Back in January, which seems an impossibly long time ago, I decided that I was pretty done with everything being bullshit. I'd had enough. If I couldn't control anything but myself and my own actions, well, then, I was going to take 2011 by the balls and make it my bitch.
The Band Back Together Bringing Happy Back World Tour began. It's more than a "New Year's Resolution," because we all know those aren't particularly useful; no, the BB2G World Tour is all about working together, supporting each other as we try to make small, yet positive changes in our every day lives. We're not vowing to lose 500 pounds in a month because, hi, that's a total set-up for failure. Nah, we're going make a conscious effort each month to try and do something a little differently; be better.
We're going to Beat The Happy out of 2011, dammit!
Each month, we pick an idea, a way we're going to focus on bringing OUR Happy Back. You, The Band, don't have to write about the same thing. You can write about any topic you'd like as it pertains to anything positive you're doing to change your life. To bring YOUR happy back. To make 2011 YOUR bitch.
You can write these posts here on Band Back Together or on your own blog. I'll add a Linky thing so that we can all support and encourage each other. Don't be shy now, The Band.
So, without further blabbering, I bring you March's Theme: Being Kind To Yourself.
After my second son, Alex, was born, I expected to breastfeed those seventy-five pesky pounds I'd put on right off. I got home from the hospital and washed my old jeans so they'd be fresh and ready to go when I took my son in for his two-week check up!
Nine months later, I was still not in those jeans. I was not even in the same zip code as those jeans. I was also deep in the throes of postpartum depression. I couldn't even function to drive to the grocery store or answer the telephone. I felt like I was underwater.
Everything had spiraled downward in Aunt Becky Land.
I'd finally gotten everything I'd wanted: a husband, a second baby, a new house and I was miserable. I shouldn't be miserable, I told myself. How DARE I be miserable? There were people without legs in the world, and here I was, sitting in my nice air-conditioned house, weeping over a broken ice-maker.
I mean, sure, okay, if you peeked behind the curtain, I guess things weren't quite so storybook: my husband worked 80+ hour weeks and his Blackberry was glued to his eyeballs for the 4 minutes a day I saw him. The newborn was, at best, "difficult," and at worst, I fantasized about running off some night leaving him safely in his crib, while I reinvented myself as, uh, well, anyone else. Anyone who did not have a baby that nursed 18 hours a day and refused to be held by anyone but his mother. The house, well, it was fine, but it was also my prison.
I felt like shit. I felt like shit and I looked like shit. I treated myself like shit, too.
How dare I have the audacity to be upset? I felt terrible that I wasn't happy in this perfect little life that I'd built for myself. I tried to figure out a way; anything I could do to fix my situation; to be happier, but I was too tired and too depressed.
The ice-maker was finally what tipped me over the edge.
When my ice-maker stopped working, something inside of me snapped. I'm not sure anyone has ever felt such intense sorrow over a broken ice-maker before or since.
Of course, sometimes an ice-maker isn't just an ice-maker. I gathered up my courage and called my doctor to discuss postpartum depression. Specifically, I should add, my postpartum depression.
I got help. I got better. And when I did, I realized that I needed to cut out the bullshit.
My kids were dressed nattily in clothes I'd lovingly purchased while they played with their newish toys, in the rooms that I'd painstakingly redecorated for them.
I, on the other hand, owned exactly one pilling, scraggly bra, 3 pairs of well-worn maternity underwear; two of which had unraveled at the seams, and a rotating set of maternity shirts that had alternating stains on them. I lived in these because I didn't want to buy clothes in my current size.
My justification? "Once I lost the baby weight, I'd buy nice clothes again."
The reality? I was being an asshole. To myself. That's a hot steaming pile of bullshit.
It was time to Bring (Aunt) Becky Back.
I started small. Over the next few months, I bought some new clothes. I quickly ripped out the tags (no one else needed to know what size I was) as I slowly dieted off those pounds.
I got a haircut and color.
I bought some nail polish and some shoes that made me feel zesty.
I began to call my friends again. Baby steps.
This year, I'm working on other things; other small ways to be nice to myself.
I drink flavored coffee because it makes my morning better. It costs a little more, yes, but it also makes me happy.
I take long baths because they relax me (not because I'm 988 years old).
I spent half an hour this morning playing around with some new iGoogle Dashboard-thingy so I can get more organized and a little less anxious.
I've actually asked for help with creating some of the Resource Pages for the site. I hate asking for help. Yet, I know that it's important. Email me if you're interested.
Mostly, though, I'm trying to get rid of the guilt. The small guilt-trips about day-to-day things. "I should do xxx for this person." "If I could do xxx better, maybe..." "I should do xxx."
"Should," in my world means, "not good enough as I am." Should = guilt = bullshit = not nice to myself.
This month, I'm going to make an effort to do nice things for myself.
I will do things that make me happy because they make me happy and not because they make sense. I will open the windows and turn up the heat just so I can have some fresh air in the house. I will take long drives without a destination because the open road soothes me. I will listen to silly pop music because it makes me smile.
So are you, The Band. Get on the Tour Bus. Let's get this Tour On The Road.