:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011: REVOLUTION! (Amy)

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay invincible summer. --Albert Camus

-List-making is an issue for me.

-I apologize profusely for littering this blog entry with them so wildly.

-If I were a resolution maker, I would vow to rectify this in 2011.

-But I am not, so...

-The End.

(of this blog's first list)

--Amy, COFFEE blogger

I usually don’t do New Year’s resolutions—I like anti-resolutions. For example:

*I do NOT resolve to wake up early any Saturday in 2011.

*I do NOT resolve to not eat at least a little chocolate if it is ever presented to me at any point throughout Anno Domini 2011.

*I do NOT resolve to repress my need to silently cuss out other drivers who are clearly crazy and should never have been granted permission to operate a 5 ton machine of metal death in the first place, what the heck was the DMV thinking?!.

You know. Things like that, stuff I know I can manage with little to no effort on my part.

But I’m going to revolt this year, and attack 2011 a tad different—I’m making New Year’s reVolutions. Because things did not get off to a good start for us for 2011 at my house, friends. I can’t go into more explanation than that at the moment, but just know: 2011 did not get off to a good start. For one thing, 1.1.11 was a dreary, dark, and rainy day in the metro Atlanta area, and I generally disagree with dreary and dark rainy days anyway, even if they do have a cool date that, when added up, comes out to the numerical value of 4, a very mystical number. This 1.1.11 (mystical number 4) rain was followed by some Discouraging News. Discouraging News and dreary, dark, rainy days never, ever go well together, in my experience. But also (and mostly), I just really like the idea of being a revolutionary. The very idea makes me feel plucky and outrageous, two areas I wish I were stronger in.

1.2.11 was better, and this may be due to the fact 1+2+1+1=5, and 5 is my number (I have no idea why; I just think good stuff happens to me in 5's). But also: the sun came out, and sun always clears out my brain fuzz. And because, while driving around the happier/sunnier metro Atlanta area, I silently and firmly made the decision to consciously make different decisions whenever confronted with more brain blasting news, at any point throughout 2011. I will say things to myself like:

...“Well, I’m just going to make the decision NOT to freak out about this.”

...And “I’ll just make the decision to put one foot in front of the other one and keep going, no matter what.”

...And “The amount we're being charged on this ridiculously priced bill isn’t real. I’m going to decide this bill is fake. Because the only thing that is real is love. When I write out the check for this stupid bill, I'm going to write that in the memo line instead of the account number, because people who send outrageous bills like this should know that: they are fake, and Love is real.”

...And “I’m making the decision to not let anything defeat me—I will kick Life right in its frickin’ gonads if it even tries to LOOK at me weird this year. Do you hear me, Life 2011 A.D.? Right in your frickin’ gonads!”

I am revolting against you, 2011! Revolution!

I try not to be very overly dramatic and intense with myself too often, but some days are simply more successful than others.

So! A brief update on my COFFEE goals since my last update and over our break:

i. I ate crap.

ii. I did not exercise.

iii. I was intensely slothful. Like, if actual sloths had witnessed my slothiness, they would have had developed severe self-esteem complexes, wondering how someone who is not an actual sloth could be so much better at being a sloth than actual sloths who have documented biological drives toward extreme slothiness.

iv. I’m okay with all of the above.

Because it’s January, everybody! It’s 2011! And—if the Mayans were correct—we only have about one more year of Life giving us weird looks and fun opportunities to kick Its gonads! So be free and throw off your yokes of fear and restraint! Is what I say. Revolt, and do not pause to consider what judgments others may be flinging your way in the process; all they need to worry about is ducking fast enough so your flung off yokes don't smack them on their stupid, judge-y heads.

So my big January reVolution this year is to simplify. I will throw off my fear/self-restraint yokes by simplifying. Most everything. I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet or not, but conciseness is not my forte. However, I know I can simplify everything that does not involve writing down words/thoughts/ideas. Essentially what I need around here is some equanimity—less drama, more acceptance; less complicity, more revolution. So over the next several weeks, I will be:

1-focusing on not panicking when things appear to be off track.

2-not relaxing when things appear to be going smoothly.

3-cultivating awareness and presence.

4-not focusing so hard on the outcome.

5-paying more attention to the process.

6a-developing more sympathy for myself and others

6b-unless, of course, these “others” are clearly psychotic people in cars sharing the roads with me who obviously cheated their way into possession of a driver’s license, and then I will be happily perfecting my inner, repressed road rage angry person impression.

(Except for reVolution 6b, I actually did not come up with these myself—I completely ripped them off from this guy):

Also, I’ve picked a 5K to run/train for. If I have a specific, must-do-this-by-this-date-and-in-this-time-frame goal, I’m much more likely to complete it. And I know if I spend money to enter this race (money: something we’re keeping a hot, close eye on these days at my house and not spending flippantly), I’m much more likely to complete it. When researching a 5/10K run to complete/train for, I wanted to do something that is good for the world (I’ve settled on helping to provide clean, safe drinking water to those without access) and I needed a Spring/early Summer date (April 30) because I’m a wimp who doesn’t do Arctic cold or Sub-tropic heat, and I'm also host to a whiny inner slacker who's already wimpering that she needs lots of extra time padding in her training schedule in case she may want to slack off a week here and there.

