Stepping off the ping pong table.

Here I sit at my favorite writing nook, with my antique desk and tea cup succulents; typing, and hitting delete on repeat, it's not that uncommon for blog time.  With a constant distraction with seeing a squirrel scurry up a tree or a clump of birds come flying in for feeding. The window I sit at is like having a front seat to a nature show. I sit and try to recall the well written blog I wrote in my mind last night, as I laid curled up in bed perfectly sandwiched between pups; my mind draws a blank.

Tracking the number of species of birds, I've seen thus far, so I can tell Steve when hes up, trying to get down my breakfast I've managed to have for 13 days in a row, and watching the clock to assure I have everything ready for this morning's wound care are occupying my mind more than words.  

Suddenly, my phone pings at me, "Did you take your vitamins?" I click check, going in to the app, to make sure I check breakfast and morning routine off the list.  Yep, I'm working on building healthy habits. 

Finally stopping the ping pong game I'm playing with myself, I am understanding that despite years of people telling me, I can't hold contradictory behaviors, beliefs, feelings, etc. I actually can hold whatever contradictions that serve me that I want.  

It doesn't have to be one or the other, or all or nothing; despite what people tell you.  It just has to be what balance works for you.   I would read an article saying "structure" creates the happiest people and think, "Okay that's it, everything is on a schedule."  Of course, that doesn't work, so then I would go to the other end, "F this, it's all about FREEDOM!!"  Realizing soon enough that didn't work either, I would go back and forth between extremes, always left analyzing why it didn't work again on this side of the table. 

I know I'm not alone in this, because a blog I wrote while right in the middle of the ping pong match, talking about how I was letting go of my extreme need for freedom and I was jumping on the structure side; got a lot of responses.  Lots of, "Girl, you just described my personality to a T." Now that I've stepped off the table, and can take a look I thought 'damn, how many areas in my life a I really playing ping pong with?'  

It's such an easy trap to fall into.  It's set up for us perfectly, so many people sharing things that work for them and their lives, and suddenly we think, "That's what I've been waiting for, I will follow that and find my happy place."  This mostly never ending with the results we want, and why?  It helped this person writing it so much, why not me?

It's simple.  It's not my life they are applying whatever works for them to, it's theirs.  No one is going to know what works for me, other than me.  So why was I out here seeking my truths from all these other people, when I had the answers inside all along?  Lord alone knows the answer to that one; but a large part of what it comes down to is learning to SHUT IT ALL OUT.

For even just a day, shut it out and ask YOURSELF what you need.  Here's how I have come to find if it's time to do a little shutting out.  If I read an article, blog, or listen to a podcast; because even if I'm no longer seeking how to live my life advice I still find myself deeply inspired by others who share their stories, and I can absorb this article, without feeling like I have to take on this person's life as my own; I'm in balance.  Much like my handy app, I can add the check.  

However, if I sit after reading another person's words, and feel, "Ugh I'm useless, I should be living my life like her." Sound the alarm, because something is NOT lining up here.  

This doesn't mean, I'm saying, you can't ask friends or teachers for advice, or you can never get an idea from someone else; of course not because that's an extreme thought (what I'm steering away from here).  It means, sure take whatever anyone gives you, and see if it fits, if not adapt it HOWEVER works for you.  Just don't forget you have the final say on finding what works for you.  You don't have to live other people's lives to have success or happiness; you simply have to live yours.