My best friend, Krissie (aka the fabulous Anne Stuart) emailed me this on Dec 29:
I want to do a blog like Lani’s, though only for a year, and I want it to be about personal transformation. Losing weight, getting healthy, changing my reality. I want a place where I can post daily, get support, keep myself honest, and I think a community and feedback would help me in the process.
Then she asked me if I wanted to journal-blog with her. I need another blog like I need another dog, but the journal part appealed. The one-year only appealed. The blogging daily did not, so forget that, but like Krissie, I knew, I know, that I have to change. And I hate change. I will cling to anything forever rather than change: a bad marriage, a dead-end career, a too-big house, you name it, I’ll hold onto it rather than do something about it.
Our other best friend, Lucy March (aka the fabulous Lani Diane Rich) knew she needed to change her life two and a half years ago, so she did something about it. She wrote daily for 516 days in her brilliant journal blog, A Year and Change, to magnificent results: she carted her two kids across state lines, moved in with me, got divorced, reinvented her career, created an amazing internet community, wrote a novel, began her own business, picked up a younger Scotsman on the net, got married again, and generally established herself as an Icon of Reinvention while Krissie and I looked on and said, “Huh.” Well, we’re twenty years older than Lucy-Lani, so we don’t move as fast.
It’s the not-moving-as-fast that’s doing us in, or maybe just the not-moving. We both feel like we’re stuck, we both have health issues, we’re both unhappy with where we’re living, and we’re both going nuts from guilt and pressure. I am in the middle of change–I’m crossing genres in my career, I bought a derelict cottage two states away, I’m preparing for a move in a year by getting rid of most of my stuff, I now have three grandchildren I need to see much more often–lots of stuff that’s underway already. But I’m doing all of that the way I do everything, completely unorganized, completely overwhelmed, and much too slowly.
The real problem, I think, is that I don’t listen to myself. I keep making the same dumb mistake of thinking that if I just believe something enough, it’ll be true. I remember back when I was a runner–yes, at one point I ran five miles a day and had a body like a rubber band, but those days are gone–I chose a different route that had me running up a hill at the end of the five miles. I was doing my usual cheerleading in my head–You can do this, just keep going, no pain no gain, run, keep on running, just keep on running–when I realized I was walking. My conscious mind, my ego, knew I was going to run up that hill, but my body and my id–the girls in the basement–held a meeting and decided that my ego was crazy and they were going to have to take over. Thank God they did, I’d probably have had a heart attack, and my ego would have blamed me.
And now I’m back with the same dumb mistake, having decided that if something isn’t working–my health, my career, my living space–the solution is to keep running, only faster. Except maybe this time, I take a step back and get a good look at where I want to go and what I need to change to get there. I’m not interested in numbers. I don’t care if I lose weight, I don’t care if I write 1000 words a day, I don’t care if my blood pressure goes down. I just want to pay attention to myself instead of trying to blindly run up another damn hill.
So my journaling here will be different from Krissie’s–not every day and more about paying attention to the things my body and my instincts are shouting at me–a process to help me find my way to where I should be. Put that way, it sounds like navel-gazing which is probably what it will be. Not very interesting. Just read Krissie’s posts.
I’ll be over here ignoring my ego.