I mentioned last week that I’m exploring the Reverb 10 project in hopes that it will get me excited about 2011. Here’s a recent prompt that had me running to my journal:
I love lists so I was excited to pursue this prompt, but once I had my pen in hand I realized just how difficult this would be. I could go on for days telling you about the things I wish to add to my life, but I rarely spend time thinking about what I need to eliminate. But after two days of thinking I finally came up with this list:
1. Negative self talk. Most of us are complete jerks to ourselves. As I recount the things I think and even say out loud about myself — I’m so fat, I am so stupid sometimes, There’s no way I’m ever going to make a name for myself in publishing — I realize just how cruel I can be. Funny thing is, I say things to myself that I would never even think about my friends or even my enemies. Next year I promise to be nicer to myself.
2. Using credit cards. On January 1, 2011 the credit cards are coming out of my wallet and they’re going to stay out. I’ll never pay off my debt if I don’t stop creating more of it and the guilt I feel each time I swipe that piece of plastic is just making me miserable.
3. Fruitless daydreaming. I’m not talking about giving up on goals. I’m talking about no longer sitting around thinking about how great life would be if I drove an Infiniti or lived in New York or had Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe. I’m talking about no longer focusing on things that are never going to actually make me into the woman God intends for me to be.
4. Worry. You know the saying, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.” It’s time I actually take this to heart and find something better to do than rock back and forth in place.
5. TV. This will be hard because as I mentioned last week a lot of the time I spend with Edd in the evenings is spent in front of the tube. But I do believe that if I spent less time watching “Baggage” I’d spend more time writing essays and reading good books. Instead of completely nixing TV I’m considering designating a few TV-free days each week.
6. Processed foods. One of my primary goals for 2011 is to eat more fresh and healthy foods, even if that means reducing the quantity of groceries to increase the quality.
7. My candy addiction. I will drive to Walgreens in a storm to get Tropical Chewy Lemonheads & Friends. Yeah, I got it bad.
8. Professional insecurity. Feeling inadequate at work is getting annoying and old. I’s time to to dig up some self-confidence.
9. Envy. Those futile daydreams I mentioned before are usually triggered by this very thing, but in 2011 I shall slay that green-eyed monster once and for all.
10. My Scrooge-like tendencies. My husband loves the holiday season. I probably like Calculus more than Christmas. But this year I realized that my bah hum bug behavior is putting a damper on December days for Edd. So, sweetie, here’s a public apology and a promise that next year I’m going to help you have your happiest holidays yet. Actually, why wait until next year? I’m shedding my down with Christmas attitude right now, just for you babe.
11. Poor body image. Sadly, this is probably the thing I struggle with more than all else these days and it causes me to waste too much time and energy obsessing over meal plans and workout regimens. I have a pal who believes that self-esteem is basically a learned habit. For a year she practiced thinking positive thoughts about her body and countering negative self-talk like “I’m fat” with more loving statements. And her deal was that she would love her body no matter what – whether she lost weight or gained, ate a salad or a cupcake, went for a run or skipped the gym to watch a NCIS marathon (okay, that’s something I’m more likely to do than she is, but you get the point.) And you know what, I think her experiment worked. She honestly seems like one of the happiest, most confident women I know. Next year this time I hope someone is able to say those words about me.