Last year, I signed up for a class at Big Picture Classes. It was called “One Little Word” with Ali Edwards. The idea is, you pick one word that encompasses what you want for yourself that year. There are monthly assignments for photographs and journalling. My 2012 word was “Intentions”. You know all the things you intend to do and just don’t even put forth any real effort towards? The things maybe you think about wanting to do as you’re driving home from the store and then it just completely leaves your mind by the time you get home. Or the things you really feel committed to after a cup of coffee (or bottle of wine) with a friend. My main intentions for 2012 were to lose weight (fine, I’ll put it right there at the top), move my business forward (er, actually make money) and keep up with Project Life. I even ordered a necklace with my OLW (one little word) on it.
I didn’t lose weight but I made a lot of progress on eating healthy & a little bit of progress on making exercise a part of my lifestyle. I moved my business forward in that I shot more client sessions than ever but didn’t really make money because I didn’t keep my expenses in check and gave too many discounts. I didn’t keep up on Project Life. At all. And I barely used my camera to take pictures of my kids, especially when I was busy with client sessions. Also, I didn’t even touch the OLW class materials. I just plain didn’t take the time to even open the assignment emails. Here’s the thing though, I feel the personal accountability for those things. I have accepted them as unfulfilled intentions and have stayed mindful of them since last January. I haven’t made lame excuses as to why I didn’t fulfill them. There are no valid reasons and there’s no one to blame but myself.
This year? I don’t have a OLW. I didn’t sign up for the class. This year? This is the year of ME. This is the year I do things like fitness challenges at the gym, carry a grown-up purse, wear red lipstick (sometimes), buy clothes that aren’t on sale & from places other than Old Navy and Target, allow myself to work when my kids are around, take the time to write on a blog that has no clear goals or purpose & last but not least, get decent sleep. I promise that I’m not trying to embark on a mid-life transformation where I begin frosting my hair, selling nutritional supplements and alternating facebook statuses with party pics & proselytizing my new-found faith at a new-found church. Not gonna happen. I’m still wearing my “intentions” necklace because it is a tangible reminder of these intentions as well as less self-centered intentions like tracking my spending, making housework & laundry a part of a solid routine (bbooorrring). But this is the year I do things that I know will make me feel better about myself. This is the year I choose a few grown-up things to do so that I can continue to indulge in less grown-up things.
So what’s with the wig? I got that wig before my friends and I went to a Madonna concert last fall. We had our makeup done before leaving town & wore crazy wigs. We had an absolutely fantastic time. Something about getting away for a night and wearing what for all intents & purposes was a disguise was eye-opening for me. Until then, I did not realize how self-conscious I had become. That night, I was confident with what I was wearing & how I looked. And I realized over the next couple of days that I don’t usually feel like that. I have a wonderfully amazing circle of friends. We do lots of fun stuff, whether it’s big like a concert or taking our kids swimming or just getting together after putting our kids in bed to drink a glass of wine and relax. My marriage is in a strong, good place. My kids are great. I’m not suffering or losing myself in motherhood. So why wasn’t my self-esteem commensurate with how good everything else in my life was? I don’t do a lot of negative self-talk or complaining about my appearance. I don’t have time for that & quite frankly am not interested in the “Oh I’m so fat” conversations thick with “No you’re not, you’re fine…”. That’s just awkward and not productive.
That’s my 2013. I’m focusing on things that are good for me; things that are self-indulgent in a positive way. I did this self-portrait on January 11 as an outward reminder that it’s time to clear out the cobwebs and do what it takes to get my self-image in check with the rest of my life. Because the rest of my life is blonde wig & red-lipstick-worthy. Also, at the very top of my list is a good pair of yoga pants. I’m planning on some from Athleta unless y’all can talk me into Lululemons.