trite, cliche, but still…

You'll fall down.Tonight I keep thinking about falling forward.

I know it’s a totally overused phrase, but I like it. When I did my only marathon in 2010, I finished because I kept putting one foot in front of the other. In life we do the same. Some days we shuffle along, feeling like we’re not contributing; other days we’re world changers who sprint from achievement to achievement. Either way, we keep progressing.

At the end of the day, I examine every moment, dissecting it for lessons. It’s what I’ve done for decades. It’s why I often can’t sleep. It can be heavy, but I do it hoping to avoid that heaviness in the future. Today, for example, someone told me my biggest flaw is that I’m a “people pleaser” and “an enabler.”  Sigh. I know I like to be liked, but hearing the E word over and over gets tiring. Besides, I think I’m more of a live-your-life-as-you-want-to-until-it-affects-my-life-too-much-er. Er.

Maire has a fabulous explanation for this flaw. Allow me to paraphrase:

Basically, when you’re a kid, you look around and that’s your normal. As an adult, you use that normal to create your life. When your childhood normal involves dealing with two schizophrenics, your adulthood normal is, um, abnormal. You let people in that shouldn’t really be there, because you’re used to dealing with hot messes.

When Maire explains things to me, even things I think I’m “getting,” the light bulb always burns a bit brighter.

My friend Mike, who passed away three years ago, had his own way of telling it. I used to co-host his political radio show and one day he told me I could rule the world if I could just develop a sense of entitlement. For some reason, to me, entitlement always sounds negative. Why is that? Shouldn’t we all believe that we’re worthy of great things? Shouldn’t we expect that life will only get better?

And, you know what? It does get better. The same year I finished that marathon, I made a lot of other decisions that have led me to the present. I created a sort of pre-40 bucket list and I achieved a lot in the last five years.

I changed my life. It’s so very different than it was in 2010, when I was in an unhappy marriage, struggling to pay bills and trying very hard to provide my precocious daughter with the best education and life experiences. I cried almost every day. I knew I wanted better for Pooka and me. Back then I literally fell forward several times per week as I trained for 26.2. Something in that falling over and over made me strong enough to make some dramatic changes.

Now it’s time to make another 5-year plan.

In a few weeks, I’ll be moving and changing my business. Illuminate is officially no more, leaving room for the BENCH salon & gifts. I’m changing a few things, creating a store along with the salon and making room for kids to have their own space while their parents are in my chair. I’m looking forward to it. Funny how the days are going by slower the more excited I get. It’s like being a little kid staring at the presents under the tree on December 18th.

Yesterday I crawled, today I plodded, tomorrow I’ll run and when I stumble, I’ll just make sure I fall forward. And I have plenty of people offering me hands and piggyback rides.

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