Continuing the weekly arguments that 2016 was not all bad, I’ve created a series of posts designed to exonerate the year. This is the sixth installment in that series.
A year ago this week I printed, completed, and published yet another Declare It Day goal that I would not crush. This goal was not running-related but it would not matter. This failure made four in a row, calling into question Einstein’s theory of insanity. The good doctor is quoted, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Maybe my Declare It Day goal moving forward should simply be:
Don’t be insane.
Let’s see how it looks, yes?
Nonetheless, I gracefully accepted defeat in 2016.
Ironically, my article about Declare It Day was published a year ago this week by Women’s Running Magazine. I was ecstatic over this. This was one of those I’m a real writer now moments. I floated. I danced. I giggled and wiggled and pranced. Despite my inability to reach any of those DID goals it was thrilling to be recognized for success in writing about all of those goals. My silver lining is/was that I might not be able to crush them but I can write the hell out of them. I had moxie in 2016.
A year ago this week I bragged that I still didn’t have any grey hairs. I did have them. I just couldn’t see them. This would be confirmed by a trip to the eye doctor and new glasses and then oh. my. glob. Yeah. I’d been greying for some time. I put on my new glasses and saw the truth(s). Truth 1: I couldn’t see them because my eyesight had gotten so bad. Truth 2: In artificial light they blend in with the blonde but in sunlight? Mm hmm. Oo la la. Truth 3: Instead of grey I’ve got bright white. I stood corrected in 2016.
A year ago this week I wrote out my intentions for the month of February:
- Feed myself fuel, not filler
- Keep the sacred sacred — separate and protected
- Say No to enabling behavior that puts me out of alignment with how I want to feel
- Celebrate the small shit too
When Danielle asked me to name what I wanted to change I wrote:
When she asked me to describe work that’s been hard I wrote:
I was revisionist in 2016.
A year ago this week I came home from a community event at which I felt dismissed by my peers. I felt excluded and unwanted and unwelcome by the Cool Kids, which made me the Uncool Kid, a role I’ve played enough times to recognize the typecasting. In my journal I wrote:
I felt the chill this morning; the forced greetings, the absent greetings. I felt the way my presence did not lift spirits; the way indifference and even dismay permeated the arena. I expected this. I showed up anyway. I didn’t act out or rub anyone’s nose in it. I stood peaceful. I stood serene. There is some relief in knowing exactly where we stand with people. When they show us who they really are there is a favor being paid to us. The backs that were turned told me much, and this is better to know for sure than to have it linger as a suspicion. So I’m grateful. And this is helpful.
This is helpful because knowing what people don’t want is just as important as knowing what they do want. If people give me a No Thanks this is a way point rather than a dead end. I can pivot from that pause and move toward places and people with whom I am needed and where I can be more effective. Take the cold out of a cold shoulder and call it a turned shoulder, which is a gesture of protection rather than rejection. This is ultimately informative. This person’s instinct is to turn away in order to guard something. If an entire group of people are doing this in response to me it is a clear indication that this is not my audience. These people and my offerings are not compatible right now. I don’t have to make it a deficiency on anyone’s part; neither mine nor theirs. I wrote my way through rejection in 2016.
Week six of 2017 makes me want
punch laugh at everyone who thought 2016 was such a terrible year. We really had no idea that it could get this much worse, now did we? But it can also get better. The point of all of this is healthy perspective over sweeping generalizations that an entire year of our lives was all good or all bad or so much of one or the other that we can’t wait get to the next one. I did good work and hard work in 2016. I know you must have done the same. Clearly it was to prep for good work and even harder work in 2017. So once again, if we learned even one thing that helps us stay sane in our current predicament, it was not all bad.
— Harmonica Frotteurs
(four times not a charm)