Monday, January 01, 2007

Say Yes

Advanced mea culpa's if what follows sounds more like an audition for a motivational speaker than a simple blog entry. It's just that I'm passionate about this human tendency we have to often settle for less simply because we can't or don't or won't take the action to begin moving us in another direction. If you've read any of my previous blog-o-ramble you know I love my life, and because I treasure so much the quality of my life today I have regret for the years I wasted living a life that was less than it could have been. I wish I could have known myself sooner, found love sooner, opened my eyes to the world sooner, taken care of this phatgirl body sooner. At the same time, I hold each "if only" hand in hand with accepting that the Anita I was, was doing all she knew to do and so I try to go easy on her and remember her gently and treat her compassionately, for while it's true that sooner is better than later, I've come to embrace the idea that later is better than never.

All that I've muttered through in that scrambled first paragraph was just an introduction to say what I intended to say all along and that is this - - -

Yes you can. The only reason you can't is because you won't try.

  • You haven't lost weight because you won't get off the couch and make the necessary life changes.
  • You haven't began a new career because you won't go back to school to get the training that's required.
  • You haven't found love with a special someone because you won't take the chance to ask him or her if they feel the same for you.
  • You haven't developed a spiritual connection with God because you won't admit to being reliant on anyone other than yourself.

But it's not too late to have or do or be any of those things. Let 2007 be the year to begin, not to arrive but simply to begin. Everything we long for begins with one small and single action and if you make 2007 the year of beginning your dream, then 2010 can be the year of living your dream.

  • If you want to lose weight, look honestly at how you've been eating and change just one thing that will reduce your intake of calories TODAY.
  • If you want to get in shape, get up off the couch and walk around the block or go to the gym where you own a life-time membership TODAY. (Don't worry. They'll issue you a new card at minimal cost.)
  • If you want to spend your life with a more fulfilling career find out what classes are being offered at the local community college and sign up for one TODAY.
  • If you want to find the love of life, make a list of all the virtues and characteristics you would want that special someone to possess and then use that list to begin to transform who you are TODAY. (When we grow into what we want to find in another, the other often finds us.)
  • If you long for a spiritual life, to know God as you are known and to love God as you are loved, bend your knees on the floor and tell say "Hello, it's me" TODAY.

When we look at the first step it takes to moving in a direction that will enrich our lives, why do we hesitate to take them? Why don't we do what we need to do to become who we most want to be, to have what we most desire, to be in relationship with who we most yearn to know?

Here's my guess. Fear. Always fear. Afraid we'll fail as we did in past attempts. Afraid we're not young enough or smart enough to learn what we need to learn. Afraid that our heart will be broken or that we'll be rejected. Afraid in needing God we'll look weak or naive or that God won't come through for us or even show up for us. Simply put, we're afraid to risk but you. are. worth. the. risk. And so is your dream. No one you admire in this world has arrived where they are without risk, without failures, without an occasional mess. A life lived without a few failures is a life that never lived to its full potential. Risk the chance.

And remember, the results don't come overnight. Instant gratification is fine for 5-minute rice but it doesn't work for the big dreams of life. Life changes come through decision built upon decision, step after step. Everything great, all that we dream for takes commitment, tendacity, discipline, hard work, and time, and they all begin with that very first step. That moment when we say yes, the instant when we nod our head to the dream and decide we will do whatever it takes, as long as it takes, to move from where we are to where we want to be.

2010 will be here before any of us can imagine so this year take the first action to fulfill the dream of a lifetime. Make the commitment. Do the work. Risk the sacrifice. Put new priorities in place. Say yes. Give a nod.


dixie said... I was reading your post I was wondering how you knew so much about me when we've never met. I can't do anything I want because I WON'T even try. I want the 5-minute rice. The only problem with that is it's usually fails and you end up throwing it out.

This the first day of a new year is the first day of a new beginning. All the past attempts, failures and disappointments are just that ... the past. I can learn from them but I can't let them control who I am and where I'm going.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post - thank you Anita.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow must be my day to begin something which will allow me to be more likeable, more fun, more energetic, more the me I know is still inside somewhere. Maybe I'll find me under the 15 lbs. I've been dragging along.
Thank you, my friend...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. Sometimes I think we say no because we don't think we deserve it. I'm going to post: "Say Yes" on my bulletin board.

Linda Stipe said...

WoW Girl, this was the best post I have read in along time! From anyone. I am so glad I read it as I am going down into the basement again, to face, "The Octopus." I have spent the last three days encircling it in a plastic bubble, walls and floors. I have spent hours down there, doing this. "FACING THE OCTOPUS." That is the preliminary to the activity that I face: dismantling it. It looks like a sterile field now, laced with hanging lights, and lights on stands. It is quiet down there right now, the WAR about to begin. I have the surgery table equipped with every tool necessary to the removal of the large air ducts, and heating vents. They are overly large, a comment on post WWII, where everything was done in regard to the next frightening world event. Have I ever removed a furnace larger than a car? No, I haven't. Have I thought about it for the last twenty-five years that I have lived in this house? Yes, too many times. I am at the point where I am tired of thinking about it. That is the point of spiritual resurrection, when we are tired of thinking about something, and willing to do what it takes to face "THE OCTOPUS." I imagine that somehow, I will not return to the steps that lead to the family room upstairs. That I will be trapped and encircled in suffocating plastic, hating myself, and my great ideas. I imagine this and I imagine that. I am solving the control of my mind by stroking and hefting two large hammers, found on the end of a three foot wooden shaft. Sledge Hammers. Doing this makes me feel like Rocky Balboa, and makes me feel like I am not alone, and will not go alone into that dark night of fear. The dogs are out in the van. They do not want to get out of the van. They smell something, and it terrifies them. I threw some bones in there, left the sliding door open, and told them: "You are on your own, you know where I'll be."

Linda Stipe said...

By the way, I was graded on my last semester, as I found a way into the on-line grading system, the method which seems to be regarded as a national secret. I had a hell of a semester, which included reading 32 books. I am sitting in front of my bookcase right now, and just counted the books I was required to read. Three months ago, when faced with this reading list, I started crying, and had an anxiety attack. Not about the number, but about the subjects. Not one subject or author that I would have selected for myself. That was my first experienced of 'faith' in an academic setting. All good reads, and all authors that changed my life. As well, the first day, when I discovered that my professors were trained in Rome, I have never had such certainity that enrolling in school was the biggest mistake of my life. Little did I know, that these professors would make me sound and look like a kitten. Mid-semester, after publically confronting the skin-head "Chad," who was in all of my classes, I thought I was toast. Little did I understand about my professors and the environment that I was in.
I am not an academic, nor am I a theologian, historian, literary critic, nor the basic brillant student. Entering school at 58 was a leap of faith, and a desire to answer the irritating call for personal change and re-entering life. What can I say? Three A's, and they were not expected.