You know how it goes… you’re visiting a new place, sort of wandering the streets trying to find the “perfect” spot to make wonderful vacation memories. So you walk… and walk… past a lot of cool places, but they all sort of blend together after awhile. Inevitably, you get to the point where you really don’t care where you go, you just want to stop walking.
As adults we know all about the fact about life, with the most known fact being that life is not always fair. This realization usually hits us early and gets progressively worse. If we're lucky, the lessons on life are typical and not too terribly destructive - we suffer blows in the form of challenges with friends, general growing pains as our bodies change, first loves crushing us (as well as second, third, and fourth loves), school work getting progressively harder, and the realization of life and loss hitting us in normal ways. (i.e. We lose pets not parents or friends.)
It is the morning of December 23, and I have a list a mile long, full of things I need to do before hosting Christmas Eve. Let me tell you that at press time, my house is in no shape to host 15 people, 5 people, or even the UPS guy dropping something off in my doorway. My living and dining rooms, where the action will take place, are “decorated” with signs of holiday frenzy - rolls of wrapping paper, Christmas card envelopes, and shopping bags of things to return. Dirty dishes are the focal point of my kitchen. Did I mention that I still need to buy a few gifts, get my eyebrows waxed (priorities), go to the store, and make a few appetizers? Oh, and I’m meeting my college roommate for lunch today; an event I wouldn’t cancel for the world, but one which will take about 5 hours off the clock.
I recently reconnected with an old friend I've known since childhood. Our lives had taken different paths for a bit, and we naturally fell out of sync as often happens to friendships in adulthood. During the time we weren't in contact, this friend was always on my mind, and I knew we'd reconnect when the time was right.
Approximately 10 years ago, I experienced what I like to call my "Mary Tyler Moore" moment. I had spent the previous year adjusting to divorced life, and had recently completed my master's program. Those two events were pretty darn trying and exhausting, to say the least. Yet, I had persevered, and ended that year by purchasing my first home - a condo in the city.
I’ve decided that winter is like the mean girl in middle school who just won’t leave you alone. Your mom tells you to ignore her, but she is relentless, waiting for you at your locker and around every corner, with new, nasty tricks up her sleeve. Winter’s tricks include piercing cold, grey days, ugly landscapes where the snow has melted, and that chilling wind that whips the hell out of you. Add fun jobs like shoveling snow, scraping windshields, and generally just dealing with the meanest girl of all, Mother Nature in full-on winter mode.
I’ve probably said, “I can’t deal with the cold. I can’t deal with the cold. I can’t deal with the cold” about six million times… every morning, since this past November. And this is the PG part of what I say when I walk the 12 feet from my house to my car each morning. I. Can’t. Deal. With. The. Cold. In fact, I hate it in a way that requires an expletive to be inserted right before the word Cold. I’m keeping this clean, so figure it out for yourselves.
Don’t you just hate that person who always has advice on something? Yeah, me too. Which is pretty sad, because I’m actually that person. Maybe it's my name (ala *dear*Abbey), but it’s true. I thrive on sharing tips I’ve learned along the way with practically anyone I meet. Accordingly, I'm sure it's not a surprise that I'm the world's worst advice taker.
So, my friend and I were running the other day, and she was telling me about a motivational speaker she was listening to on a sales call. Bottom line, the speaker had proposed a deal with a potential client… you either want to work with me, or you don't. I don't care either way, so why don't you just toss a coin and see what message you get. The potential client, really not knowing what she was "supposed to" do, agreed, and flipped a coin in the air, caught it, and then covered it with her hand. The speaker immediately turned to the woman and said, "Stop. Don't look at the coin. Just tell me… what did you want it to say?"
I put together a little list to get you through the winter doldrums (because #SweetJesus I’m right there with you) and renew your sense of self and spirit to move forward to spring. I’m not even going to sugar coat this list and give it some pretty “Top Five Ways to Regain your Motivation This February” (#topfivethis) or “How to Put Your Best Foot Forward for Spring” (#nope).