I like themes. It sets a framework from anything to decor and food, to articles and mindset. My girls can attest to their birthday parties, and the over the top excitement about the hand decorated cake and spot on decorations! Oh yes, that excitement was mostly all mine. They learned very quickly to just step back and let me dream up and create – whether it was just 5 friends coming by or a big family event, the same effort and detail was thrown into each one.
As January rolls around I tend to contemplate about the past 12 months, and of course what lies ahead in the next dozen. I recently started to declare a theme for new years. Perhaps setting a framework that I could look back on as the months unfolded, would give me some reassurance to take action and stay on course.
I had declared 2017 as my year of random, and boy was it ever! Without delving into all my actions and the holy crap, how did I get here moments (most of those were on the up and up ;) I think the biggest product of my random year was drafting, writing, editing and publishing a damn book! How did that happen?
With a new year upon us, I thought this theme idea has some merit. So I have declared 2018 as my year of uncomfortable. No, I am not going to try and fit in my stupidly expensive jeans I bought when stress whittled me down 2 sizes. (Sigh. I’m just taking a moment to reflect on that fit!) No, it’s not blurting out inappropriate remarks in crowds that generates awkward silences; although, after a few drinks I can’t promise much. It’s the year of owning it. It’s pushing outside my comfort zone and being what I’ve discovered scares me the most...vulnerable.
One would suggest sharing personal reflections of the most altering and raw moments of my life to the public, is likely not the most subtle way to step into vulnerability. But then again, subtle is not my thing.
When my marriage was breaking down I went silent. My besties found out eventually, because that’s what they do. But I did not share it with family, neighbours, colleagues –heck, I did not even tell our children for awhile. My performance was Oscar worthy I tell you, (long pause), Oscar worthy!. Life carried on until this crisis was either going to be defined, or until I fixed it. So we all know how the story ends and the time came to define it. The conversations or prelude to them were nauseating. Sharing and being vulnerable to others felt so intimidating, and this from a very social and outgoing gal who shares a lot. But the real stuff, well, that is scary now isn’t it?
When I decided to create a book, this writing journal for women, I again told very few people. In fact it took me a long time to admit I, a left brained, analytical, over thinker with number framed artwork on her walls, was writing a book about dealing with the emotional perils of break-up. In math speak, that is a negative correlation. What would people think? I would have to share my story, my insight, what I learned and how I coped. Ugh, that’s a lot of personal stuff people and no I was not on Facebook either. By the end of 2017 I started to own this more. When asked, hey what are you up to these days I had an answer and not just a punch line...Well I’m creating a guided journal for women. I’ve created a brand. I’m going to help women deal with “life lemons” one laugh at a time.
The first copy of the book came in early January, and that was it! It was tangible. Time to throw vulnerability out the window and it was time to own it, because damn, I loved the book! My vision came together and hopefully it will provide some support to women who needed it. Now that is a quantitative goal isn’t it?
As I move forward to share this journal, my words and “hugs” I will need to get really uncomfortable. I think about the next book and life transition to write about (new mom's get ready), yes, more uneasiness, but my framework is laid for this year. The theme party awaits and it’s time to be a good host, regardless how the party ends. That’s the point – it’s facing the unknown and accepting the outcome as part of your journey.
Alex Lifeson, famous Canadian band guitarist was interviewed by the Globe and Mail. He told them about his new projects and life after Rush. “It’s fun to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. If you have a little bit of confidence and you just get out of your own way, these things can happen.’’
It is time to put on some armour and get out of my own way, because the year of uncomfortable is upon me.
Bring it 2018.