:: 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.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Instant Coffee (Becky)

2010 was a strange year for me. It was a year of transition, confusion, second guessing. I was happy to say goodbye to 2010. Welcome 2011!

So I'm entering 2011 feeling physically strong. I swam the 100 100s New Year's Eve Day and I've been going to Kosama at 6:00 AM each morning since Jan 3. The early rising thing is no small feat, by the way. And I'm happy to report that it hasn't been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. The abdominal work, on the other hand, is just as hard as I thought it would be.

So physically strong, yes. Emotionally, spiritually, creatively strong? Not so much. As a matter of fact, I feel downright weak, like a wet noodle who can't stand herself up, like I don't belong anywhere near the rest of you coffee chicks. I'm instant coffee in a tattered-edge, faded packet that's been in the back of the junk drawer for who knows many how years. And then there's the rest of you... rich, dark, brown, freshly roasted, and aromatic whole coffee beans. I feel utterly intimidated by all your skills and insight and positive energy. Lately I've spewed way more than my share of negativity into the universe. So I've been avoiding you. I blew off my last two posts and I seriously thought about bailing on this whole project.

But here I am posting, albeit over 12 hours late. And instead of listing all the things I'm going to do and then feeling like a failure when I don't do them, I am going into this again with no expectations. My scary project is just doing this, just showing up. Here I am. I think it'll go better for me without the self-imposed pressure I've been self-imposing.

As the unorganized person that I am, following is how I make lists. And this is how I will now approach my COFFEE goals:
  • I write down a bunch of things I've already completed
  • I add a few things I still need to do.
  • I cross off the stuff I've already done, look at my list, think "that's pretty productive" and never look at that particular list again.
  • Some days, weeks, months, later, I'll make a new list.
  • I've probably accomplished a few of the things that were not crossed off on previous list so I'll write them down on the new list.
  • Then I'll cross them off.
  • I add the rest of the un-crossed-off things from the previous list.
  • I continue to procrastinate the above.
  • Rinse and repeat.
So, I'm not going to tell you what I'm going to do until after I've done it. Two weeks from now, I hope I have something to report regarding my journey to work out my mind the way I work out my body. I think I probably will, but I'm not sure what it will be. Whatever it is, I'll do it because it feels like the right thing to do at the right time and not because I feel like I have to produce something worthy of freshly roasted aromatic coffee beans and public display. This may seem like an odd strategy, but I'm hopeful.

Stick with me coffee chicks. Don't give up on me just yet. I hope to eventually make it worth your while.


patresa said...

becky, i want to take some windex to your mirror.

first of all: AWESOME on the kosama and the swimming. really. no small feat. and i hope that as body sharpens, it lines up spirit, too.

next: i think showing up (even when you don't feel like it) is a perfect goal. it's so strange to me to hear you call yourself "instant coffee," because i see you so differently -- witty, intelligent, creative, insightful, funny, compassionate, worldly. i think you're actually quite fascinating! and i'm not blowing smoke up your arse.

brains do weird things to our self-concepts. like familiar words that start to sound foreign.

lastly: i really trust my instincts when it comes to people. and when i thought about this group, instincts asked you to join. i trust that you belong here, are here for a reason, have something to give and to get. and i hope that you'll trust that, too.

now i am going to text you to make sure we're still on for ritual tomorrow. which reminds me that i don't remember what time it starts.

forceful high five with grunting.

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Give up on YOU? Are you joshing around or what! :) (I haven't used the word "joshing" for a LONG time, so thanks for the inspiration!)
You are incredibly awesome, and I love reading about your spin on the world. I'd call it real and refreshing Miss Becky! AND, when I read your physical prowess moves, it made me instantly think "ABS, crap I need to work on my freaking abs." I'm nursing an injury, and it's DRIVING ME CRAZY. :) But, have I done anything else "low impact" and worked just as hard in other ways? The answer is no. I am sulking and doing "mini" workouts with angry undertones. SO, my point is, THANKS for some extra kick in my ass. Abs. Yes.
Write down your lists and kick em to the curb if needed. I like your plan, and I love the rinsing and repeating. Per-fect-o.
Plus, I'm thinking, instant coffee is just sometimes the way to go.

Wendy said...

