There is a shift in the universe. I walk my usual trail around the parking lot where I work, but my mind does not settle. I stand in the office and watch cold rain fall and puddles form in the parking lot, and I wonder why I am here. Why am I here? Why don’t I feel the love for this job that I used to have? Why do I feel cut off?
I turn to prayer for answers, and feel nothing. That’s OK, I tell myself: you don’t always get to feel something, faith is not a feeling, but a way of looking at things when you cannot see the answers. There is still a shift in the universe.
Desperate for answers that do not seem to be forthcoming from the Great Beyond, I search for answers on Amazon Prime, in the Kindle store. Cheap answers: I don’t want to spend a lot of money on self-help books I’ll likely get bored with and delete. I settle on two.
Becoming Me: Embracing God’s Dream of You by Staci Eldridge. Intriguing title: “God’s dream of…” Does God dream of me? By chapter three, I was wishing I had purchased the paperback version so I could highlight and write in the margins. I’m a little over half-way through, and I still have to sit it down and chew on the information. It’s deep. It’s challenging.
It’s about girlfriends. I’m a terrible girlfriend. The introvert of introverts. I don’t talk on the phone. I barely text or IM. I hardly ever call someone to hang out with – they call me. I wasn’t always this way, but I haven’t felt fully comfortable with girlfriends since we moved into this house and I started to get my heart broken by friends. I have some baggage to deal with.
But that’s not even all of it. I also bought (for cheap) a book on finances. Worthy – Boost Your Self Esteem to Grow Your net Worth by Nancy Levin. Until I opened this book, I would have told you that I have a healthy self esteem. And I do – in every area except finances. And, apparently, girlfriends.
I gave up answering the questions at the end of each chapter. I’m just reading through the book right now, then I will go back and read it slowly, and deal with the elusive questions about how I feel, think, and understand money. It’s about facing my fears and getting rid of my excuses. It hurts. It’s honest. It’s overwhelming.
These books came into my possession as I stand on the brink of a new chapter in my life: launching myself an an entrepreneur and an independent artist. Before I purchased them, I wondered: Am I self-sabotaging? What am I doing to hinder my own dreams?
Turns out: Yes, and plenty. I’m full of excuses. I’m old, I hurt, I’m tired, I have a Day Job, I don’t have the money… I have a lot of fears to face down.
I have dragons to slay. Fears and excuses are dragons.
I don’t understand websites, coding, and why my art blog went down suddenly. I need to educate myself so I know the questions to ask and where to go for help. I’ve never bothered to do that. (My son-in-law, Sam, once told me, “You don’t read the manual.” He was right. I don’t. I try to do things on my own and when I run into a brick wall, then I start looking for the manual that I misplaced.)
It’s not that hard: a ten minute video on coding or websites or wordpress. Free tutorials everywhere, just search. TAKE THE TIME.
I didn’t pay for support on WordPress. I kept thinking I should do that, but… excuses. Now, I know why I needed to pay for support. Had I paid for support, help was just a phone call away. (No worries – mistakes like that can be easily fixed by paying for support NOW.) I didn’t understand the difference between my web host and the site where my site is located. My friend, Mary Ann, pointed that out to me and I felt like bashing my head against the desk: So Stupid. No, I’m not. I just didn’t think. Thankfully, my web host was gracious and helped me find the error in my site: it’s malware in the WordPress end of the site, and it doesn’t affect my personal blog (this).
My website is only an example. It is hardly the only place I have limited myself – or taught my children to limit themselves. But – no guilt. Guilt has to be dispensed of as much as fear has to be.
I have a litany of things I can’t do: jog, for instance. I’m an awkward runner. People – my brother – made fun of me when I was a teenager and trying to run. I run “like a girl”. But I have spent decades watching other people jog and it’s not that hard to imitate. I’m no more awkward than some of the people I have observed. I can jog, and I can learn how to jog. I have no marathon goals, but I can learn how to jog, for my sake and for my dog’s sake. Age has nothing to do with this. (I jogged three laps around the office tonight, just to prove that point to myself!)
So what is limiting you? What views about finances are holding you back? What dreams do you want to achieve that you are afraid to pursue? I’m sixty. I’m going to change my life. No excuses.
What excuses can you slay?