I was invited to join the Inspiring Moms Network this year. I know. I wondered why I was invited to join too. I don't find myself to be particularly inspiring. I want to be inspiring. I hope to be inspiring. I seriously dream about being an inspiring person. But for the last few years I actually feel like the opposite of inspiring. I guess that would be UNinspiring. So yeah...the invitation was kind of unexpected. But welcome.
Because I am sooooooo done being stuck. I know. Some of you have heard that before. And yet, here I am, still struggling with many of the same issues that I have struggled with for most of my life. My weight, my depression, my lack of self-worth, my financial instability, having to get jobs I hate when I would rather make a living doing something I love...the list goes on and on. So I say I'm sick of being stuck, but I never really make a serious effort at getting unstuck. And when I do finally make an effort it is short-lived. Because I end up getting sick or some other distraction that makes life hard turns up in the middle of my effort to change. So I quit. Well, this year I finally realized I need help. There is too much to sort through for me to do this on my own. So I turned my face skyward and asked for help. And then things started happening. Not big, biblical things like locust plagues on my enemies or manna from heaven. Little things. Like Stacey asking me to join the Inspiring Moms Network.
I know. It seems like a small thing. But to me it was monumental. First, it was an answer to my plea for help. My cries were heard. My faith ratcheted up about 10 notches. Second...Stacey took a chance on me. My self worth ratcheted up about 10 notches. Then it fell about 8, because the worry voices kicked in and I started to panic. What if I let her down? What if my contributions are stupid and uninspiring? But Stacey? She is smart. She knows how to inspire people. So she gave me a task almost immediately. She gave me something to focus on besides my fears and worries. She gave me a way to chart my course. And that is what I have been missing in my efforts to get unstuck. A launch pad. A starting point. A "You Are Here" pin on my road map of life. A "My Word of the Year" assignment.
The Word of the Year assignment almost did me in. Most of you who know me know I write like I talk, which is A LOT! So ONE WORD for the whole year? Felt impossible. I used to love challenges and sometimes I can still rise to the occasion for something worth fighting for, but mostly I just get excited about a cause and then give up because I am tired. And overwhelmed. And unclear about why my motivation has abandoned me. Challenges are hard and require work. The kind of work I don't always feel like I have the energy for anymore.
But I didn't want to be the first Inspiring Mom to quit, so I put on my big girl panties and took on the assignment. And I am really glad I did. Because the struggle I had with myself to figure out what I needed to focus on this year brought me to a better place. I'm not all better. I still have all of my issues. But I feel like I am one step closer to knowing how to overcome those things that hold me back because I had to stop and think about ONE WORD to move me forward.
Stacey was smart (again) and gave us a great tool to use to help identify our word and there is no way I would have been able to get my word choice drilled down to just one without this little beauty from Christine Kane. This free workbook was the key to my success because it forced me to answer some questions about what I want out of life and how I envision getting those things.
So initially, I started the worksheet with 2 words: stability and passion. As I worked through the questions, I realized that neither of those words felt right to me, although stability is a major issue in my personal and familial life right now, so I was a little confused about why that word didn't feel right.
And passion, well, I thought it was missing in my life, on many levels. But I realized that the passion is not necessarily missing, it's that I don't necessarily pursue the things I am passionate about. And thinking about why I don't pursue those things is how my word came to light. Everything good that I have ever done in my life happened because I was unafraid to pursue something I felt passionate about. I was not afraid to to jump in, head first, and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. I've traveled the country grooming racehorses all by myself. I left a good job to go to another country and share my beliefs with the citizenry there. I started my own business and did really well with it for several years. I competed in a stand-up comedy search on a whim. All of those things...I did them because I was excited about the challenge! And I succeeded to some degree in every one of those ventures! Did I make mistakes? Hell yeah! But I DID them! And the realization that I can do hard things when I believe in what I am doing brought me to the problem that I am dealing with now. I am full of fear.
I won't go into all the reasons for the fear right now. Maybe someday. The important thing is that I realized that the fear is not serving me or my family very well. And I realized that the accomplishments I have achieved up until now happened because I was unafraid to pursue them. And THAT realization is how My Word of the Year materialized. I KNOW! FINALLY! No. Finally is not the word. I was just...OK, OKAY! I'll quit messin' wit y'all!
That is my word. I don't want to be afraid anymore. Fear is an inhibitor when it comes to making progress. I wanna move forward. I am intelligent and able to think through options and information to make good decisions about my future and that of my family. So I need to not be afraid of what I cannot see and start making those decisions with fearlessness as my guiding force.
BOOM! There it is people. I thought it. I said it. Now I gotta live it. And if you wanna share your word of the year? I'll help you live yours too!