• Peggy Pepper

UH OH!! Where DID January Go?

Can you say Pfffft?!!


As I was writing a check today (yes, I still actually handwrite a check), it occurred to me that this month is outta here. And where was I? What had I actually gotten done on my 2021 TO DO list?


The first 30 days of this year, my husband and I committed to the Whole 30 lifestyle of clean eating, and now we're feeling fantastic (more about that later). But (or butt) had I hit a single lick in the cardio/exercise department? Every year, right after turkey/dressing/pie/ice cream, I make that same resolution to “get OUT there” and work out every single day…suck it up, pull it in, and slide back into my smaller jeans.

But, I admit…I feel shame over being thrilled, a bit more each year, with the fashions that offer elastic waistbands.


Thinking about that scale obsession reminded me of a story about my niece.


Years and years ago, I called Kristi on her birthday. She was turning six. When she answered the phone, instead of her usual spunky effervescence, she sounded distressed. Not at all what I EVER expected from her at any time, but this, being her birthday, made her dark mood even more alarming. She actually sounded downright annoyed. When I asked her what was wrong, through tears and fury, she said, “OH, AUNT PEGGY! I realized that I am already SIX YEARS OLD and there is SO MUCH I haven’t DONE yet!”


I wanted to laugh at the top of my lungs. But in my heart of hearts, she had hit a nerve. Here I was, at least 40 years older, knowing that same feeling all too well.


Here I am, this very day, at the first month of the new year’s end…admonishing myself, once again, for all the things I haven’t gotten done. Watching how automatic this story of “not enough, you lazy slob” rears its nasty voice in my head. And, I am just wondering….WHERE and WHEN all this performance anxiety gets started.

WHEN DO WE START SETTING THE BAR SO HIGH FOR OURSELVES?

And, what does, keeping score…marking off our notches of achievements, actually DO for our self-esteem? What kind of competition does it create at the core of all of our relationships? Trophies and ribbons and resumes can become our way of life and then the focus is on the prize or the marquee value for the latest and greatest accomplishment. It seems to be"hard-wired” into our culture.


2020 caused so many of us to re-evaluate this ingrained way of thinking. We may have felt sequestered at home, but it gave us time to think about ALL OF IT. We got to dive into what DOES or DOES NOT work, going forward. Maybe, we even got to relax the relentlessness a bit. Maybe it even felt good not to be so hard on ourselves. Maybe we became fully aware of this insidious filter running our lives and gain some perspective.


If you find yourself at the end of the first month of 2021, and you are still thinking about getting started on those goals, big and small…don’t beat yourself up. Look at the story you might be telling yourself about what being “all the way into the first month of the year, and there’s so much you haven’t done”…really means. It means you have lived 31 days into the new year so far. Just showing up each day is a very good thing.


Because, I can vouch for this experience….when we beat ourselves up, we totally short circuit our energy. The Positive On Purpose WAY is to own how we are feeling, giving ourselves permission to be human. When we tell our inner human blow torch to SHUT UP….it frees us up. It gives us energy. We become creative with possibilities. The “what-to-do’s” and the “can-do’s” start forming a list. Our faith in our own abilities replaces fear and judgment. Our internal window opens, letting in light and fresh air. We lift our very own spirits.


This Positive On Purpose WAY is no joke. It’s (1) a mindset, (2) a belief-system, and (3) a process that works...every time.

So, precious people. Here we are. It’s the end of January. And that’s OK.

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