Introspection – Looking for the Good Stuff

Unless you’re new to the blog, you’ll know that there are two times out of the year where I stop and deliberately take some time to look inward.

Sidebar: If you’re new to the blog, Welcome! Thanks for reading!

Those times are New Year’s Day and my birthday.

When my birthday rolled around, I took pen in hand, grabbed a notepad and got set to get to work…when I noticed that, perhaps I’d been doing it wrong all along.

Let me explain.

When I grabbed that pen and notebook, the first thing I did was make two columns:

Column A: Stuff I wanted to see more of (Essentially, stuff I liked about myself)
Column B: Stuff I wanted to change (You guessed it, stuff I didn’t like about myself)

In no time at all, I had a list in column B that ran down to the bottom of the page and I’d barely spilled any ink in column A

That’s when it hit me. Why the hell was it so easy to list all my faults, when I could barely think of a single merit?

So I did what anyone in my place would have done: I ripped that sheet the hell out of the notebook and tossed it in the recycle bin.

Now I’m able to recognize a challenge as well as the next guy, and I was staring a big one right in face (It had my eyes…)

I looked at that clean sheet of paper and I told myself that the only things that would hit that page were things that I’d like to see more of.

Here’s a sample:

I want to see more steps taken for my writing career: Join a writer’s group. See about mentor/mentee programs, plan to apply for workshops, that kind of thing.

I want to see more steps taken to get healthy.

I want to take steps to put myself out there. Ask for what I want, put that intention out in the Universe.

I want to share more of the things I really Geek out about with those that mean the most to me.

That’s a sample, and let me tell you it was difficult as hell to stay on the positive side and not talk down at myself.

Now I know that I can lay some of the blame for that at the doorstep of the mental and emotional labor on current events. It’s depressing, and frustrating, and maddening, and a shit-load of other “-Ings” that I’m not going to list. You get the picture. It takes a lot of energy to wade through all the fear, and pain, and outrage, and it’s little wonder how it can taint my view of other things – such as myself.

But I’m not, myself, entirely innocent. I catch myself sneaking glances at other people’s papers. Comparing myself to others, then using those places where I fall short by comparison as examples of personal fault that I need to shore up.

Once I took the time to recognize that was what I was doing, then taking the time (and effort) to avoid that, I found the whole process more positive and uplifting. As a bonus, I noticed that some of those entries actually addressed some of the things that were in the negative column.

I am using this post as a way to commit to both you, reader, and – more importantly – to myself that this is the approach I will take from now on. Not just during New Year’s and my Birthday, but every day.

It’s going to require some adjustments. It’s going to take some work, but I am positive that, in the end, it’ll be worth the effort.

Thanks for reading.

Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other.

I’ll see you on Thursday.

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