Dec 11: 11 Things

Today’s Reverb 10 prompt asks: What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

This is an intimidating assignment…not because I can’t think of 11 things, but because it’s going to take a LONG time to go through all 11.  I’d better get started!

1. Shoulds: To start things off…my life could use a lot fewer “shoulds.”  In fact, I would be very happy if I managed to remove the phrase “I should…” from my vocabulary.  This is largely a question of awareness and correcting myself -either aloud or mentally- when I say it and rephrasing “Shoulds” to “I could…” or “I will…”  This practice will help me step into my own power and begin undoing a lifetime of patterning.

2. A depressing “To-do in this life” list: Last year I wrote 100 goals for 2010 and began a “to-do in this life” list.  Both of them are depressing.  They are chock full of “shoulds.”  I would like to throw them out the window and begin again, only adding things that make my soul sing.

3. Credit Card Debt: A given, really.  Who needs credit card debt?  Paying our credit cards off and keeping them empty would be amazing and would free up a TON of money every month.  But how do we do it?  I’m a stay-at-home mom, and my husband’s not expecting a raise until the spring at least.  Going back to work a “normal” job would not be financially worth it (I’ve never earned more than $11 an hour, and decent daycare here is about $850/month).  So the key is going to be earning money creatively while SAHM-ing.  And if I could do that…it would change my life in more ways than I can possibly imagine.  It’s been my dream for the past 2 years…I want to finally make it a reality.

4. Mommy-burnout: Up until last month I had not had more than 2 hours off since Xander was born.  Imagine if you worked a regular job 24/7 for more than 2 years with no more than 2 hours off in one go.  Yeah…burnout.  More than burnout…you’d be dead.  Things are getting better.  I’m taking an afternoon off every week.  In my ideal world we’d work out a system where I could have a weekday evening off too.  But the point is…Mommy burnout sucks, and when I take time out for myself I find I’m more creative, more productive, and a better parent the rest of the time (duh).

5. Money-stress: In the same realm as credit card debt, stressing about money sucks, and being able to eliminate it would be amazing. This has a two-part solution: 1. working on my mental tapes and my habit of borrowing trouble.  2. finding a way to bring in more (any) money.

6. Overstructuring:In my quest to enrich Xander’s day-to-day life, I have a habit of picking a place to go or a thing to do.  That’s a wonderful idea, but it all falls apart when either he or I or both of us don’t actually want to *do* what I’ve planned but I stubbornly try to stick to the agenda.  Then it becomes this massive fight and it’s really annoying.  I’d like to let go of the need to “get it done.”  I’d also like to remember that just going outside and poking around is more enriching for Xander than being dragged to the library/pool/store and back.  Losing my tendency to overstructure would make both me and Xander more laid back and able to enjoy each day as it comes.  It would also give Xander more unstructured outdoor play opportunities, which are vital to his development (so says the book I’m reading, and I tend to agree with it).  I don’t have a magic trick to solve this one…I just need to remember it as much as I can and catch myself in the overstructuring act.

7. Stasis: This one is all about my body.  I want to move again.  This body is tired of sitting and hunching and cramping up.  It wants to move and stretch and flow and dance.  Every day.  All the time.  I have big dreams that involve this body and the art I could create with it if I wasn’t so creaky.  Moving out of stasis would mean that I could begin creating again and doing my Real Work (some of it, anyway).

8. Binge eating: Oh, the wonders of binge eating.   It would be so nice if it would just go away.  I suppose the first step would be to get down to the reasons why I do it (I have theories), and then address those issues in real and permanent ways.  Another cookie is NOT going to help.  If I managed to get to the underlying issues…can you imagine the healing?!  It would be amazing!

9. Clutter: I actually did a massive declutter when we moved, but it seems to be encroaching again.  I love the feeling of space and clarity that a clutter-free home brings with it.  And I love the process of weeding out the stuff that’s no longer needed.

10. Busy-ness: I am extremely good at avoiding my Real Work by making Busy Work.  It can range from obsessively cleaning the apartment to making lists to suddenly NEEDING to learn to make the perfect pie.  My husband can tell when I’m doing it…but I’m not so good at detecting the pattern.  If I could eradicate it I would have more space, time, and energy to devote to work that really matters.  Identifying the problem is the first step…and identifying the alternative (what I REALLY want to do) would be the next one (again, I have theories…enough to go on).

11. Parenting Critics: I’m not a mainstream mom.  I make choices that my mother doesn’t approve of.  But I am sick and tired of questioning my own ability to make decisions every time someone criticizes me.  This is about finding my inner groundedness and my belief in what I do.  It’s also about standing up to people who judge me and asking them to kindly back off.  And, finally it’s about doing the same for others and not judging them harshly either.  Moms in particular can be such jerks to each other…when really sometimes what we need is a hug and a willing (and NON CRITICAL) ear.  In 2011 my life could really do with less parenting critics (internal and external) and more parenting compassion (internal and external).

OK, it’s technically Dec 12th now (has been for 10 minutes), so I am going to wind this up now.  I *knew* this would be a long one!

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