Becky! No, no no! You are *not* a faded packet in the back of the cabinet. Unless we all are, too. I can tell you that I don't feel brown and fresh (and that soo doesn't paint a palatable picture, anyway does it?)
Shoot, I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out what I'm going to post about in the next couple days because I'm just a clump of unmotivated cells.
I don't even know what Kosama is, but that sounds impressive and because you have the gumption to voluntarily rise early.

I love reading your craftily worded posts and you most certainly have something to add even when you think you don't.
Chin up, Beckster, we love you!

Katie said...

Becky, Becky, Becky. I don't understand this. Because the fact that you swam 100 100's makes me want to whip around my swimsuit and stomp my Zoomer-clad feet in an utter temper-tantrum worthy of the most spoiled 9 year old. Seriously. The mental discipline it takes to say, "I am going to get up in the morning, get in the water and GO" is something I struggle with at a cellular level. I would rather shave off a pinky than cheerfully go to a workout. And I even like swimming! But you do it. And you do it with such dedication that you can casually mention it as a secondary achievement! My goodness.

I also want you to know that I shoveled the walk yesterday after 8 inches of snow, and as I type I'm sitting here picking at the blisters I received for my effort, and carefully trying not to bend to the left because I'm sore. THAT is the kind of shape I'm in. And therefore I regard you as the most richly roasted, fair-trade, organically produced, lightly flavored with cinnamon kind of coffee bean.

Isn't it great that we all have stuff to admire (be insanely jealous of) about each other? I think that's just great. Please come back again soon. Mostly because I want a swim buddy, and your achievement reminds me that swimming really is a cool thing.

Keep it roasting, coffee bean.

Holly said...

Becky, your coffee sistas before me have spoken and they are wise. If there's one thing you should know/remember about your coffee sistas is that none of us like to, want to, or DO blow sunshine up another's ass. As Patresa said, you belong here. Many of us are envious of your capabilities and achievements just as you are about your sistas. You are a beautiful swimmer. You know I have ALWAYS been envious of that!

And, really, your writing is creative,eloquent, and inspirational. Oh,AND! the wit and intelligence evident in your writing seems effortless. It just IS a part of you. There was a reason you were a Journalism major sweets. yOU'RE DAMN GOOD!
Don't leave us. Check in as much as you can. Two steps forward, one step back. Relapse is part of Recovery. I HEART BECKY JOHNSON!

blj said...

Thanks, you guys! Really, I mean it, I needed all that. My therapist said to check my perceptions out with other people. This must be what she was talking about. This insecurity thing is fairly new for me and I'm not sure where it came from or how to get rid of it. But this seems like a good start. Thanks!! And I realize that when I asked you all not to give up on me, I was really talking to myself.

amy said...

Becky! You get up at 6:00 AM! To do abdominals and workout and stuff! That alone instantly makes you super expensive, richly aromatic, full-bodied coffee beans. For example, I would never, ever get up at 6 AM to do anything remotely physically exerting...showering is a big plus for me, most days. Thus you are so totally not allowed to hang out in the junk drawer.

And I think your new approach to this project is good and righteous, and if you're okay with it, I may just tag along with you and approach my project(s) here like you are. Because expectations are too much pressure. Too much!

In conclusion, if I find you hiding out in the back of the junk drawer anymore, I'm going to make you drop and do 100 push ups. While I eat a doughnut. Because I bet you could do 100 push ups easily, and I know I could eat a doughnut with no problem. And then we would go bask in the joy of being rich, aromatic, full-bodied, rock star-like coffee beans anyway. (What I'm saying is: I'm so glad you didn't bail! And also: that is a very organized, sensible list for your COFFEE goals, and I will probably steal it at some point. FYI.)

Steph said...

Becky, dang it, girl... You are HERE. You posted. You did not ditch. You swim more laps than a sane person should. You are physically strong. You want to be organized and strong elsewhere, too. You have a GOAL, chickadee! And you WILL get there. I know it, so does every other COFFEE chick around!
I wonder if you realize that when you write, people smile. I'm sorry, but I read more in a day than I'd like. Very little of it makes me smile. Your voice is so authentic and hilarious and raw and REAL... I dig it. I so hope you'll keep comin' back for more! I SO HOPE YOU WILL!!!!!