I ran out the door at 19 and never looked back.  I couldn’t wait to be on my own and proximity to my family was not a priority…at all.  Now, it is.

In May, I spontaneously bought a 10 acre farm in northern Michigan, even though I live and work in Colorado.  Once I caught my breath, I had to figure out why I jumped in.  I’m financially conservative and measured when it comes to buying something as simple as a new coffee maker and yet, I bought a second home 1600 miles away from the first one, in a weekend.

That was me speaking up.  The me that has always wanted to live near the water; the me that misses family and ‘home’.  The me that has been buried under my ego and money and career aspirations for many years.  The me that is truly, me.

So, here we go.  Every day is another chance, but there is something about starting a brand new year.  It’s like when you were a kid in elementary school and your teacher gave you a nice, clean sheet of paper and a box of crayons.  You almost didn’t want to spoil that clean sheet, but alas, nothing is created if the sheet is left clean.

What will 2013 be for you?  You don’t have to decide ahead of time.  I didn’t one year ago.  In fact, just take the first step on the path and that could be as simple as vowing to open up to the newness of a new sheet of clean, unspoiled paper.  Get out your crayons……

December 30, 2012 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

How about a mid-year reset?

 

I wrote this last December and realized this week, that I had abandoned much of what I pledged for 2012. As we get into the “silly season” of a presidential election I thought it might be relevant reminder for a lot of us, so I’m re-posting.  Or maybe it’s just a reminder to me that I had certain goals for this year and  since we’re halfway through, I need a kick in the pants to live them.

So, my friends how about a mid-year reset?

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is kind of a netherworld between regret over the past year and the exciting potential to begin anew.  Time to mull over what worked and what didn’t, while you try and formulate the way forward into another year.

Maybe the past year was rough, maybe it didn’t live up to your expectations, maybe 2011 flew by and you didn’t lose the 20 pounds or get a better job or save as much money as you had hoped.  The beauty is that we all get a mulligan; a do-over in 2012.  Every year, every day for that matter, we can hit the re-set button and start again.

2011 was a better year for me than 2010; I made some personal progress in some areas that I felt that I needed to work on.  I developed some new skills and hobbies.  I let go of some stuff and I re-connected with some old friends.  As we all must plot the way forward into 2012, my goals for the coming year include developing more humility and grace.  I admire those traits so much in others and they don’t come easily to me.

You see, I have a tendency to evangelize.  I try to bend people to my way of seeing or doing things.  When I see the light, I want everyone to see that same light, to have that same epiphany that I’ve experienced.  It’s my ego, mixed with an equal part of wanting people to be happier, less frazzled, less scattered.  There are some philosophies and behaviors that I feel strongly about and I’m compelled to force them on others.  No more.

What I’ve realized is that I can only control me; I can only impose my will or my beliefs or my knowledge or my epiphanies on me.  Look, a lot of you have lived your lives this way for years.  I’m usually a little late to the party, when it comes to self-realization and self-control.  I got here through study,  introspection,  observation and finally, acceptance.  People are gonna do, what people are gonna do, regardless of how I think they should behave.

The basic message of Christmas is what crystallized this for me: “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men”.  Christians say they believe in Jesus as their personal savior;  his message fills their hearts and their lives, yet many Christians seem to ignore what I believe is Jesus’ main message: 1. We are all sinners and 2. Love thy neighbor. I don’t study the Bible (that’s a whole other post, my friends), but I’ve read it and those two statements seem to distill it all down into a very simple premise that I intend to follow, even though Jesus is not my personal savior.

My no-nonsense husband put it this way:  “God didn’t mean for it to be so complicated”.  YESSSSSS!  So, whether you are religious or a searcher, like me, it’s this:  Take care of your own business and stay out of everyone else’s.  We’re all flawed, messy humans and the only person that you can fix or control, is YOU.  That’s it.

We can guide, we can teach, we can influence and then, we must accept.  Simple.  We make life complicated and frustrating when we list all of the things that we ‘wish’ other people would do:  drive better, be more polite, go to church, don’t go to church, believe in God, don’t believe in God, vote differently, spend money, save money, raise your kids better, blah, blah, blah.  Look, we’re all ‘that person’; you know, the imperfect one.

So, in 2012, I will work on me; I vow to stop bitching about everyone else because that takes away valuable time from my true work.  I won’t worry about other people’s sexual orientation/diet/political views/spending habits/parenting skills/religion/work ethic.  To paraphrase the J-man, who so many of you follow, “it’s time to worry about the plank in our own eye, dudes”.  Simple?  Yesssssssss!

June 9, 2012 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I’ll let you be you; now let me be me…..

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is kind of a netherworld between regret over the past year and the exciting potential to begin anew.  Time to mull over what worked and what didn’t, while you try and formulate the way forward into another year.

Maybe the past year was rough, maybe it didn’t live up to your expectations, maybe 2011 flew by and you didn’t lose the 20 pounds or get a better job or save as much money as you had hoped.  The beauty is that we all get a mulligan; a do-over in 2012.  Every year, every day for that matter, we can hit the re-set button and start again.

2011 was a better year for me than 2010; I made some personal progress in some areas that I felt that I needed to work on.  I developed some new skills and hobbies.  I let go of some stuff and I re-connected with some old friends.  As we all must plot the way forward into 2012, my goals for the coming year include developing more humility and grace.  I admire those traits so much in others and they don’t come easily to me.

You see, I have a tendency to evangelize.  I try to bend people to my way of seeing or doing things.  When I see the light, I want everyone to see that same light, to have that same epiphany that I’ve experienced.  It’s my ego, mixed with an equal part of wanting people to be happier, less frazzled, less scattered.  There are some philosophies and behaviors that I feel strongly about and I’m compelled to force them on others.  No more.

What I’ve realized is that I can only control me; I can only impose my will or my beliefs or my knowledge or my epiphanies on me.  Look, a lot of you have lived your lives this way for years.  I’m usually a little late to the party, when it comes to self-realization and self-control.  I got here through study,  introspection,  observation and finally, acceptance.  People are gonna do, what people are gonna do, regardless of how I think they should behave.

The basic message of Christmas is what crystallized this for me: “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men”.  Christians say they believe in Jesus as their personal savior;  his message fills their hearts and their lives, yet many Christians seem to ignore what I believe is Jesus’ main message: 1. We are all sinners and 2. Love thy neighbor. I don’t study the Bible (that’s a whole other post, my friends), but I’ve read it and those two statements seem to distill it all down into a very simple premise that I intend to follow, even though Jesus is not my personal savior.

My no-nonsense husband put it this way:  “God didn’t mean for it to be so complicated”.  YESSSSSS!  So, whether you are religious or a searcher, like me, it’s this:  Take care of your own business and stay out of everyone else’s.  We’re all flawed, messy humans and the only person that you can fix or control, is YOU.  That’s it.

We can guide, we can teach, we can influence and then, we must accept.  Simple.  We make life complicated and frustrating when we list all of the things that we ‘wish’ other people would do:  drive better, be more polite, go to church, don’t go to church, believe in God, don’t believe in God, vote differently, spend money, save money, raise your kids better, blah, blah, blah.  Look, we’re all ‘that person’; you know, the imperfect one.

So, in 2012, I will work on me; I vow to stop bitching about everyone else because that takes away valuable time from my true work.  I won’t worry about other people’s sexual orientation/diet/political views/spending habits/parenting skills/religion/work ethic.  To paraphrase the J-man, who so many of you follow, “it’s time to worry about the plank in our own eye, dudes”.  Simple?  Yesssssssss!

December 27, 2011 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , | 16 Comments

   

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