Last night, after I had eaten Cheese Its, chips, and Swedish Fish in my bed, while watching reruns of ER, while looking up youtube videos of dogs being rescued from the streets, I came downstairs to let Jeff go to sleep. I turned on Nashville (SO GOOD) and then opened my computer. I found Design for Mankind- one of my very favorite blogs, but one that you really have to be able to read and not just skim or look at the pictures One that I often have to come back to later. It inspires me in design and beauty, and it doesn't hurt that Erin is the most gorgeous person and writer. Her Design for Minikind encourages me in motherhood so much. Her letters to Bee, her daughter, are some of the most beautiful and honest portraits of motherhood.
So, after I had become the picture of health in my bed, I started reading her series on Whole30, no less. UGH. Why is it always that you find the most health inspired diet plans when you have just gained 30 pounds in 30 minutes by eating everything you love in one sitting?? (Maybe thats just me.) It was so inspiring, and of course made me want to pin every recipe, cut out sugar in my coffee the next morning, and see if I could make it at least to lunch on a my new wave of self control.
Then, this morning, after getting up frequently the night before and then finally giving in at 6 for the day with Shea, I read this post on the myth of effortlessness. It felt eye opening and simple at the same time, and it was just so encouraging to me.
I completely identify with this piece so much. I want everything to be effortless. I want to half ass my way through life and never put real effort into anything so that I never fail. I want to do what comes easy and I want to feel normal, whatever that means. Not to mention, putting effort into things is hard.
But, I don't want to be the person who ignores personal growth because it is too difficult or because I do not come by it naturally. I want to actually improve and grow and push through the uncomfortable feeling of knowing I can give more but I dont want to put forth the energy. It was good to be reminded in her excerpt that in almost every profession or hobby, most people do not start out all that good at it. Many people have to learn and try and research and redo their swing, or their camera settings or their eating habits. I know that is not rocket science, but with DIYs that have very few steps (and every step looks beautiful already) and pictures all over the web that only show the end result and not all the tries that ended up in the trash- it can seem like it is not as hard for others. It can seem like people who actually try and fail and have to try again at things, are in the minority. And that if something doesn't come naturally, then maybe we were not meant to do it at all. I often pawn it off on the idea that I am not a perfectionist or a detail person. Those things are true, but in defining myself that way, I limit what I am able to accomplish not just now, but in everything I try in the future.
I don't know why it became so much more clear this morning. It is not as if I have not been around people who try hard my entire life. My mom and dad are two of the hardest working people in the world. They give 110% to everything. From running companies and foundations, to perfectly ironing every piece of laundry that goes through the washing machine. Then, I married Jeff who has two speeds- all, or a nap. He watched him put so much effort into grad school, then med school (where every bit of it was new information) and to every dream he has. I have watched Brooke work hard and accomplish so much in Crossfit. Julie and Linds literally do everything to the best of their ability that everything they create could be sold in stores. I have seen Allison rally out of one of the worst life changing situations I have ever seen and also watched so many of my other friends make the most of terrible terrible situations- divorce, eating disorders, moving across oceans, death. So, I am going to try to incorporate that oomph into my own life. I want to teach my kids to work hard. Even if all they want to do is throw in the towel and eat cheese its in bed. I want them to know that they can transform their life, their personality, their interests- just by putting in some effort. That they do not have to be defined by the limits they put on themselves- they can defy those limitations and become so much more. It just may take a little bit, and it may take a lot, of time and effort. But it will be so worth it.
I am writing all of this down because I feel like this has been a blinking yellow light off in the distance for a while now, and I am slowly getting closer to it. My friend Carrie and I just had this conversation via email. Then, I watched Jeff and really took in his homework tactics with Ben. How he pushes him and takes the time to make him put forth the effort to improving every last letter Ben writes down. And then I saw it in actual writing in her blogpost. And the cherry on top, I am currently listening to Bob Dylan's "The Times they are a-changin'".
So far, no sugar in my coffee. My first venture into change will be of the self control variety. Wish me luck. It is definitely not my strong suit.
But times, they are a changing'.