I Am…

I once made a list of all the I ams I was and all the I ams that I want to be. It was a two-column list in smallish writing. I’ve lost the list, but I remember writing, “I am a sheep owner.” Let me explain. I am a knitter. I started out with that icky acrylic yarn, but then I discovered specialty yarn.

When I moved to the East Coast, I felt the need to pick up a pair of needles and yarn. Little did I know there was a world of yarn just a click away on Etsy. I could get the kind that is hand-dyed, and hand spun. Oooh wheeeee… it was irregular in some places, but it added a certain je ne sais quoi to my knitting experience. It sounded magical in my head (i.e., shearing the sheep, picking through the wool, and using a spinning wheel), which brought me to the conclusion that I wanted to be a part of the wool to yarn process.

Anyways, in my brief search, I learned that it makes more cents (pun intended) to own goats than sheep because people like goat meat, but then I thought I couldn’t possibly raise goats to send them to the slaughterhouse and then I thought what about running a place that did yoga with goats? Can I get a namaste? Phew! And there’s a little sneak peek at Des’s thought process.

Yeah, I am NOT a sheep owner. I’m not too keen on the idea right now. The actual process sounds overwhelming. Give me the looped yarn that’s twisted all pretty because I’d rather get to the knitting.

I like the end process, please and thank you, but that’s not how processes work as we develop and grow as people, is it? It takes a lot of time and energy sometimes, it’s more than we like to exert.

The I Ams That Define Us

I had to give myself a pep talk the other morning because I DID NOT want to get out of bed. So you know what I did? I went through a short mental list of some good moments in my past. I am what I am because of the actions I have taken. It made my morning for some reason. I didn’t need to hear it from someone else. It was just me talking to me. It is easy to forget that we are our own greatest cheerleaders and our own biggest roadblocks. We don’t give ourselves enough props, so go ahead and pat yourself on the back. You’re doing great…even if the only thing that got you out of bed was that first sip of coffee.

I started calling myself a writer when I began my first class in my master’s program. I didn’t want to call myself one publicly, but I had to say it a couple of times to myself out loud and to my family members so that I believed that I was, if that makes sense. What made it real for me was seeing my name in the table of contents of a literary journal. Knowing that other people might read my essays besides my family and friends brings a smile to my face.

I have no idea what I hoped to look or feel like when I claimed those words in the I am form. Nothing really changed except for the fact that I put myself out there. My thoughts are no longer private. Writing for me is like putting a part of my soul out there.

As writers, we torture ourselves with our endless banter within that maybe what we have to say isn’t all that important or that no one will read it. We write because there’s this unknown force compelling us to write out loud.

I’m in the middle of sending query letters and receiving the dreaded rejections. I keep putting myself out there because I have things I must say. If I don’t, I feel incomplete.

In between the things that get in the middle of me and my laptop, I might not get 1000 words a day, but I keep on keepin’ on.

I’m trusting in the process.

Your I Ams Await

If you haven’t already felt inspired by my thoughts on proclaiming my right to say, “I am a sheep owner,” go ahead and make an I am list of your own. Write out the things you already are and the things that you want to be. You’ll be surprised at what you might tell yourself.

Underline, circle, highlight, or * any you’re interested in turning to a present-day I am. And then buckle down and get to it. Look at that. You just made yourself a goal. Don’t I ams sound so much better?

I’d love to hear what made the cut on your list, and please share it in the comments if you’re feeling up to it. Thanks for dropping by.

Goals: Failures and Successes

What better time to talk about goals than on the Chinese New Year.

Goals

Does the word goal make you cringe inwardly a little? Sometimes I feel like it attaches meaning to something that I don’t really want to do, but must get done, like my statistics homework that I’m pushing out to do tomorrow instead of right now.

Why? Because I attach a higher priority to my writing. Although learning and understanding how it applies to psychology is an important skill and a required course to complete my long-haul hopes and dreams, I L-O-V-E to write. Writing hits that feel-good receptor.

I bet you know what this segue is leaning towards.

If you guessed running, you get a virtual fist bump. 

Let’s just say that goals aren’t for dreamers. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great stepping stone towards the “G” word, and do I ever like to dream with the best of them.

Unfortunately, for the dreamer, like myself, I have to jump off the cloud and take my Care Bear tushy down to my reality like (quick side note: I imagine the Care Bears every time I think about what it would be like to live in the clouds if  they weren’t really made out of water droplets like the scientists say), “Why do I smell ____?” or the Majority question in the Haros house, “What are we having for dinner?” As if I know the answer, SMH. I wouldn’t use that shortened form unless I actually did that, which I often do. I think it’s equivalent to the eye roll for teenagers. We parents have our own language. We shake our heads for a myriad of reasons, but I won’t discuss that today.

Goals require action…

Whatever your stance is on goals, there is no side stepping option available here. Goals are for those who are all about action. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like talking about something unless I’m actually going to do something about it.

As of late running has once again grabbed at my soul.

