Reverb 14 | December 3 | Coulda Shoulda Woulda

Coulda Woulda Shoulda. What didn’t you do this year because you were too scared, afraid, unsure?  Are you going to do it next year?  Or maybe you don’t want to anymore?

I start a lot of projects. Mostly projects that blogging women who don’t have a 8-5 office job wedged between two hour-long bus rides think up and then share in posts that are complete with perfect pictures of their living room or their gratitude journal or the amazing 10 mile hike they took at 9am on a Tuesday. Projects that will make my home less cluttered or more modern, projects that will ‘re-center’ me, projects that will make me nicer, smarter, thinner, more grateful, more perfect.

I started a 30-day de-clutter. Quit on Day 11.

I started a 30-day gratitude journal. Twice. Quit on Day 6 and 13, respectively.

I started a 24 week weightlifting program. Quit on Week 15.

I tried to not say anything mean or judge-y for 30 days. Failed on Day 4.

I started tracking my food in hopes of eating healthier. Quit every time I lost 1 or 2 pounds. Then restarted when I gained 1 or 2 pounds back.

I started and started and started, and quit and quit and quit.

I don’t think I was scared or afraid, though I admit that change is hard for me.

But I was definitely feeling unsure. Unsure if these “projects” were really achieving my purpose. Was running around my house at 10:30PM on September 11 desperately looking for objects to donate or throw away really achieving peace and coziness in my home? Was I less grateful if I didn’t write it down and then Instragram it with a #blessed? No. Instead, I was panicking myself that I wasn’t living the project according to the “rules.” Because the rules didn’t fit me.

I am not a project. And my life is not a case-study for a self-help blog. I am also not perfect and there is plenty of room to better myself. But I am finally learning that living the life you love is not someone else’s 30 day crash course in cleaning closets. It’s a long, slow drip of getting better at what I want to be better at.

I don’t want to get good at finding 17 things to give away on April 17th. I want to get good at buying fewer things we don’t need, repurposing things around our home, and recognizing when an item has come to the end of it’s life with us.

I don’t want to get good at creating the cutest gratitude journal and arranging it next to a cup of coffee for the perfect photo op. I want to get good at telling people I am grateful for them and the things they do in my life.

There are lots of things I started and didn’t quit this year. They weren’t “projects.” They are my real life.

I started training for half-marathons and 10 milers and set PRs in every distance I ran this year.

I started taking a painting class, which is maybe the best $26 spent per week and I have found my style and my voice in art.

I started hosting monthly dinners at our home and I, frankly, can’t get enough of the love and friendship at the table each month.

So maybe I am a failure. Even a quitter? My house is still cluttered, I am not any thinner, and I don’t exactly feel ‘centered.’ But I will gladly be a Quitter of Projects to instead just be Kate.

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