Looking both amused and confused he asked "and what is that?"
We have been married over 20 years. He knows me all too well.
I am a Gen Xer obsessed with "self-improvement."
The Purpose Driven Life. The Power of Now. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. (Yes, I bought a Dr. Laura book. Don't judge.)
I'm pretty sure he was getting ready to hear all about the latest self help strategy I bought into. I drank the self improvement kool-aide pretty consistently in the 90's so jumping back on the band wagon wouldn't surprise him.
"Well," I said "to work at being my authentic self I need to honor four things in my life." That was the hook. He was intrigued. He was hanging on my every word.
"I need to be happy, healthy, adventurous and productive every single day. I owe it to myself to be these things everyday, all day. It is my responsibility to ask myself if I am practicing these four things." He didn't have to say it. I just saw the look on his face and it said "what does that even mean?"
- HAPPY: It's an attitude. It's my energy. It's my thoughts. I can practice happy. Smiling makes me happy. Laughing is a huge happy boost.
- HEALTHY: I know what makes me feel horrible. Sugar binging, not enough sleep, not working out, not stretching in the morning, not drinking enough water. Reminding myself I'm not honoring my "authentic self" if I engage in unhealthy habits motivates me (or guilts me, not sure which one it is.)
- ADVENTUROUS: This is simple adventure. I don't have the time or resources to trot around the globe and do really cool things (yet.) Just trying a new restaurant is fun. Going to a comedy improv show is a kick! Cooking new foods. These are things that get me out of my comfort zone.
- PRODUCTIVE: I need to move. I need to improve. I need to participate. Being productive means I'm making an effort. It could be in my business, my marriage, my family, my home, my hobbies, my friendships. If I am not engaged then I am not productive. My authentic self craves productivity.
Take that Oprah! -Monica