Sunday, January 3, 2021

Straight Talk for the New Year

I hope you don't know the people in this photo. I took it at the beach a few years back but I couldn't find anything else that better represented how 2020 made me feel. 

 Let me start by saying that this post is mostly about me and where I am and what I think I need to change. But there's a pretty good chance coming out of 2020 that someone else needs to hear this.

This post is not for you if: you are the caregiver for another person. God bless you, you probably aren't even asking for all the help you really need. If you are sick or getting over an illness. I'm a big fan of proper rest. Especially if you are recovering from Covid. Our experience was that the fatigue lasted far longer and was more powerful than anyone was talking about.  Today's post isn't for you if you know deep down you are at your limit and are doing your best or if you feel at all like you are just hanging on. If any of that sounds like you, then please take care of yourself in the best way you know how. It isn't for you if you are depressed, have lost your business, or are grieving. 


The rest of us need a little straight talk. 

I love the self help world of vision boards and affirmations. It's comforting. It was especially comforting when I've been watching Netflix like it was my full time job and eating cookies on the sofa since March. You can want things to change, but the underlying attitude is that you should just accept yourself and keep telling yourself you're awesome. Lots of people need this message. If you have low self-esteem or have spent years or even decades beating yourself up. We need those voices. 

But do we need them endlessly? 

A lot of the messaging is so supportive, empathetic, and focused on self-love that it can fairly easily slide into a lack of discipline. A pass for every weakness. An excuse for every failure. I know this because I've fallen pretty deep into this trap myself in 2020. 

Yes, Netflix. I'm still watching. What's your point? 

In the self-help/motivational arena the pendulum has swung too far toward the overly compassionate self-care biased view of what's good for people.  We're starting to see repercussions of it in society. 

We've been lounging around making vision boards and saying affirmations when we should have been at local town halls, prying ourselves off the couch to go for a walk, and skipping junk food. We've been expecting so little of ourselves because, you know, the struggle is real and all, that we've become ineffective and slothful. Feckless: my anti word for the year. Our quest for happiness and bliss has caused us to steer away from telling ourselves the truth. 

I'm pretty mad to learn that the 2020 calories ended up counting. 

On social media, I've been watching a blowback campaign against a celebrity who posted that she was doing a cleanse to focus on her health. She's being called all kinds of names and accused of being intolerant of fat people. We have entered territory where instead of rude people cruelly fat-shaming, other rude people are now shaming people who are taking responsibility for their own health. We are watching the human crabs pull their own back down into the bucket.  

The best way to fight against all of this is to get our own house in order. Be responsible for ourselves. Tend our own health and wellbeing. Stop acting like life is hard. Read a history book. We are living the easiest, most luxurious, safest lives in the history of mankind, all the while whining about the struggle. 

I still made a vision board for 2021 (It's awesome) and I still think affirmations are great. But I also recognize I've been coddling myself. Anyone else lost touch with their inner adult? I've said "But we're in a pandemic!" for the last time. I'm turning off the TV and brushing the crumbs off my shirt. 

I'm getting myself in order. Who's with me? 

1 comment:

  1. So good Michelle. I have been shocked at the things I've seen people post about in the last year. Like, WOW. I've had to keep working, as has my hubby and youngest daughter, so it oddly felt the same, but oddly different too, obviously. I've learned a new version of self love because when I would see what people posted, I almost took it too personally, or those I'm friends with hold different beliefs and feeling like they weren't okay if you believed differently. I noticed things wearing on me and I needed to keep scrolling, unfollow, etc.


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