A Revolution (in tiny baby steps)

17 Apr

Sometimes your life changes without you intending it to (and frankly IN SPITE of you not intending it to), in a span of a day (or week, or month…or hour).  You can resist it, or you can lean into it, embrace it, and accept where it’s going to take you.  I started out this year resisting it (actually, I spent most of 2011 resisting it, and ignoring my gut), and due to a confluence of events, I’m scrapping that and just letting go.  It’s past time.  

I like New Year’s resolutions, because they’re basically goals dressed up all fancy with somewhere to go.  Going through some things on my desk, I found a list I made on Jan. 2, 2012, handwritten.  

2012 resolutions

[[MORE]]My resolutions:

  • run a 5K
  • learn how to knit
  • listen to more classical music
  • show up places ON TIME (emphasized in the note) or early and NOT perpetually 5 minutes late
  • finish something before starting something else (I forgot I even wrote that, that’s really smart!)
  • send more cards
  • yoga: meditate 3x a week, home practice 1x a week

You know, it’s not a bad list.  And even though I haven’t looked at it in a few months, for my first trimester report?  I’d give myself a B-.  I listen to classical music on the way to work most days, I get up about 30 minutes early to meditate and pray pretty regularly, I’ve definitely been sending more cards, I have attempted to train for a 5K—at least I’ve been walking more, and that’s a start.  The showing up on time thing is still eluding me—it’s like a weird mental block to not get moving 5 minutes earlier than I actually get moving.  But anyway…pretty minor.

But when I made that list, I was in a very different place than I am now.  I was dating someone who I loved (but it turned out he was not very loving towards me); my health was great (for no particular reason that I can point to); I made goals in December with a colleague to accomplish things at work and get things done, etc. etc.  2012 seemed like a promising year…and then a lot of things changed.  T and I broke up; I had the smashing realization that I dated a person who frankly just wasn’t very nice to me; my health suffered as a direct result of the breakup;  the woman who worked with and for me (and was a good friend, job motivator and cheerleader) left to take another job—I just felt lost.  The one major positive change was that I turned toward God and started praying more faithfully.  But still, I’ve felt a little rudderless, a little out of sorts trying to process it all.  I’ve learned a lot about myself this year, some good and some not, but I’ve been lucky enough to have supportive friends, my faith, my church family, and most of all my siblings and my parents.  I’m not abandoning my 2012 resolutions, but I think due to where I am at this point, it’s time to make a few new ones, to start a tiny revolution in my own life, even if I don’t get very far.  Who says you have to start in January?

So…my re-mastered list of 2012 (and life) resolutions:

