It takes one kind of courage to look straight at your life, compare where you are to where you want to be, and then dive into making your life the one you want to live.
It is another kind of courage (more in line with General Sherman’s definition) that has us look straight at the cost of something, and choose it anyway.
Both have been coming into play in this “year of courage” (as I labeled 2013).
I have had a string of successes and delights this spring.
- I adopted a dog that was just what I wanted (still learning how to train him ;])
- We had a family vacation in Hawaii that was almost completely stress-free and got me far enough into my novel that the momentum meant something.
- I finished my first 10 speeches to achieve my “competent communicator” award in Toastmasters
- I finished my novel last week, and am now letting my story-brain rest, working on non-fiction writing instead (blog, WynMag).
- I’m wrapping up a last few editing of WynMag projects and the first issue will go live soon. (And I’m ahead on my submissions for the next issue).
- I’ve got the children signed up in a homeschooling program for next year (that we will actually start this summer), so that we have more financial flexibility to explore and experiment with curricula to find what will work best for our family.
- We’ve sold the rabbits (most of them, anyway), bringing us down to pet-levels.
- Our second round of baby goats is due this week (and we know better what to DO this time, so the enjoyment level will be even higher).
- The children will complete their first year of “away school” next week, and I won’t have to be the bad-guy, sending them on with empty hopes that people might change, and the slightly less-empty hope that there’s not many days left.
These are all tied, in my mind, to the first type of courage.
Now comes the second kind.
In the process of getting healthy on a mental/emotional level, I’ve come to recognize a series of needs that I must not just balance or juggle, but meet.
- Right eating
These are the non-negotiable for internal stability.
But having those covered allows me to see there’s a second tier that really enhances the first tier.
- Clean Space
- Calm companions
- Achievable, completable goals
- Spiritual pursuit (singular)
I suppose having spiritual pursuit in the second category is going to look bad to some people, but it’s true. Until I am stable physically and mentally, asking the hard questions and pushing in any realm that has Deep Meaning is simply asking too much.
One of my biggest problems, all through my mothering journey (I can’t remember much thinking about it before then), was an image of a robot changing its own batteries. That’s how I saw “self-care”.