21 Days of Fearless: Day 3

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

This morning I woke up wondering what my fearless activity would be. As I sit here and write this, I still have a couple of options. I can contact a coaching colleague who trained me in the Process course at CTI about coaching workshops for the LGBTQ community, I can make a Japanese potato salad for a party I’m going to later today, or I can choose to not make the salad and take a much needed nap, even though I told the host of the party I would make the salad. In my head, I’ve made the decision already, but my body is ill-mannered in following instructions.

I’m prone to making decisions based on what everyone but me thinks. I’ve been told (in years of therapy) that this is a behavior product of growing up in an alcoholic household. I just knew it as the way I grew up. It took years of therapy for me to learn that what I think actually matters. And even though I know this and believe it, my actions still have a difficult time following suit every now and then.

So today I will leave the potato salad unmade. The potatoes will remain in the fridge, unpeeled, uncut, uncooked, unmashed. The carrots and cucumbers will remain unpeeled and uncut. The light mayo will remain in its plastic jar on the bottom shelf of the fridge door (where it’s probably been for months, since I rarely use mayonnaise on anything). The oven will remain off, and the kitchen clean. I will not lift a finger to make the potato salad I promised to make. But what to do about how I feel about that?

What will our host say when I show up empty handed? My heart races, my stomach churns, my mind fills with her never spoken words of anger and disappointment. I entertain thoughts of stopping at the store on the way her house just to not show up empty handed. Will she ever invite me again? What a terrible house guest I’m being by not bringing something. I should just get up and make the stupid salad, I think. And what do I lose by making the salad?

I didn’t sleep well last night. I woke up early this morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. I spent all afternoon supporting friends at the ball field in 100+ degree weather. I’m finally tired, and I sure could use a nap before getting ready for this barbecue tonight. But if I make the Japanese potato salad, there is no time for a nap. I will rush to get the salad done, then rush to get ready, then rush to be on time. I will be stressed at the party and wonder what everyone thinks of that salad I’ve never made on my own before (and haven’t made at all in more than five years). When is there time to take care of me?

Right now. Right now is the only time I ever have to take care of me. As the Power of Now suggests, there is no such thing as the future, because by the time it arrives, it is the present. So I will be fearless in taking care of myself before anyone else today. I will take my nap. I will have plenty of time to get ready for the party. I will not fret over what people think of the salad I did not make. And when it comes to feeling guilty about not making the salad at all, I’ll take a deep breath and remind myself that there is no fear in my present state of mind, there is only grace in taking care of myself.

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  • Kelly

    Ahhh, the power of a nap. 😉

    The first time I read this blog entry I learned the importance of honoring my own needs. I may have even gotten up from the computer and taken a nap. Upon this second reading of your post, I’m a bit amused with how little I knew of myself then and how much reward I’ve received since I’ve begun honoring my needs more.

    • Crazy how much of a difference shifting what we honor really makes. I often have to realign with my values … got some great sleep last night because of it, even =)

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