I don’t know about you, but I’m a very special, unique individual with a complicated life, an unusual story, a background that has things in it I’d rather weren’t, a messy family, a cluttered house, a big heart, good intentions, a well-developed sarcasm muscle, a sometimes dysfunctional body image, chronic dissatisfaction with certain aspects of society, severe introversion with tendencies towards rabid attention-seeking, not enough time, intermittent anxiety about things I can’t control, and above all a desire to leave a positive impact on the world and the people I love. Actually, part of that was a lie. I DO know about you. I think you’re probably very special and unique too. Just like me. And I think you want the same things. And possibly, you’ve become a bit jaded and discouraged in your search for like minded folks, or a venue for making that impact.
As I’m fond of telling my children, we go where we’re celebrated (which is apparently NOT the grocery store after #NoBen has ingested too much sugar). I tell my kids and my coaching clients that if you can’t find a tribe, make your own. That’s pretty much the impetus for my new venture. I want to make a tribe, but I have some serious limitations in this. Such as:
- I have a kindergartener and twin 3-year-olds, so I’m not really available mornings or afternoons.
- I’m a leadership trainer/coach as well as co-owner of a fitness business, so I’m not really available during the day.
- Even if I was available, I’m pretty awkward in social situations, so if it’s not a structured event I’ll be pretty fidgety.
But all that being said, I also KNOW that isolation drains us emotionally and spiritually and in every area of my life, I can tend to get unique-itis, or feel sorry for myself-ness and the only known cure for that is honest and authentic community with like-minded people. So I need my tribe, and my tribe needs me. Honestly, I would have launched this all about a year ago, but then I decided to do some ‘research’.
Basically, what I learned during that year is that the tools that can be used to bring us closer and share our similarities can also be used to savagely rip people apart. I’ve seen articles on sleep training that have degenerated into both sides accusing one another of attempting to murder their children. Now I have friends who (correctly), let babies cry it out, and friends who (incorrectly) think that that is terrible (see what I did there?), and if we can’t even discuss THAT without name calling and threats, what are the chances of any kind of meaningful discourse?
Ahhh…but that’s when I realized…we already have a million resources where we can vent our political angst, and medical resources to learn that it’s okay to sleep train your baby (or not) etc., etc. Nobody needs more of that. What we do need is to sit down over a virtual cup of coffee with some friends to laugh at the crazy things our kids do, make fun of the ridiculous expectations Pinterest has of us, and maybe share some of our fears and aspirations.
My interests at this stage in my life are pretty basic, and common to a lot of us, I think. I want to know:
- How to enjoy my life more, despite the chaos
- How to figure out my gifts, and the best way to contribute them, whether it’s in the workplace, volunteer arena, or the family
- How to use the limited time I have to get as physically fit as possible, starting where I’m at, with continual progress
- How to get my kids to eat healthier without spending more time or money than I have
- How to operate in grace, and speak life to others.
I’ll end with this story. Earlier this week I was up at 2:00 am with the committee in my head going off about how I’ve ruined my children with my impatience, how I’m a crappy wife, horrible mother, lousy friend, and on and on and on. I got through it as I do, by remembering what God says about me, and turning it over to Him. The next morning at drop off, I started chatting with another Mom, whom I’ve just met. She shared about what a rough morning she had, just the tip of the iceberg, mind you, as she was watching my reaction. I was SO glad to hear it, and I talked to her about some of my challenges. We ended up having a very encouraging, and brief talk about losing your grip, getting it back, and trudging on. Now, I know nothing about this woman other than a few basics, but we connected, and we helped each other.
See, shame is a cockroach that light chases away. We can be light to each other just by listening, withholding judgment, and saying ‘yeah, me too’. I don’t want or need a place where I am lectured or put down. I am too grounded, too old, and too irreverent to pull off politically correct, and too kind to want to be mean, so I tend to like communities with diverse points of view, but little pretension. I enjoy people who’d rather laugh at themselves than at others, and who practice the most important commandment.
And I bet you do, too…so stay tuned, because this is going to be ….AWESOME!
PS I’ve written, 10 tips on dealing with multiple (conflicting) priorities. If you’d like a free copy, just click here!