I’ve just either raised or lowered the bar. In actuality I’ve seen the bar for what it is.
The barometer of our contentment.
Starting this new year, like many of you, I have goals in mind.
It ‘s good and necessary to set goals for ourselves. To have something to aspire to, a job to accomplish. Years ago, I read somewhere that where many people get in trouble is when they set a goal for themselves and once obtain it, they don’t set a new goal. They hang out with the achieved goal watching it grow old and eventually begin to wither. Resetting the bar is the important point they miss.
The key in goal setting is being realistic. My goal for this year is not to be an Olympic skier by the end of December 2015. Nor is it to be a gourmet chef, although that is a hell of a lot closer to reach than that skiing business!
Both are unrealistic stretches for me. Having the book of stories I’ve been working on for years ready to be published is an obtainable goal that jives with my heart and souls desire and the path I’ve been on.
Yeah Baby… the heart and soul’s desire make the discipline do-able and those forks in the road avoidable.
OK, so I’m going to go hippie dippy here so get off now if you can’t handle it.
After a bit of a rough fall, a flu that didn’t care that I’d had a flu shot, with lots of time to meditate, be quiet, think, and stare out the window at the canyon, my big goal for this coming year is self acceptance. Saggy arms and all.
And after speaking to several friends, I highly suggest this could be a shared goal.
Last week after speaking with one friend I hung up the phone and all I could think was, “WTF.”
I spent ½ an hour talking my 65 year old friend off the ledge.
Caught in the spiral of “I’m not doing enough,” she was going down fast. This is a woman who has worked since the age of 18, run her own successful business, raised a family, served on several boards, and currently is director of a thriving non profit. She has several grandchildren who she sees two to three times a week, picking them up at school, taking them to museums and plays. Entertaining regularly and learning about emerging artists, my friend has an enviable, full life. But she was going down, down, down the rabbit hole. Why? Because someone else installed the wrong computer chip years ago. Wrote the false script that my friend has been living out for decades.
The “You aren’t good enough, you need to be perfect” tape has been stuck on the same song for way too long.
I know this because for years I’ve been listening to my own tape go round and round but enough is enough.
My new favorite line is, “if not now, when?” When do we start loving ourselves for the imperfect human beings we are?
When do we start recalling our triumphs first and not our failures?
When do we stop the deadly game of comparing ourselves with others?
To compare is to despair. What genius wrote that?

Recently during a heart to heart, one of my kids said something to me that a few years ago would have had me looking for the closest ledge. She casually mentioned she wished I had forced her to keep up with her piano lessons instead of caving when she wanted to quit because by now she would have been a skilled pianist. I listened. I took it in. I agreed. But I didn’t feel the need to mea culpa my way to the ledge, which was a test of how far I’ve come.
Now you have to know something about me. I’m ready to take the blame for anything. Oh yeah. If someone is late to meet me, my first thought is I’ve messed up and gone to the wrong meeting place.
Instead of being the “Tiger Mom” I should have been with both of my kids I was the “kitten mom” (in small letters …the phrase I’ve coined!). I know that that Yale law professor (author of The Tiger Mom) would have done things much differently but I also know that I did my best. Hopefully my kitten purr in some ways balanced out the lack of a tiger’s roar. I don’t know. I do know I can’t go back and do it all over although it heads the list of the many things I would do over if I could. The point is, I took in what my daughter said, agreed, but had no need to bleed.

It’s time. God knows where this world is headed. To say this year started off with a bang is to put it sadly and truthfully but we can all make it our goal to love more and know that by loving more we do more for the planet and everyone in it.
“Lord, give me the strength to change the things I can change and accept the things I can’t” isn’t just a prayer for the drinkers and druggies. It’s for all of us.
One of my goals this year is to love me. There, I’ve put it in print. Love myself, sagging arms and all!
Again, if not now, when!

What we’re wearing this month; sweaters of course! (just cuz I love ‘em doesn’t mean I gotta show ‘em!)

dogs in sweaters

Sharing; Kim McCarty’s watercolor show at the Maloney Gallery 2680 South La Cienega, Tuesdays thru Saturdays until February 21st.

Watercolor by Kim McCarty

IMG_0661

Watercolor by Kim McCarty
And caring: look around, go online, pick something, someone, or someplace that needs your help and give it.

As always with love, and wishing you all a healthy and blessed 2015!
AS

Comments

9 Responses

  1. joanna rachins says:

    Tell your friend, an Akashic reading with me would transform her perspective and help her to see herself in the light of greater reality of her own soul. xoxo

  2. Well said Annie and about bloody time because you are and always have been great just as you are…

  3. Carmel says:

    Dearest Annie,

    I have SO appreciated and thoroughly enjoyed your writing over the past many months; what a skilful artist indeed!

    Thank you for this eloquent and deeply sincere reminder of the central /core (!) work of personal, social and global transformation. Acceptance. Personal acceptance. Sufficiency. Deep personal sufficiency; the knowledge, the embodied awareness and acceptance of our own enough ness. Yes. Thank you.

    If this were the only step we took as true social activists, it would be enough.

    :)

    Love to you,
    Rosanne’s friend and council facilitator,
    Carmen

  4. Lisa Platt says:

    Hi Annie,

    I love reading your blog. U r a terrific writer! I especially liked this one about goals and acceptance.

  5. stacey Altman says:

    You’re the purr-fect Mother and a damn good writer too! Loved this piece. Keep up the good work.

  6. Beautifully written and a powerful directive to us all. Thank you sharing. I am sending this out so everyone can benefit.

  7. Laurie Benenson says:

    I’m always blown away by the wisdom and compassion you display so abundantly in your essays. Thank you for being so truthful and so funny.

  8. Heidi Lake says:

    As usual, well said, and very genuine.. xoxo

  9. Patti Marcus says:

    I just love reading your blogs. I always feel it’s a personal letter from you to me……you make me smile……Thanks for your unclose and personal look at life.

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