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The First Step to Success

Joel tore his patellar tendon. He can’t walk. We’re less than six weeks from our wedding day and he is undergoing orthopedic surgery on Thursday morning.

So on top of not being able to make our first live event on Wednesday night, and on top of being worried about my fiancé going into an operating room, and on top of scrambling to find a place to live since we already gave up our apartment, and on top of having to pay thousands of dollars for surgery (Yes, we have insurance. Cool, America), and on top of having to finish planning this wedding hoping that the groom can actually walk down the aisle – our epic, three-month, roadtrip honeymoon in the Airstream will not be happening this summer. Sad face.

Airstream

That whole “should I quit my job thing” seems a bit unnecessary now, doesn’t it? No need for that, friends. But for the record, I had decided to follow my gut and quit. I was going to give my notice on Friday. But now we have to stick around for three more months so he can rehab his knee with physical therapy and there’s no sense in my sitting around eating Bonbons all summer, amiright?

Isn’t life hilarious sometimes? #sofunny #toofunny #lollollollollollolollolcrying

To say I am disappointed would be an understatement. I’ve basically been crying, sipping wine, watching Scandal and feeling sorry for myself for the past few days.

Olivia Pope

And then the coverage started coming out of Nepal. And I was reminded that there is far greater injustice out there in the world, not to mention serious suffering and pain pretty much everywhere right now. Some of my fellow human beings are facing real problems and this does not qualify as such.

So as I walked to work this morning, I started listing off all of the things I’m grateful for, from the smallest I could think of, to the largest. I wanted to feel that gratitude as hard as I could because as I watched the footage of Nepal, and then Baltimore, I was reminded of how fleeting life can be and how much there is to be thankful for every single day.

If we are alive and breathing, we have something to be thankful for.

So yes, I am disappointed. We’ve waited a long time for this dream to come true, we’ve worked so hard and the countdown had just a few weeks left. It sucks.

But I’ve turned the corner back to positive and am telling myself that it’s been long enough. I’ve wallowed in the self-pity of this mini-drama for an adequate amount of time.

We’ll get married (and he will walk down the aisle) and we’ll go on some all-inclusive honeymoon thing, and then when we get back, we’ll stay at my mom’s for a few weeks or maybe even the rest of the summer. We’ll leave on our adventure in September, once that goddamn patellar tendon decides to start doing its goddamn job.

And in order to move past this, turn my frown upside down and get on with my life, I’m doing the only thing I know to be effective: I’m reading self-helps books.

Enter: Jack Canfield, that rich, smiley bastard.

Jack Canfield

I’d been meaning to read his book, The Success Principles, for quite a while now. Funny enough, I even bought a copy of it last week. And after hanging up with the orthopedic surgeon on Thursday night in all of my glorious defeat, I turned the book over in my hands and read the subtitle “How to get from where you are to where you want to be.That sounds good, I thought to myself, let’s see what you’ve got, Canfield … if that’s even your real name

You see, I feel like my beliefs are being tested at the moment and that means I need to surround myself with and focus on, positivity.

  • How deeply do I really believe that I am in control of my own life anyway?
  • How sure am I that everything happens for a reason?
  • What am I going to do with this disappointing situation?

Am I going to wallow in it? Or am I going re-frame it and use all the self-help tools I’ve acquired over the years to navigate it gracefully and productively, without just flailing around like an asshole and totally losing my shit. Which, for the record, is all I really want to do right now … like, in the most dramatic of fashions.

I think what’s been bothering me the most, is the fact that it’s become abundantly clear that I’ve been living a lifestyle I’m so eager to escape, that when faced with a three month extension of it, it almost broke my spirit. That can’t be good, right?

I mean, how did I get here?

I am not a miserable person. I know this might make me sound like I am but, ask Bridget, I’m not. Clearly though, the lifestyle I find myself in is not working for me and I need to own that now. I need to take responsibility.

So what am I going to do about it? I’m going to work through these Success Principles and see what happens.

The first step, according to our boy Jack, is to Take 100% Responsibility For Your Life, so that’s what I’m going to do. No more making excuses for why things aren’t the way I want them to be. No more complaining of any kind.

This requires owning up to the fact that where I am right now is the product of all of the decisions, thoughts and actions that I’ve made, thought and taken in the past.

I’ve got to give up complaining, making excuses and waiting, and change my responses. That’s all I can really control anyway, right? I can’t control the tissues in Joel’s tendon but I can control whether or not I let this situation crush my enthusiasm.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”

– Jim Rohn

I guess I have a lot of work to do. Anyone want to join me in this whole taking 100% responsibility thing? No more excuses and complaining? Come on! It will be fun.

Dana

Author Dana

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