But beyond physical transformation, this year I am transforming my insides, too.
A blogger I adore has this remarkable ability to think the best of people, rather than the worst that I am so accustomed to, and it's really struck me that I need to TRANSFORM my way of thinking. She sees a mom at the playground, eyes glued to her iPhone screen, and thinks "What a great mom. She is obviously really busy, but still took her kids to the playground." That's not how I naturally think...but I'm training myself to do so. And you know what? It's working!
Don't get me wrong, more often than not, the negative thought is still that first instinct/gut reaction, but it's fleeting. I quickly have a little pep talk with myself, consider a conclusion other than the one I initially jumped to, and instantly I feel...lighter. Less judgy. More connected (in a "we're all in this together" kind of way). Its pretty wild. Those of you that live this way, naturally, are probably thinking "What a weirdo." But seriously, you have no idea what a heavy burden it is to walk around thinking so negative, naturally, all the time. And how much it is a learned behavior to think differently! But, I'm doing it. Transformation.
I'm also transforming how I see myself. I find that I constantly try to defend decisions I make, big or small. I can get wrapped up in worrying that someone might not understand something I'm doing or a decision I make, and its my job to make sure they do - to make sure they think the best of me! Like why we weren't able to get a babysitter so we could join them for a night out, when I know that there are just so many factors that are quite frankly not everyone's business. I don't need to explain to people we're between paychecks, or our regular sitter is busy and our son's anxiety isn't going to allow us to just call up any old babysitter to come over, or whatever the reason may be. I often feel compelled to defend why I fed my kids this, instead of that. Or why they watched TV instead of making a craft with Popsicle sticks and cotton balls. Or why I'm glued to my iPhone at the playground trying to respond to client emails instead of devoting 100% of my attention to watching my kids slide down the slide, repeatedly. The fact is, I'm a grown up. I'm a wife, I'm a mother, and I'm capable of making decisions that are right for my family. So, I need to start seeing myself as that grown up, trusting that grown up, and not feeling compelled to constantly defend myself to people. I need to grasp the concept my mother keeps drilling into my head: What other people think of me is none of my business. Its not my problem, its their's. What people think of me truly isn't about me. Its about them, not me. It is impossible to make everyone happy with the choices I make. If I worry about getting everyone's approval, I'll never get anywhere. If I let what others think of me become my business, it will consume all of my time and energy, draining me of the ability to move on in my life. And being stagnant is simply not a part of the transformation equation, so that's not an option. So, I'm growing in my confidence in myself. I'm looking around at the family I've made, the home we have, the life we live, and realizing that I'm doing a pretty darn good job. I don't need to defend my decisions as a wife, as a parent, as an adult. I don't need people to approve of them. I need to feel right about them. I need to know that I'm doing the best that I can do, that I'm doing what's right, right now. Transformation.