Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What Boat Do You Need To Burn?

Once again Danielle LaPorte's Burning Question Series has sent me a little blogging gift. And just after I told a friend that I already had 2 blog posts written for the week! I must be on a roll. Which probably means you won't hear from me again until after summer.

Or maybe I just found the boat I need to burn.

Much of my life has been spent in the same cycle:

1. Drop a thread (forget the homework, miss a workout, don't do the dishes)
2. Drop three more threads (skip class all week, binge, don't do the dishes all week)
3. Drop all the threads (fail a few classes, gain 30 pounds, only eat take out)
4. Despair
5. Resolve to change everything and never fail again
6. Repeat entire sequence

As life grew more complicated, I found myself less and less able to keep from falling into step 4. So I made my world smaller with fewer threads to weave, fewer ways to fail, fewer reasons to despair. It wasn't what I really wanted for myself, but it kept me sane enough to be a decent mother - the only the thread I refused to drop.

Then my husband asked me how I might feel about moving to Portland.

My life got infinitely more complicated just a few weeks later. The last 9 months I've been holding my breath, waiting for any thread I drop to start my downward spiral. But it seems a strange thing happened on the way to Oregon. I've managed to swing between steps 1 and 2 without ever getting to step 3. And most recently I've found myself at step 5, completely skipping steps 3 and 4, trying to make good changes but doubting my ability to stick with any of them.

But things are different this time.

I am not attempting to overhaul my entire life in one week (or one month or even one year). I am adapting plans as I go. I am refusing to see one dropped thread as failure, refusing to see myself as a failure no matter how many threads I drop.

My world is started to expand again.

I am looking over my shoulder at the smaller space I was living in and thinking about how safe I felt there. It was comfortable, and I knew I could manage it. I wonder if I should keep it with me just in case. But it's time to say "thank you for being what I needed then," and burn it away.

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