Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A letter to the holidays: Watch me, baby.

Holiday Phase One: success!


Awwright, holidays.

I see you coming. In fact, you're already here, judging from the costume-making hangover I'm feeling. That could be a lingering Halloween candy sugar buzz, though. Hard telling.

It's all just a friendly little reminder of how slammed I'm gonna be in a few weeks. There's meal planning, gift-buying, activity-attending and magic-making, all on my shoulders, and I am hands-down the Queen of Procrastination. Holidays usually kick my booty, sending me into a frenzy of panic about Getting It All Done Perfectly.

This year, I'm choosing a what feels like a subversive idea. I'm doing myself a favor now. But it's also for later, like giving myself a gift for the future.

I'm declaring November as my month to access my power. Instead of cowering about an uncertain tomorrow and complaining about what I can't change, I'm doing what I can to help my body carry me through the holiday season with ease, energy and (especially) humor.

What this isn't:
  • Cross-referenced, color-coded to-do lists
  • Micro-timed schedules for exercise, activities and such
  • Losing pounds or inches
  • Time for a good food/bad food diet. Or any diet.
  • Impossible expectations and my time, energy and money
  • Someone else's system 
  • Discipline and willpower (I don't have it.)
  • A turbo life overhaul
  • The usual motivational hype (Carpe Diem! Live your best life!)
What this is:
  • Noticing
  • Listening
  • Doing
This morning, I listened to that whispering that told me, "Run." So I put on my favorite running duds and headed out the door.

I noticed how good it felt to move.

I noticed my dog's soft ears flopping as she ran ahead of me.

I noticed the warmth of the sun on my face and arms.

I noticed the frost sugaring each blade of grass.

I purposely didn't put a clock on this time outside of regular time, but it probably only took 15 to 20 minutes. Just right. It gave me spaciousness and some time to imagine without consuming my whole morning. It gave me a boost to help me flow through the day.


November's Compass
I really bristle at making goals and wishes. The first seems to harsh and external, while the other seems too airy-fairy. I'm choosing to call hope/goal/wish/need list a Compass instead, since a compass will always point to my true north, which is internal. Centered. Connected.

Here's what's I'm focusing my compass on this month:
  • Finding new words for "exercise," "workout," and "getting in shape." Blech. Words mean a lot to me, and both of those terms are about as far away from inspiring as a root canal. I need a new term that I equate with freedom, grace or time out with girlfriends.
  • Mindsets or techniques that will help the boys move along with their schoolwork but are playfulness in action.
  • Low cost, high value, beautiful holidays gift ideas for friends and family that won't make me insane.
  • Awareness for ways I can keep doing favors for future me, especially when it comes to housework and short workouts (Auggh! I said it!).
  • Tenderness toward this adventure, since I'm prone to using force as motivation.
Even if it isn't November 1 when you read this, feel free to jump in and get the month on your side. I'll be posting my Compass victories on Twitter using #compasshigh5. You can find me there @bikeblisschick.

Many thanks to Havi Brooks and Danielle LaPorte for their work which informs and expands my thinking.

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