Looking to 2020 – What I am, What I am not
I started playing soccer my sophomore year in college. There wasn’t a team in my high school so I was learning the game from scratch. About a month into the season one of our captains came to me and said that the coach had said he was impressed with how I and one other new girl on the team were picking up the game. Soon the other girl started playing more. I did not. I had no idea why and I didn’t ask (more on this at another time).
One of my friends came to a game and overheard the coach saying, “There’s Kim, right where she needs to be, if only she got there faster”. What?! I’m not fast enough. I had been on a winning relay team in school. I guess I was in a bigger league now and I fell short; there was nothing I could do. I felt ashamed.
This isn’t the only time speed was an issue for me . . . one summer in college I worked at a distribution center for Rite Aid. We “picked” orders and put them in bins to be shipped to stores. A few weeks into my employment, the manager came to me and said, “Kim, your orders are always completely accurate.” Being the pleaser I am, this made me happy. Then came the punch line, “you need to start completing them more quickly.” Again I saw myself falling short and felt my self esteem take a hit.
Fast forward about ten years, I was working as an Elementary School Guidance Counselor. My new boss introduced me to some other teachers and said, “Kim Trimmer lowers my blood pressure just by walking into the room.” Wow, maybe operating at a slower pace has its own merits.
In a Hazelden daily meditations book, I read, “Obstinacy in a bad cause is but constancy in a good one.” This was enlightening to me! Any of our characteristics serve us well in some situations and not in others. There are no ultimate personality characteristics that will make my life perfect or easy. I get to use the ones that come naturally to me where they serve me well and do my best in the situations where my natural inclinations are not so valued or effective.
This has been on my mind as I reflect on the year past and the one to come. I like to put some shape on what I’m moving into. As I do that I want to steer away from self-defeating New year’s resolutions and instead look to what I want to cultivate that will offer me a higher quality of life.
For the most part, I now accept that I am not fast. I generally do things slowly and thoughtfully. So, my intentions for 2020 do not include setting a land speed record for anything. I do know that kindness and compassion make a difference for me and those around me. I continue to notice places in my self-talk where these are not present. So, I’m thinking that deepening my capacity to have kindness and compassion present for me might be in order for 2020.
I know the first, and some might say the deadline for such considerations, is past. In keeping with my slower pace, I suppose, I like to allow the whole month of January for this endeavor. After all, I don’t want to rush anything, right?
If your new year includes kindness and care for your body, please join us for a class that accepts you just as you are.