Friday, January 4, 2013

Out with the Old and In with the New

I’m not much on mamby pamby girly self-help resolutions. But, I have always loved the OUT and IN features in magazines. You know, OUT: Leopard Print IN: Tiger Print. I love the whole “Green is the New Black” of it all. It doesn't make judgments on your affinity for leopard print. It just gives you a light nudge in a new direction while also validating your previous choice. After all, at one point black was the new black. It’s inevitable not to reflect this time of year, especially when, to add insult to injury, I will be another year older in a matter of days. So, here’s my IN and OUT list for 2013:

OUT: Self-doubt IN: Confidence
I am the first person to second guess myself. Case in point: this year I got a pretty awesome promotion. I, Tiffany Starnes am a VP. I have cards that say so. But, with the new role came an overwhelming sense of fear. Am I doing a good enough job? Do I really deserve it? Will I live up to expectations? I have spent a lot of time worrying about performing, which is a distraction from actually performing, which is what got me the fancy title in the first place. My boss is incredibly smart and successful. I should trust her instincts and own my success.  I have often wished that I could have just a smidgen of the entitlement I often loathe in ego-maniacs. But, wishes and a dollar won’t even get me a cup of coffee.  This year I am going to give my ego a break and focus less on doubt and more on the hard work, smart thinking and passion that make me pretty effing awesome. Bring on the entitlement!

OUT: Helplessness IN: Acceptance
Having a special needs kid is tough. Lately I have felt defeated. Doctor’s visits, ER visits, calls from school, time off work and especially all of the little things I see “normal” five year old kids doing every day have beaten me down. There are a million and one things that I cannot control and it is infuriating. Sisyphus has nothing on special needs parents. But, that’s life. There are some things I can control, like making my daughter laugh, taking time to dance in the kitchen with my husband and creating a happy environment for the people I love by accepting that nothing is ever going to be perfect. This extends to the laundry, the scuffed hard wood floors and the perpetual bits of paper strewn around the house that plague me. I will accept that I can’t control everything…and settle for just most things.

OUT: Passive IN: Active
“Where have you been hiding? I haven’t seen you in ages!” is the standard greeting I get when I rarely emerge form one of two lairs: office and home. Here’s the thing, I love spending time with my kid and God help anyone who tries to tear me away from my husband during the limited free time he has. And, for a long time I was content with my standing Thursday night date/therapy session/gossip-thon with my BFF. But, when my BFF moved across the country and then my Sunday Funday crowd followed suit. I realized that I have been relying solely on house calls to fuel my relationships and interests. I've grown accustomed to living like a shut-in and taking what comes to me rather than getting out there and seizing my own opportunities. What happened to the woman who rallied with the tech community, organized conferences and started clubs? She became content. And content is a very comfortable place. See also: docile, adequate, boring. I am very content being content. But, I recognize that it is a slippery slope to becoming boring and *gasp* docile. This is a hard one. I will take a more active role in my life. I will join clubs and organizations (starting with a position as co-chair of the membership committee for PRSA NOLA!). I will pick up the phone and rekindle relationships.Who wants to have lunch?

So, there you have it. Tiffany’s mamby pamby self-help resolutions cloaked in an IN and OUT theme. Maybe this should live in a journal under my bed. But, maybe someone else needs a kick in the pants to ditch their leopard skin leggings (see how I am still going with that theme?). And, if you are reading this, maybe you have another IN to offer. If so, I'd love to hear them!

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