I might as well be like everyone else.

Well, at least for today.

It’s still close enough to the start of a new year to start a new thing – or, in this case – to uplift and old thing.  Why is it that when we categorically know what it is that we should be doing, we find a million different reasons to justify all the other stuff we could do instead?  I’m sure there are answers: fear, time, lack of attention span, life in general.  But I don’t want to answer that question.

I just want to do it.

I want this year to be a year of doing instead of talking about doing.  For those of you who know me, you’ll be like, “Um, isn’t that kind of how she is anyway?”  Yes.  For all those million different other stuff things, yes.  I am constantly doing.  I rarely sit still.  I run marathons to “relax.”

I know, some people hate people like me and that’s fine.  Those aren’t my people (I love you anyway).

What is it that Mark Twain said?  (This I will answer).  “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Let me just tell you, I have found out an awful lot of things over the course of forty-five years.  And most of the finding out has come not in the form of books, lectures, classes or anything resembling formalized and structured education which I would have appreciated more than NyQuil last night.  Most of the finding out about why I was born has come in the form of the School of Hard Knocks.  This is also otherwise known as what NOT to do.

Doing things that I knew were not right, weren’t “me,” or just didn’t sit well with my soul before, during, or definitely after doing them has caused me incredible trepidation for many years.  And for someone who moves to relax, being paralyzed from doing because of doing, is a trick bag that no amount of champagne and subsequent New Year’s resolution pronouncement will fill up.

I tell people all the time that blame is the greatest form of failure.  I wholeheartedly believe this.  From your kids telling you it’s your fault you birthed them and that’s why they can’t throw away twenty-six empty water bottles from underneath their beds, to your co-workers telling you they had no idea you needed their part of the project turned around in said timeframe because you didn’t tell them more than once – it’s obscene.  How we have gotten to a place of constant complacency is beyond me.

And yet…and yet, in this regard, I am regrettably no different.  Guilty as charged.  I haven’t been doing what I found out a while ago that I should be.  While I am the first one to roll my eyes at the people who are taking up my parking space and treadmill at the Y from January 1 – January 7 every year, it’s not them I am mad at.  It’s myself.  They are there.  They are showing up.

Where am I?

Oh…lemme tell you.  I’m here, I’m there, I’m everywhere.  Shut up Dr. Seuss!  I hate you and I hate the fact that everything around me gives me plenty of opportunity to blame.

This world and our individual journeys give us non-stop everyday REAL LIFE things to slow us down.  Our situations, our people, our obligations all try to stop us from listening to the still, small that voice we have been trying to drown out.

But sometimes, we just have to be louder.

Bolder.

Stronger.

An old friend sent me a simple message on Friday: “Hi. I read this and you popped in my head. I liked it. I thought you might like it too. Happy New Year.”  Attached was this article: http://www.kungfugrippe.com/post/169873399/clackity-noise

I just want to do it. 

To start writing again.  Here, there, everywhere.  Dr. Seuss, kiss me so we can make up!

I have started and restarted to write a few times in the last few years.  Before that, I’ve written quite a few things of which, unhumbly, I’m very proud.  Most were about journeys of conquering – cancer, parenting, divorce, marathoning – and not just my own stories, but those of others.  Because as I also always tell people, we are in this thing together.  Life.

Nothing that we go through hasn’t already been gone through before us by others.  I don’t know about you, but that gives me a sense of peace.  Hope.  Inspiration.  We are NOT alone, and we WILL get through things, just as they did.

They, as in total strangers.  Only they’re not.  We are all connected, related, created, and in relationship for a reason.  One of the things I’ve definitely come to find out by attending the School of Hard Knocks is that it’s better to choose to love (again) than choose to protect getting hurt (again).  Together is better than alone.  …Even though 3-7 days out of the week I want to lock my husband in a room with twenty-six water bottles and talk to no one but the voice in my head.

So, if you’re here and reading this, thank you.  There will be more to come.

Because I am WORKING HARD to stop blaming the fact(s) that I got busier, blogging got replaced by podcasting, and my inner critic is more persistent than I ever wanted to pay attention to, let alone admit.

Here’s to DOING LIFE and a Happy, Healthy, Hanging-Tough 2019!

-beth

(“Is your real name just Beth?  Are you sure it’s not ‘Elizabeth’?”)

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. — Maya Angelou