Except there is also EVERYTHING special about today. And tomorrow. And the next day. The truth is, every single day we are on planet earth is a gift.
I refuse and actually loathe the mentality that one or several bad things that happen equate to a “bad year.” Time is what we make of it. Why we as humans have this instinct to contain all of the “bad” and consider it a wasted year is beyond me.
In my struggle with my weight for over two decades, I had this mentality. I have been more than 100 pounds overweight for most of my adult life. Only in these last five years or so, its not the weight loss that changed me (a big misconception that I’ll save for another post). But the way I started thinking about my life. About time.
About getting back up and fucking fighting when shit gets rough.
When we curse a year and hope the next one is better, aren’t we setting up a victim mentality for ourselves? How long before something bad happens in 2022? Or even a few bad things. Well guess what, that is life, my friends. Bad and upsetting things are going to happen. What has to change is how we address them. How we navigate through space and time without any limits to a “year” dictating if its good or bad.
YOU are in fucking control of that shit.
In fact, every dang day each of us has a new opportunity to get it right.
I got up before sunrise this morning. I never used to do that shit. I now like to welcome the days. To watch dark come to light right before my eyes and consider the possibility of what might be in store for me no matter how shitty yesterday, the week before or even the month or year before was.
January 1 is no different than May 22. I have the same opportunity on that day to wake up and consider the same possibilities for myself. I have the same opportunity EVERY. DANG. DAY. to be thankful that I have air in my lungs and that I can sit up and put my feet on the ground and stand up.
I realize that at any moment, bad things can happen. I realize that right now, many people are suffering. Loss, illness, regret, addiction, mental illness, chronic stress, feeling stuck, in a rut…you name it. And when these things are upon me, I can crumble like anyone else. But I have had so many great teachers, friends and family along the way, I carry many of their words with me.
From my sister-in-law who passed away too young several years ago, she was not able to work the last several years of her life and used to remind me that, “at least you get to go to work.”
From my best friend, who would counsel me after love and loss to, “let it sting for a few days, feel all the feelings – then let them go.“
From a dear coaching friend, who told me and then sent me a bracelet that reminded me, “I am enough.”
I have a friend who lost her son and through her unbearable anguish, is searching for peace day by day through community, weightlifting, running and listening to her body nutritionally.
I am HORRIBLE at meditation. But I find that I do it in my own way, by living day by day by containing my possibilities to what is possible through what is right in front of me. Thinking beyond that in any manner – for me – had me spiraling in to all of the ways that I will fail and created space for my insecurities and worries to dominate me.
People want to know my weight loss and strength secrets. And it really boils down to the systems and the things that I do daily that lead to a larger path or goal. They think I have willpower and discipline. Truth is, I think both of those things are bullshit and I have neither of them. Its developing and adhering to systems each day that is transformational. Its boring and dull, but its how it works. It just seems to many like what I did was an overnight success. It was anything but. (This will sound familiar to my Atomic Habits by James Clear fans).
Embracing each day, vs. a year has led me to places I didn’t even know I wanted to go. In fact, I would never have dreamed the person I have become was even within the realm of possibility.
I do have one new year worth remembering and it was the first time January 1st meant absolutely nothing to me. I wasn’t setting any goals, because I already new what they were and I was in the middle of working on them. I had taken off weight and kept it off for the first time in my life (instead of gaining it all back plus five pounds). It was one of the most freeing and accomplished feelings I have EVER felt.
Something inside of me finally started saying “you’ve got this, you savage” vs. “you have failed at every diet you have ever tried – you are a diet failure – its what you do, in fact you are quite good at failure.”
If I let a bad year get in my way. If I continued to let things happen TO me, I never could have made the transformation that, honestly was more inside of me vs. outside. The inside change is just now reflected on my outside appearance.
Those inside changes are…
I respect myself.
I trust myself.
I know the value and gift of every single day.
Or, at least I remind myself of these things when I start to spiral in my insecurities.
I’m not fixed.
I’m far from perfect. In fact, quite the opposite. I now embrace my imperfections instead of scolding myself for them. I don’t shy away from them. I lean in to them and become curious about what’s going on.
When we actually respect ourselves like we do others, we’re considerate and kind to ourselves.
I was anything but to myself for so many years.
I don’t like feelings. Or talking about feelings. Or feeling feelings…but I try to understand what IS going on inside of me these days. It connects so deeply to my disordered eating habits. But I’m slowly overcoming them and conquering them bit by bit.
The “year” mentality put me in a big hole where I just waited for someone else to pull me out.
The “day” mentality helps me see the possibility over and over again. TODAY is special. A new day, but it is NOT UNIQUE. You get 365 chances and I like those odds much better than the single shot.
Go kick some ass TODAY, friends.