Running is the adrenaline rush, the breathing in and out, the one step after the other, the feeling of the sun on my skin…the untapped potential just beneath the surface of my very being.

This is the place where I feel like anything and everything can happen…when I truly believe that ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.

Let me rephrase that. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH GOD. I know that without Him in my corner, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I have been fortunate enough to do.

In regards to that rush, this is how I feel when I run. If that rush could be bottled up and stored, no one would ever have to experience those lows, but then again how could we ever enjoy those highs? One is not possible without the other.

With all that said, it’s time to prove to myself that I can run a 100-mile race.

I know it can be done and I also know from prior experience that it can’t always be done.

Did you see what I said there? Let me say it one more time. Just because you want something bad enough, even if God has you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get it.

It took many failures to get me there. My ego was knocked to the curb and my vulnerabilities exposed. Humbled much? Too many times to count.

Greenlights weren’t happening when I attempted the 100 mile race at Zion 100, Keys 100, Wild Sebastian, Daytona 100, and Atacama Extreme 100.

I don’t have a great track record of 100- mile distance finishes, but it shows that I tried. In my life time, I have completed the distance twice. Those finishes meant a whole lot more.

The same goes for my writing. There were several rejections, before my essays were accepted. Once again, those failures made my successes that much sweeter.

How did I get from point A to point B?

I didn’t give up. I kept pushing because I knew I could get it done.

At this point, I feel like I’m giving myself a pep talk. Hope this speaks to you in some way.

I will continue to chip away at my running milestones just as I did before I completed my first 100. How? One step at a time.

If you are a writer, how do you get there? One word at a time.

# # #

Just like any goal, you have to visualize the outcome.

Close your eyes.

Now bask in the feeling of your accomplishment.

Can you see yourself there? Holding that buckle? Or that diploma or that finished book in print?

Whatever goal you have. It’s in you. This is what I have to remind myself on the daily. I am my own roadblock at times. Those negative thoughts are like land mines.

In my own experience, I notice that every time I take my eyes off a goal, I step on a mental land mine and that outcome is never pretty. The moment I do, everything seems to go wrong. One catastrophe to the next.

I’m now ever slowly learning that I need to say a prayer to God asking Him for help and guidance. I also ask my friends to lift me up with their positive vibes. Both of these options are provided to all of us. You just have to ask.

Interested in goal achieving?

Here are some easy steps to follow. If you’re already in the middle of these steps. Let me know how it’s going.

1. Create a goal. Write down your why. Make sure it’s big enough to get you out of bed every day.

2. Write down the steps it will take to get you there. Work backwards from the finish to the beginning. This will put in a different head space.

3.  Ask others who may have accomplished your goal. Just ask and I guarantee they will help you out.

4. Get to it and accomplish your goal. I’ll be cheering you on.

Turning Intentions into Action

A couple of days ago, I typed THE END to my first draft of a novel. I have been working on this particular piece for about 2 years. It’s gone through several revisions before I even wanted to call it a first draft. It is one thing to say you will write a book, and quite another to say THE END.

Good Intentions

We are all filled with good intentions, like when you tell a friend you’re going to drop by but just haven’t had the chance, or you told your child that you would take them to the park only to let the day slip away. It’s in our actions and not by our words that we change those intentions into a reality.

To Finish or Not

Remember that not all things need finishing. There was a time in my life when all I wanted was to speak French fluently. I switched colleges and took a class in beginner/intermediate French. I felt pretty confident until I settled in my seat. In French grammar, I excelled. Conjugate a verb? Sure thing. Translate a sentence from English to French? I’m your gal. Speak so as not to sound like a newbie? Big-time fail. What I didn’t realize was that I signed for a class filled with Mormon return missionaries. They had spent two years in the country fully immersed in the language and culture. The closest I came to French culture was escargot.

Repetez-vous, s’il vous plaît,” and “Je ne comprehend pas,” were my go-to statements. By the end of the week, I concluded that I could not keep up with the class. I could get through the grammar, but the oral portion was graded heavily. I withdrew from the class and still Je parle un peu Français. Yes, of course, I could rekindle the flame to learn French fluently, but it’s no longer a high priority.

*Since this post, I have rekindled the flame to become fluent, thanks to Duolingo.

Redirect and Prioritize

It’s essential to list your intentions and determine what we will or won’t finish. We need to be completely honest with ourselves because if we can’t be honest with ourselves, who else can do that for us?

Turning Intentions into Action- "You are what you do, not what you say you'll do."- Carl Gustov Jung

A TODAY List

My daughter is a list maker. She gets easily frustrated with herself when she can’t finish her TODAY list. My word of caution is not to over-extend yourself. Writing too many things down will have you beating yourself up at the end of the day. Create a list for just TODAY. You can keep track of the things that matter today and not what mattered yesterday. Be intentionally here today, and you will finish.

If you have something high on your list that requires more days to finish, write down what you can do today. Change your intentions into finished goals. I know you can, but most importantly, remind yourself daily that you know you can.