i have a confession

Dear March 2020

Dear March 2020,

I started the month with high hopes and expectations. I had spent months preparing for a system conversion, worked crazy hours the first week and half of the month, and was preparing to get back to normal. Little did i know, that life was about to change dramatically. On March 13th I found out that my oldest daughter’s school system was closing for two weeks. I naively thought this would be short-lived. As we all know too well, what we thought would be a brief period at home, turned into a year. A year that has looked like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

The last year has not been the best. Days turned into weeks, which turned into months without seeing or touching the people we love. We have seen friends and family suffer, and in some cases, die from Covid-19. We have watched as loved ones get laid off and businesses close as our economy struggles under the weight of the pandemic. The list goes on about what has been terrible, bad, or not that great for the last year.

BUT I would argue that the last year has had some redeeming attributes. Please allow me to share the goodness I have found in the last year…

  1. I am grateful for a slower pace. We all know that we need to slow down or we’ll fall down, and I feel like 2020 made us all do that without apologies or regrets.

  2. Extra time with my children to observe firsthand their growth, learning, and experience with school. The window into their day(s) has been amazing. I’m in awe of how my oldest is as a student, and how my youngest is learning how to be a good peer among her classmates.

  3. Soft Pants – Working from home means that a work mullet (business on the top, soft pants or no pants on the bottom) is totally acceptable, as long as my appearance in view of the camera is professional. No one needs to know or see what’s below my desk, but my supervisor can rest assured there are always pants on.

  4. Getting outside (almost) every day has been so good for my soul. In 2019 I read the book There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather by Linda Åkeson McGurk with the hopes of making it a way of life. It took a pandemic to make it happen, but I’m committed. Raining outside? Put on a raincoat, some wellies, and get to puddle jumping. Cold outside? Put on a thick coat, a hat, some gloves, and get to walking. Hot outside? Put on some shorts, a t-shirt, some sunscreen, some sunglasses, and stroll.

  5. A deeper appreciation of making choices for the greater good. Growing up as a Japanese American, there was the recurring phrase “a good Japanese daughter wouldn’t ____.” As an adolescent, this was an infuriating thing for my mom to say, but she wasn’t wrong. Sometimes you have to make choices that are for the good of others not just yourself. So I will wear my mask, get my vaccine (soon!), maintain 6’ of social distance, and (im)patiently wait until I can see all the people I have missed.

I will say it again…
The last year may not have been the best, BUT I would argue that the last year has had some redeeming attributes. While some may want to rush back to the way things were before, I’m going to lean into the good things I’ve loved this last year. What lessons have you learned in the last year?

xoxo,
C


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taking care

you survived…celebrate that!


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Here we are…down to the 11th hour in the year 2017. Social media is rife with emotional diatribes and reflections of the past year. Some include a laundry list of accomplishments, others include a giant list of things to never do again. No matter what happened this year — good or bad — it seems we all want to talk about it. Soooo, let’s talk! How did it go for you? Was it the #bestever? Was it totally forgettable? Perhaps it was somewhere in between…

Full disclosure-having a winter birthday has made me into one of these wistful wintertime wonderers. Around the beginning of December each year, I start this little scorekeeping activity. Did I do everything I said I would? Did I do it well? Did I suck less at some things and excel at others? Did I completely change my life for the better? If I didn’t, do I still have enough time left to make my mark?

I gotta tell ya, as important as I feel it is to self-evaluate, I generally feel pretty awful about myself after this little exercise. Why? Because I’m always so disappointed. I’m really good at finding room for improvement, everywhere, all the time. This is a great habit for productivity and goal setting, but pretty miserable for self-esteem. Sometimes the accomplishment is survival. Sometimes, like my best friend Crystal says, done is enough.  So that’s how I feel about this year. It’s almost done, y’all!

As long as I can remember, I have tried to “figure it out”; tried to equate what I have with what I feel I deserve. And guess what always happens? Since I am the common denominator in the events of my life, I  have to blame myself for all the shortcomings. I resent my multitudinous bad habits. I am envious of what others have done that I believe to be better or more important than my own accomplishments.

This is all negative reinforcement and I find myself asking why I do this? What is the point in keeping score? Tallying arbitrary accolades that mean very little to anyone else and say very little about the person I am. At some point, will I accumulate enough positive life events to win something? Will 365 days of AWESOME bring me to some amazing place of clarity and self-actualization?

The logical part of my brain is laughing at the mere thought of this. If we know perfection does not exist, why do we still expect it from ourselves? The purpose of life is not to be perfect, but to live; to continue experiencing one moment to the next for as long as we have moments on earth. In order to do that, we must be present. We have to participate in all the moments fully. We have to find the best in every moment/day/year…even the really sh*tty ones.

Through my yoga teacher training, I have come to accept that we can only control our reactions and responses. From this latest year on earth, I have come to learn that life really isn’t fair. It is from this place that I offer my conclusions on the year 2017

  1. Some sh*t happened.
  2. Some of that sh*t was positive – YAY!
  3. Some of that sh*t was negative…but it provided a chance to learn/regroup/restrategize-still a YAY!
  4. So far, I’ve managed to survive every day..even the really sh*tty ones.

Whatever happened this year, be grateful for it and then let it go. It hasn’t taken the breath from your lungs, the love from your heart, or the thoughts from your head. Celebrate every d@*% thing that you went through this year because it made you tougher, stronger, better. Bad things help us know and trust ourselves more. They make us resilient. Good things help us stay motivated to continue doing more. They empower us. So really, all things are good things, if you want to see it that way.

We are ALL strong. We are ALL overcoming. We are ALL brave. Let’go into this new year with a goal to make it through the whole stinkin’ thing, NO MATTER WHAT!

I believe in you guys…

xoxo,

E


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