So. Goals for my COFFEE project over the next several weeks:




IV. Register for WaterfortheWorld Run

V. Get my butt in gear

VI. Not necessarily in that order.

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2011 bring glad tidings of great joy (and successful revolutions)!


Katie said...

Amy!!! A Revolution!! My favorite! Oh this will be fun. I j'adore all your 2011 goals, especially getting your butt in gear, because it's such a wonderfully amorphous goal and at any time you can say, "this falls under Goal V!" And I like that you used Roman numerals for your lists. This added texture.

I'm sorry to hear that you got some unhappy news right off the 2011 bat. That is never fair. You should at least have 2-3 months of a new year under your belt before the shoe drops. Stupid shoe.

And Rediculous Bills are just that. They make me want to find out who exactly decided that working middle class people could afford something like that, even if they did have insurance, and knock on their door and introduce myself as the recipient of their idiotic madness regarding the astronmically priced bill for a life-saving service. And then after I punch them in the throat, take them on a tour of my modestly sized house, driven there in my Nissan Versa, and then show them the fact that I do, indeed, work for a school and if their kids weren't in private school I would likely be working with them because their parent is such an A-Hole.

I realize this smacks of vigilante-ism and possibly a raging anger management problem. I am all right with that.

I also applaud that you signed up for a 5k!! I am teetering on the edge of signing up for a sprint-distance triathlon in Columbia, MO in May. I've done it once and the second year I did the duathlon because I couldn't face the thought of THREE things that are painful. So I just did two. I'd like to get back to three.

Nice to have you on board Amy-girl! High five yourself for being a terrific speciman of humanity. This too shall pass, and then the awesomeness will commence, I just know it.

Wendy said...

Amy, Amy, you crack my snot up. I bet your slothiness wasn't so bad. But if you did make a few sloths feel bad, they had it comin'. You're making up for it anyway by signing up for a 5K. Sheesh, you people are all so... fitnessy. I think I'm emerging as the sloth of the group because I have no such aspirations.

And a reVolution? I love that. You are one spicy lady and you do not pretend to be perfect - that is so stinkin' refreshing. Love your goals, love your style. 2011 is gonna be a year that lets you shine, I can tell.

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Sloth behavior? Wooooo hooooo! I mean there really is no other choice during this time of year, followed by rainy dreary days and during stupid news thrown your way! So, now a RACE! Great for you, and I cheer you starting now Sister Amy COFFEE. Such a good choice to NOT give up chocolate..... that would just be absurd. I also like what you speak of in terms of mindfulness. Kudos, really, serious kudos.

I got a photo ticket back in June, and I was so outraged by this that I'm FIGHTING it in court in a few weeks. I paid an attorney half the cost of the ticket, and I plan to march up to that court and be proud of my responsibly registered and insured driving self that they could send this ridiculous Big Brother ticket to, AND I'm going to stick to my 100% view that they are targeting the wrong people! And.... well I may lose, and the stupid Big Brother ticket may actually cost me double, and if not paid, a warrant will be issued for my arrest and I will go to the slammer. Did somebody say something about getting out some anger................ (and breathe). :)

I think you rock any ReVolution! I vote for more just like 'em. Yay you!!

Steph said...

ReVolt, Sister, Amy! REvOLTUTIONS! Yes, m'dear! I love it. Simplifying, kicking gonads, chucking off fear & restraint, ignoring judgment of others... Oh, yes, YES, YES, YES!!!!!!! Yes.
I'm so sorry that your 2011 started off with some serious poop... and I'm so proud of you for how you're choosing to deal with that poop! KICK the frickin' GONADS, girl! KICK 'em HARD! Church, sister.
I love your goals for the next weeks... who cares if you stole 'em? I sure don't! Whatever works, I say. I dig 'em in a seriously real and big way.
Congrats on the 5k registration! Will be so awesome to congratulate you on finishing that doggone thing, too. Can't wait! I think it's really fantabulous that you chose a race that benefits something you care about, as well. That makes your efforts that much more significant, and there's not much better in life than doing something that has lasting significance for others. You do that everyday, of course, but this just kicks that up a notch... Kudos, Amy COFFEE, KUDOS!

patresa said...

i love picturing you standing up, throwing your fist in the air, and screaming REVOLUTION! i love it so much. and i think if i were 2011 A.D., i'd be trembling with fear and trepidation right now. absolutely. here's to making 2011, it's discouraging news items, its 5ks, and its crummy drivers, your bitch. do it, amy! do it!

i give 1.1.11 my middle finger.

T-Free said...

Brilliant, Amy. Just brilliant. New Year's ReVolutions. Love that. And this: "Because the only thing that is real is love. When I write out the check for this stupid bill, I'm going to write that in the memo line..." I hope you really do that. :)

Your sloth self-esteem description cracked me up. And way to go on picking a 5K for which to to run and train! You will be amazing! You can DO it.

I love the simplifying goal too, and recently enlisted my husband in the beginning of what will be much clearing out of the clutter. We cleared out five totes of stuff we don't use, and donated a car trunk full of things to charity. It felt good. There is always so much more, though.

I hope you meet your goals over the next several weeks, and I also hope life starts to be a bit kinder and gentler with you and your family. It sounds like you've been getting slapped around a little lately. I hope it stops, and things start looking up, up, up and more up. xoxo.