Warning: This blog post is meant to be a chat between girlfriends. Read at your own risk.
This Saturday is my annual retreat day! I will go to the beach and stare at the ocean until my brain is quiet and see what joy or wisdom seeps in. I mention this because it was one year ago on last year’s retreat where I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish/complete/experience, a list of key relationships and possible relationships, dreams, thoughts, school goals for the kids, areas of personal growth (aka stop that, just stop it, honestly!), quilt projects, writing goals, etc. I looked at the list and it was good. It was very good! Then I looked at the personal goals list and at the bottom, like a sludge, was the perennial “dumb and uglies.” Self-esteem issues. Whatever you call it.
I looked at the rest of the list, full of big ideas and nifty possibilities, and I crossed that last one off. There was just too much else going on and I did not have time to fret about the baby weight or what other people thought about the baby weight or the fashion or probable lack thereof, et cetera. I simply did not have time. I decided to drop my fear of other people’s opinions. I decided to act outwardly how I feel inwardly, which is that I am pretty and fierce and badass and all kinds of other fabulous things. These personal opinions have been verified by my husband, whose reaction to “I can’t fit in self-esteem issues this year, is it okay if I just act like I’m awesome?” was, “You don’t have to pretend. You are all those things.”
(And I have a great rack, but he didn’t say that out loud. But we exchanged a knowing glance.)
I am pleased to report that this was the best year ever! I will make my annual List Of Many Things again, and we’ll see if I have time for the dumb and uglies again, or if I can go another year without visiting that spiral. Giving myself permission to skip those internal lies gave me the faith to cast out all kinds of other lies and thought patterns and behaviors, too. Finally. Sheesh.
So this Saturday I will hie myself to the beach and sit on the rocks and scribble madly until I am hungry for lunch and then there will be lunch and then I’ll do some other stuff until it is time for dinner and then there will be dinner, probably at Street 360 because they have this awesome Thai salad (and yeah, fries with curry mayonnaise dip, I’m not gonna lie) and then I will wander around Portsmouth until I’m sure the kids are asleep and then I will go home. And love. And love, and love, and love, until it’s time for my next annual review.