see footnote about this quote
I start each year with a combination of wistful yearning and a load of fractured freeze-frames from past experiences. This year I ABSOLUTELY WILL / WILL NOT . . . and wonder if I’ll ever make the changes in my life that matter — and keep them safe.
Today, while riding an old-fashioned stationary bike with the giant front-tire fan, the kind that works on arm and leg power, the phrase “Show up at the page!” became wonderfully clear.
Just show up at the page, and watch what happens. The page is a metaphor for whatever you want in life. In this context, “the page” is our health club.
Instead of a detailed plan for how many minutes I want to ride the bike, or do PT exercises, or stretch — if I just “show up at the page (the Club)” I’m 100% more likely to actually let myself do something, instead of talk about doing it, or agonize about when to go, missing a class time, etc., and doing nothing. Well, not “nothing” — I spend a lot of time feeling frustrated and beating myself up for failing.
Show up at the page.
Mary wrote about FlyLady, who I think should receive a Nobel Prize for her contribution to preserving sanity; her concepts of Baby Steps, and letting go of perfectionism; and her sage saying, “You are not behind! Jump in and start where you are!”
Don’t try to catch up with, and do penance for, all the burdens in your life. You can only do what comes next, not what you woulda/ shoulda/ coulda/ done earlier.
I forget this constantly, keep trying to time-travel back to fix … something. Investing in the guilt, shame, let-down pain never magically makes it any different.
Show up at the page. Every page that means something to you. Clutter driving you nuts? Pick up that one item that triggers the immediate feeling. Put it away, throw it away, give it away. Just one thing. Now.
Listen to FlyLady and go shine your kitchen sink — another metaphor for creating and accomplishing a small task that you keep up with. Each room, each project, can have a “shiny sink” to represent something you keep sacred for yourself.
Show up at the page, and get your buns to the place you work out for your own health and clarity. The park, the Club, the pool. Your friend’s house so you can walk and talk.
Show up at the page, and let yourself type the words you need for your blog post, whether it means starting it on the iPad, waiting for your hubby to get his hair cut, while you are running errands.
I don’t remember where I found this one, but I love it. If you know, please tell me so I can credit it properly.
Show up at the page and clean and fill TWO of your favorite fountain pens (not the whole tribe of them) and sit down for a few moments to let your mind unload all it’s carrying around before you go to bed, or to do Morning Pages — regardless of what time of the day it is.
Show up at the page. Transition between tasks. Don’t resent the note you make to remind yourself where you left off in your manuscript edit. Jot down those last ideas in the margin of your poem-in-progress.
Embrace the radical idea that doing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen are actually part of “fixing dinner”. I don’t know about you, but no matter how many times I’ve told myself I’d really prefer doing the dishes later, I carry them with me until they are done.
Like juggling an armload of packages, hunting for car keys, and holding on to an insistent 55 lb. Poodle’s leash as she discovers a squirrel invading her territory. Talk about focus!
This is a long way to introduce some of the practicalities, and drop at least part of the BS, of this year’s project: Take Care of Me First, or TaCaMeFi.
Each of the issues I raised in this post are important to me, as I slow down enough to hear what’s in my heart, and explore how to treat myself with the love, respect, honesty, and support I’d give to my best friend.
I believe we must constantly pay attention to what supports our inner and outer beauty, accept that sometimes saying NO is the kindest act, and allow into our lives what helps us thrive. No matter what our age, we can never over-learn this.
So, join me in the TaCaMeFi Club. Steep dues: be honest and loving to yourself. Meetings: every day, with yourself. Create your own support team of like-minded friends and future-friends who endeavor to treat themselves as precious treasures while extending the same to you. Be mindful of critical mass.
Make time and space for your Muse. Sometimes she needs to chill with you, refill her well, while you do the same with yours. And remember to be grateful for, and nurture, all that is good in your life.
(I’m still not sure how to give appropriate credit for items copied from sites I visit. The opening quote came from, as best I can piece it together, this site:
If I have this wrong, please let me know and I’ll be glad to fix it. There were some marvelous sayings on the site.)