On a frigid night with the wind whipping all around, I’m standing on an icy sidewalk more than 400 miles from home. The line of people snaking ahead of me is long, there doesn’t seem to be much forward movement and why I didn’t remember to pack my gloves I’ll never know. Whose idea was this anyway?
There are so many reasons why I shouldn’t be here.
To start with, it’s only been a few weeks since the holidays and it’s not a
great time to be spending money on a trip. There are, of course, all the things
that didn’t get done while I was decorating and baking, shopping and wrapping, cooking
and entertaining, things that are piled up at home waiting for me now. On top
of that, my daughter is home from New York for an unexpected visit. And did I
mention the writing deadline coming at me next week?
What if I ripped myself out of my comfort zone? What if I started acting like this one and only life I have was my one and only life?
Still, none of it matters. Not tonight. For I am
here, my feet firmly planted on this icy sidewalk to continue the journey that
began last year; the one I like to refer to as “My Awakening”. Merely by
chance, while browsing at the bookstore. That’s how it began. I’m not sure if
it was the bright yellow cover or the provocative title, but the next thing you
know I decided to open this particular book and it began to open my mind to a whole
new world of possibilities. What if I ripped myself out of my comfort zone?
What if I started acting like this one and only life I have was my one and only
life? What If I truly believed I could live delighted and fulfilled and not
only believed it but spent every waking minute on a doggedly determined mission
to make it happen? After all, the book says “YOU ARE A BADASS”. So maybe I am.
As I wait out here in the cold reminded of my
mission, I’m now remembering each and every one of the changes I made last
year. Little ones. Big ones. Easy ones. Insanely difficult ones. Renovating our
house comes to mind. After decades of procrastinating, analyzing our options
from every angle, we finally decided to actually do something. We had to move
out. We had to move all our stuff out, too. We had to invest money and time and
energy after years of telling ourselves we didn’t have enough money or time or
energy. But guess what? We did!
Then there was my writing, the dusting off of my
dream to get my first book published. Less talking. More doing. Writing a book
proposal. Sending it out over and over and over again. Finding an agent!
Designing a website. Building a social media platform. Publishing articles. I’m
not there yet but I’ve got something I didn’t have before. Momentum.
This past year I’ve learned to say yes when it
would have been far more comfortable to say no. Even harder for me was learning
to say no when everyone around me was expecting to hear yes; the first step in
reclaiming the time I needed for house renovations and writing and publishing
and yes, even though a million other things are clamoring for my attention, standing
here on an icy sidewalk waiting to hear Jen Sincero, the author of that yellow
It all starts with a shift in attitude, a mind open to learning, a move from complacency to unbridled, action-infused optimism.
There are a ton of resources out there that can
help us to change our way of thinking, that can turn our heads around, make us
see the world and our place in it differently, more expansively. There are
courses we can take, experts we can seek out, book clubs we can join, coaches
we can hire. But it all starts with a shift in attitude, a mind open to
learning, a move from complacency to unbridled, action-infused optimism.
For me, I found inspiration in a little yellow
book with a provocative title. For you, maybe it’s the art class you finally
sign up for or the personal trainer you meet at the gym, or the friend you
start spending time with or the degree you decide to earn, yes, even at your
As it turns out, whatever Jen Sincero says
tonight won’t matter. Not really. Just the fact that I showed up to hear her, 400
miles from home, defying all the oughts and shoulds and musts in my life is
proof that I’m going to stay on this path of mine, this journey of my awakening.
About the Writer
Rita Lussier is a writer, runner, and optimist who writes and runs to stay optimistic. “For the Moment” is her way of capturing time before it slips away. Find more of her moments at ritalussier.com