Ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you: I am a go-getter, a self-motivated doer, a driven list-maker, and someone who thrives on checking completed goals off of that list. It’s just who I am, a perfectionist control freak with a wildly stubborn streak. I’m a joy to live with. Truly. All kidding aside, I do have very high expectations for myself and I don’t allow any deviations in my plans. I crave the stability and control that comes with having clear cut goals in front of me that simply need to be completed.
Last year, for Declare It Day, I set a pretty lofty goal for myself. I was going to run two 100 mile races, one of those races in less than 24 hours, and in my “spare time” finish writing my very first book. All in the same year. Did I mention I’m also married with two young children, one with special needs? Or that I work part-time and hold two separate volunteer positions? Or that I’m also involved in nearly everything that my life touches, church, school, and more? Or that I’m a typical over-achiever who is guilty of attaching my entire self-worth to my accomplishments?
I attained each one of my goals last year but I barely made it out of 2015 alive, in so many different ways. I ran myself into the ground, exhausted and under pressure to follow through on these things that seemed written in stone to me. I demanded perfection from myself at any cost. And then, as it often does, life happened. I was thrown into icy, raging waters, and I didn’t even know how to swim. All of the control I thought I had was only an illusion. I was sure I was going to drown on my own without a soul to witness my steady and slow descent.
Clarity doesn’t ever seem to live in the moment. Clarity often visits me in the ugliest parts of the struggle. In that struggle, I could finally see what I was doing to myself. I screamed for help at the top of my lungs and it came in the form of a pile of life preservers thrown down to me. In those moments, alone and unsure of how I would go on, I saw everything that mattered and everything that didn’t so clearly. I am not the sum of my accomplishments. I do not need to constantly strive to do even more. I am enough. For myself. And for others.
This year, I have decided to do something radically different. I don’t have a specific goal in mind for Declare It Day. I have a concept instead. I want to live my life with intention and practice connection, bravery, and authenticity. In my quest for these things, I want to realign my life with my passions and seek out what truly makes me happy. I will never cross this concept off of my list as done, but continue to practice it with grace and kindness to myself.
Declare It Day is February 6.
Join us. Honor your journey, your reasons, your failures.
Be willing to fall… determined to rise.