Today I was getting tires rotated, balanced and prepped for our Thanksgiving Holiday road trip. While in the waiting room I devoured this surprisingly diverse offering of magazines to look over. I found the always yummy craft and food delight,"Martha Stewart Living," "Better Homes and Gardens," amazing photos in "Traveler," then "Inc." I took notice of the "Inc." mag at the bottom of the pile that dawned the famous "500 List" for the year.
Prior to this stop at the tire shop I was reeling out of control on the inside full of anxious energy so forceful in my chest I felt I could have willed microwave popcorn into delicious buttery goodness... I swore I could feel myself putting off some serious voltage. A mixed bag of emotion; happy, excited, anticipation, and of course, worry. I was putting to much on my virtual plate once again, with the unrealistic expectation that I could get it all accomplished within the next 24 hours before going on a family excursion. I was going over and over a two page list of to-do's and appointments that created this tension inside me just looking at it. Why did it make me feel this way? It was just chicken scratch. No one even knew that I had these expectations for my day but me. What was the big deal? "No body's perfect Bridge." I told myself. I began to sit with this with energy and focus on it. What was my intention? It came to me that I wasn't seeking perfection. I was seeking the approval of others. I was seeking the perception of the ideal.
"What in the hell are you talking about Bridget?" Uggh... I argue on the inside with myself sometimes. Ideally, we will be leaving the house for our trip at exactly such time in the morning later this week with this list done. Ideally, I will have this list accomplished so that my children, husband, friends, even caretakers of our home and pets will see that nothing is out of place, amiss, and I have my stuffin' together! I need this list done, so my out of control anxiety, which is linked to fear of judgment can be subsided. And, not just fear of others judging me, but when I come home from said trip I do not want to have a list of what I feel are failures to be staring me in the face. This will lead me to fuss at myself or my family. I have been hustling my toosh off to get ready for this trip, but why do I do this to myself all the time!?
You see this is no ordinary trip. We are taking our family to a place that my Lils have asked to go since they were cognizant of branding. Disney. World. You know the magical wonderful world of Disney? Character, Princesses, park rides, oh my! Frankly, I am stoked! My friend Nicole and I have concocted a plan to drop the bomb at breakfast on day two of trip to our two youngest daughters, a.k.a. "The Lils." This plan of fake Christmas presents for someone else, only to have them open up a box of grab bag Disney swag we hope will have them squealing with joy. All this planning and waiting so they can have a surprise experience that "ideally," they will carry with them for the rest of their lives... Seriously, they have no idea! It will be glorious!!
However, this family vacation has more depth than it's destination. This trip is representative of where we've been, where we are, and where we go from here. This trip is made possible not just by two Mama Bear's hustle; mapping it out with her amazing abilities to snag a deal (she truly is an incredibly organized and well planned executive and world traveler). No friends, there is more to it than that. This trip is also made possible by my husband who has worked his toosh off to heal from a major depressive battle and provide for his family. He made the decision to fight for himself, his children, and his marriage. Sure he was down and out, bottom of his barrel, but he didn't stay there. This trip is made possible by supportive family members who generously let us use their points (Thank you Gilmartins) for hotel lodging. Incredibly supportive family, who encouraged us to miss spending time honored traditions with them in order to have our own family experience. To live in the moment together. This trip is made possible by two older sisters who have been on a roller coaster with us as parents but agreed to yet another crazy road trip. Sisters who still like we parents enough to desire being in a vehicle with us and their younger siblings for, ummmm... lets say, four days total. This trip is made possible by learning that even if it is a monetary sacrifice, we have stayed the course. We waited. We saved. We sure made mistakes. However, those financial wounds can heal too when we make better decisions together... This trip is made possible by learning from my incredible mentor and grandfather that while waiting for death, and meeting it head-on, it is a humans greatest teacher for living.
As I sat waiting for the van to be finished, quietly split in two. Part of me was going over the list battling with why I seek only ideal outcomes in so many areas of life. Agonizing over why I push so hard when the reality is, the house is lived in, I drive the van like a 4 x 4 truck, we are all why we can't have nice things and our home interior doesn't look like these magazine house shoots! The other half of my brain at this point was scanning the July 2017 issue of "Inc." All of a sudden a quote from Katia Beauchamp, co-founder of the subscription based beauty company Birchbox halted my attention. It read:
"The reality of pursuing something exceptional is that it is always hard. There is no other side of hard. It's about reframing your perspective and loving the hard."
That was it. It was the answer to my internal dialogue. Why do I push so hard? Why do I seek to finish the list for the perception of the ideal? Why did we scrimp and save, toil and worry, stress and hustle, plan and daydream, comb the interweb for deals, steals, and swag? Because this trip is exceptional. Saving our marriage and our family has been hard. Every challenge, event, or occasional crisis has been hard. It has been hard and I agree with Katia, there is no other side of hard. However, I found that when I embraced the suck, loved the hard, pulled up my boot straps, did the work, loved the people through it, boo-hoo-ugly-cried, re-framed my perspective; it changed the way I saw my world. Honey, it is what pushes me to dig deeper, work harder, keep my joy, very often over extend myself, especially as an entrepreneur. Changing my perspective about the hard, is how I am going to make a simple family vacation go from a fabulous idea to an exceptional experience.
Well then... Goodbye anxiety attack... Until we meet... again.
Henry, Zoë. “How Birchbox Started Making Money? Savvy Moves and a Series of Tough Decisions.” Inc.com, Inc., July 2017, www.inc.com/magazine/201707/zoe-henry/how-i-did-it-katia-beauchamp-birchbox.html.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
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