Survive. Everyone is trying to do it, including me.
But I realized some people are trying to get passed this stage and move on to the next. Apparently there are three stages in life and I had no idea. There’s Survival, Success, and Significance. The Almighty Oprah has spoken and you know if she said it has to be true. Well I don’t know if she said it, but she totally agreed with whoever did and her endorsement goes a long way. Just ask any writer that made it to her Oprah’s Book Club Selection.
Anyhow, I’m sad to say that I’ve been stuck so long in the survival stage I wasn’t aware that there were two others. I’ve been hanging on, chugging along, keep on keeping on for some time now. During the day I can escape my survival stage with bucket list adventures, family outings with my kids, triathlons, friends, or indulging in the best chocolate ever.
But I’ve realized that it’s in the quiet of the night when it catches up with me, you know when I realize that I’m still surviving, and not succeeding or feeling significant in any way. Thank God for meditation, a good cup of tea, and the awesome Wish Factor that is humor, These have become my nightly saviors. Namaste Deepak Chopra for bringing some peace. Holla to you Yogi Bedtime tea makers with your little pick-me-ups written on the teabag. And as for you Jason Bateman and Jimmy Fallon … you rock. I think I would have jumped off a cliff if it weren’t for the fact that you crack me up. These have been my survival tools and I thought they were great.
But is that what I want? Do I want to just survive, or do I want to succeed? Or do I want to make my existence significant to those closest to me, you know live with purpose?
Considering that I was in survival mode, these seemed like pretty heavy questions. These were chocolate-worthy Ben & Jerry moments.
And just when I was feeling pretty crappy about being in survival mode Eat, Pray, Love superstar Elizabeth Gilbert saved my day. I really enjoyed her book when I read it a couple of years ago and admire her journey. Not because she’s a successful writer but because she was in a really crappy situation, I mean it sucked. If your life has ever sucked, been in complete disarray, then this is the book for you. Her journey even helps you on your journey. But I’ve got to say if you haven’t really had hardships or felt emotional devastation then this book may not be for you. She may just seem like a crazy, neurotic chic that traveled for a year. You might not “get it,” and that’s o.k. But for my purposes today Gilbert saved me.
I happened to come across one of her lectures online during these heavy life questions, and I found my answer. She went on to talk about how even with all this success, she herself doesn’t have it together and she thinks it’s funny that people accuse her of doing so and come to her for help. She struggles too, maybe not financially because c’mon Best Seller, please. But more on an emotional level and just with every day business and life. It happens. Even though people look like they have it together there are moments, days, weeks where they need a Godiva chocolate and Jason Bateman too.
Dude. Light bulb.
You’re doing the best with what you’ve got and who you are. And survival stage may seem like forever, but it’s only temporary. You’ll get to where you want to go if you keep at it. Cut yourself some slack because tomorrow’s another day and you get another try. Live your best life and aspire. Yes, aspire. But be kind to yourself when you fall short, be forgiving when failure and disappointments happen in your life’s scavenger hunt, because you’re a “Pioneer of Continuing On.” Be grateful and thankful for the little things, for the little accomplishments that help you get through it.
So today I cut myself some slack just for being in the survival stage.
Today I’m thankful for the awesome Nopales recipe that I rocked out in my kitchen … Totally Food Network worthy.
Today I was thankful for my kids spontaneous burst of laughter over the word booty right before bedtime.
Today I was thankful for my cup of Yogi Bedtime tea.
Today I was thankful for my 500th post. WOO-HOO to me! I am a writer even when I don’t get paid, anyone who writes 500 pages of something can definitely be called that. I’m thinking I’m worthy of business cards now.
Today I was thankful for Elizabeth Gilbert who helped me with my course correction.