Monday, February 1, 2010

Feeling Scrappy

I kept a scrapbook, my first attempt at doing so, during 2008. I'd lay out my pictures, paper, and supplies on the living room floor in front of the TV. I sat cross legged (a position that feels more and more uncomfortable the older I get!) and documented our first full calendar year of marriage. After I created a page I felt a sense of peace and accomplishment.

I fully intended to begin another book for 2009. I bought a pretty red album and some new embellishments. They're still sitting on my closet floor with an accordion file of notes and ticket stubs I collected last year.

The feeling I couldn't shake each time I thought about starting the book was, "We haven't done anything."

This isn't logically true at all. We did do things. We hung out with friends, went to the mountains, painted our front porch, tried new recipes every week, traveled to my ten-year college reunion in Indiana. It's not like we spent a whole year staring at each other on the couch.

I just felt like I didn't do anything that mattered.

I have a horrible habit of comparing myself to others - friends, acquaintances, people on TV. Add a gnawing insecurity to that and you have a great recipe for inaction. It's easier to do nothing, to watch TV, to lose yourself in a novel, to clean the house. That feels easier than beginning something you don't feel capable enough, or smart enough, or interesting enough to do.

So I didn't scrapbook. I didn't write. I didn't go to parties or shows. What did I have to say that anyone would care at all about hearing?

Life is so easy to sleepwalk through. It's not hard to convince yourself that you don't matter enough to merit a big, eclectic, vivid life. How many of you feel this way? Why do we let ourselves shrink and wither?

I don't know what flipped the switch for me. I could point to January optimism, a vitamin D supplement, increased gym time... probably all of these factors and others I'm not aware of. The point is this: I finally believe I matter. I got sick of hiding my light and saying "no" to life. It's scary and it's messy and it's hard to put your neck out there. But ask yourself, is it time?

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