It’s January 1, 2020. Every time (EVERY. TIME.) I say ‘2020’ I do it in my best Barbara Walters voice. Which means I’m old enough to remember hearing Babs introduce the show and, unbeknownst to me, witnessing her paving the way for women. Which means I’m old enough to have a community of grey hairs taking up permanent residence on the forehead-sides of my mane. Just like my mom’s. And this year, it means I’m turning 40. *insert deer-in-the-headlights emoji*
The natural thing to do at the start of a new year/new decade is to reflect on what transpired over the past year or, in today’s case, 10. I about puked from the dizziness of the ups-downs and spin arounds when recalling all of it. To spare you the spins, here’s a linear list starting on May 5, 2010 and culminating on January 1, 2020. (Yep, Babs did it again.)
- Turned 30
- Got married – bought a house – got pregnant – miscarried – got pregnant again – miscarried again
- Got divorced at age 32
- TURMOIL – lost ‘friends’, tested my faith and sense of belonging
- Clawed my way out of ridiculous debt
- Fell in love – the real kind. With a man 16+ years my senior who is a father to four sons.
- Gained 50 pounds. Lost 50 pounds. Gained 50 pounds again. Hanging on tight.
- Realized my inner self was obliterated and lost, then figured out I have choices. Life is whatever I choose to make it.
- Discovered my purpose at age 37. Started the path to becoming a coach and started my business.
- Asked my love to marry me in August 2019. (Because tradition can take a flying leap.) BTW – he said yes!
- Finished 2019 with peace and strength like I’ve never experienced.
As I stare down the barrel of 2020, for the first time I decided to change which end of the barrel I’m on. Instead of watching and waiting for the bullet to find its way to my self-worth, I figured out it’s much better (for a plethora of obvious reasons) to be staring through the scope, in control of the trigger. The target changed because I decided to change it. Instead of letting the bullet annihilate my self-worth, I am zeroing-in and firing straight at fear. Then I’ll reload and keep firing at the other BS in my way (look-out overwhelm, doubt, expectations.) Of course I’ll have plenty of moments where I question my capability, that’s life. But I’ve been practicing over the last few years. I can and will keep going. And I’m a damn good shot.
I could let the prospect of turning 40 make me feel robbed of my youth, feeling crappy about getting ‘old’ and afraid of, well, everything that comes on the ‘downhill’ of life. Honestly, though, I’m pumped about it! Lame as it may sound, it’s a damned gift to be here and youth is overrated. My 30s were a shit-show that I wouldn’t change for anything. There was A LOT of good – A LOT – but I’m happily waving from the shore as that decade sets sail into the sunset. Bye, Felicia. Twenty-twenty is here. I’m going to make Barbara proud.
So yep, I’m a coach. Which, in most people’s context or vocabulary, usually means a sports coach. Those people who lead teams to victory with an arsenal of strategies, skills and inspirational locker room lectures.
What I do as an Expectations Exterminator and Confidence Coach isn’t that different. My coaching play book looks a little like this:
• Status check: Qs around what you want, how you’re stuck, how your days tick by…think of it as game film of how you’ve been doing life.
• Strategy: ‘X and O’ plays…action lists to change things up, stiff arm the opponent and get you from the ‘loss’ column to a solid winning streak.
• Support: Tips, encouragement, high-fives from the sidelines with plenty of time-outs to regroup and keep you on the right track. All with judgment free compassion, kick-in-the-butt accountability and some humor. Because life is fun!
Think about it…we spend the first 18-ish years of our lives guided by parents, teachers and coaches. Then we’re released into the wild…expected to figure out adulting with sideline advice as our #1 strategy. We’re programmed by adults who do their best to teach what we should do based on their own experiences. Which isn’t bad logic, per se, but what if we were taught how to listen to our own instincts and intuition, to navigate life based on our individual spirits, souls and goals?
I chose ‘Expectations Exterminator and Confidence Coach’ because building a life you love begins with finding and blasting expectations you’ve let take over. I’ll bet you don’t know just how much they rule. After that, I help you make your play book and cheer you on as you become champion of your own life. We’re saying buh-bye to life’s participation trophy and hell yes to “Hall of Fame.”
While out for a summer morning walk with my pup, Hank, I snapped these pics and saw the signs for a fantastic post. (Pun much?)
Left or right? When driving, this sign is simple. “Turn. I don’t care which way you go, but you have to go one way or the other. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” You get the idea.
When driving through life, though, this sign does not convey ANY urgency. It’s more like, “Turn left or right. Or just sit here and hang out and watch things happen. People will move and make decisions around you (that affect you!) but it’s cool to sit and get annoyed that life is moving and you’re not.”
Sitting and waiting…NOT CHOOSING…is a choice.
The word STOP inside a red octagon seems to get about everyone to obey. We respect the command when flowing through traffic, but how many times does this sign pop up from our intuition, our bodies, our minds, our families or friends? How often do we ignore it? Has the color faded from red to washed out – so much so that we don’t even see it?
Ever wonder what would happen if we respected STOP in those non-traffic circumstances, too? Maybe we’d save ourselves from injury or slow down long enough to notice the sweet smell of freshly cut grass or taste and enjoy the food that fuels our bodies. Or quiet our minds to allow our true selves surface outside the context of expectations and obligations.
Stay in your lane. Follow the leader. No shenanigans here…just follow the damned rules. Perfect for taming traffic, but ‘SAYS WHO?!’ in life?!
Dead End. A simple statement with quite a few ways of looking at it.
Which is most like you?
• ‘Are you sure you want to go down this road?’
• ‘Don’t waste your time unless YOU KNOW there’s a place here for you.’
• ‘ Hmmm…I wonder what’s at the end.’
• ‘I’m not sure what’s beyond this sign, but I’m going to check it out even though I know I’ll have to turn around and come back the same way I got here.’
Are you full of fear? An explorer? One who asks why not?
If you feel like this sign greets you every day when you walk into work, wake up, and/or think about the weeks and months ahead, look around you and realize that you’re sitting in a bulldozer, not a Ford Focus. Fire up the engine and get to work.