  • Stop dating assholes.  This cannot be emphasized enough.  It has to stop.  I have put up with far too much, and expected far too little, from practically every man I have ever dated or cared about—T is just the latest in a long line of problem boyfriends.  It’s not a self-esteem issue, it’s a “rescuer” issue, a belief that I could fix these broken, selfish people who crossed my path and wanted, consciously or not, for me to fix them.  THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE AND WILL NO LONGER BE ATTEMPTED.  It’s ridiculous—who do I think I am?  God?  If you need fixing, do it yourself.  Trust me when I say this: I will not be in another relationship where I am not at the top of the food chain.  It’s not about ego, it’s about respect.  I will treat myself, my emotions, my body, and my heart with more respect than I have been giving.  I look back on my year with T and I am amazed and horrified with what I put up with and what I allowed.  Why?  For what purpose did I let him get away with his ridiculously unappreciative, unkind, selfish behavior?  None at all except I was hoping to provide some comfort to someone who needed it, but at a costly expense to my own self-respect and well-being.  My biggest regret is not standing up for myself.  I can’t say I won’t ever get hurt again in another relationship—no one knows where the future lies—but I certainly won’t make the same damn mistakes I’ve made in the past.  I’M DONE WITH THIS STUPIDITY.  
  • Stop pretending like what I eat, drink, and feel don’t have an impact on my health.  I don’t know why my gut is feeling like it’s feeling—you would’ve thought my year and a half remission would’ve been jeopardized by the silliness of the last year, but I felt great.  And now I don’t.  Yes, it started with the breakup, but I can’t blame the dude for everything, I have to take responsibility for my own actions.  Now I just have to get my wayward colon back under control.  So when I’m not feeling great and I have 3 glasses of wine, am I surprised I feel worse the next day?  NO.  So figure it out already!  At the moment, the only thing I can think to try (and I’m not at my worst, but who wants to get there??) is the paleo diet which is supposed to reduce inflammation.  So I went to the store today and bought a whole mess of stuff for my 30-day Whole30 challenge, because you can’t wait for things to happen.  You have to take charge.  I made my first meal tonight and I’ll be blogging about that, just to track myself and how it’s going.  It’s already been an interesting experience, and when I get in one of these health moods, it’s just about the only thing I can think about.  So I’m going to commit.  And if that doesn’t work to get me back on track, I’ll have to try something else.  What else am I going to do—sit on the couch in misery?  NO.  Enough of this already.
  • Listen to the universe.  Or God.  Or whoever it is that has been speaking to me lately (and thank the heavens for it).  The night that I knew it was over with T, on Valentine’s Day, he said so many things to me (without prompting) about what he didn’t want out of his life (or our life) which were completely opposite to what I wanted—marriage, a family, a spiritual life (…actual conversations where both people contribute…but I digress).  I felt like God was speaking to me—“Get out, now!  Save yourself!”  And after that, it was done.  Whatever happened, it was not a relationship that was meant to be, and no one could have said that more clearly than T himself did.  What a relief to have it be so obvious!

    And then just recently I re-discovered a gift my brother gave to me on my last birthday, and it was going to expire on my birthday this year, June, for multiple session with a life coach.  I put it off for 9 months, but I finally felt like this was a perfect time to see her.  And in the 30 minutes I saw her (I have 3 more hourly sessions to go) she was so awesome and said things that completely resonated with me (more on that later as well).  I wouldn’t have appreciated it last year, but the timing was perfect now.  I’m ready to listen to what she has to say, what I need, and what my life should look like.  I need a coach.

    And with this diet thing—I’ve heard about it before but ignored it; I’ve tried doing a version of it, but wouldn’t fully commit; I randomly got an email from my naturopath about paleo being the only way to go; and this past weekend I was at a friend’s birthday dinner and her friend mentioned the Whole30 and how it has really changed how she felt about food and nutrition and now she avoided things she knew made her feel badly.  If it did that for her, it has to be of some help to me, right?  And it seems time, if not for a complete change, then a complete change for 30 days.  I owe that to myself, don’t I?

So I guess you could say the breakup has been good for me—it’s been a catalyst.  And another thing it did that I was not expecting was it allowed me to embrace my anger.  Righteous anger that I tamped down because…well, I don’t know why.  A misplaced sense of a need to be zen and giving and kind and generous.  Of course that has its place, but when all you do is give, you have to push back and demand more. So I’ve been embracing my anger, letting it burn brightly.  And when it burns out, as it will very soon (although sometimes it surprises me at its ferocity), a new, brighter, smarter me will emerge.  I’m ready for her.

I started this blog last year because I felt like I had things to say, and then I barely  posted anything at all, for a variety of reasons.  But I’m still finding I have a lot to say.  My tiny revolution has begun—I’m letting out a riot grrl yell in my apartment, you just can’t hear it (yet!)


One Response to “A Revolution (in tiny baby steps)”


  1. Zen Habits in 2013: The NEW version of the New Year’s resolution « Breath by Breath - February 12, 2013

    […] be no surprise to anyone that I’m big on self-improvement.  I like resolutions.  I like identifying things that aren’t quite working and tweaking them so that they work […]

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