If you’re not pursuing excellence, you’re not doing it right.

The title of this post is what I truly believe. It is also a big fat mirror to my big fat face that I have not been living up to my own expectations. Quick warning to The Internet, this post may quickly devolve into stream of conscience nonsense – but that’s what happens when I have a few minutes to myself at work without any clients.

First, I need to apologize to my body for what I’ve done to it today. I’m having a sort of last hoorah/getting my shit together day. You know, eating really crappy, bad for me foods, whilst writing out my dreams and goals and plans in a brand new notebook using pretty multi-colored pens. (Quick aside: I LOVE the word whilst. I’ve been using it intermittently for years, probably read it in an old English-y novel once). Seriously, after a lunch of Culver’s chicken sandwhich, fries, soda and an impulse purchase of sour patch watermelon things (in the checkout while buying my new notebook!), I’m suprised my heart is circulating enough blood to allow me to write this post. Ugh. I’m having lunch flashbacks right now that are making me nauseous. This was truly a Louis C.K. moment: the meal wasn’t over when I was full; the meal was over when I hated myself. It’s times like these that a small, sick part of me wants to go throw up lunch so I’m able to focus.

Early on, I wrote about the areas in my life that I wanted to start working on…or try to work on. BUT, something I’ve discovered in the last several days of making a plan to potty train my 2  year old is that there really is no “try” only “do.” Thanks Yoda. I’m always writing lists, etc. and thinking of all the things I could or should do to change a certain area of my life. The problem is that when you’re planning (or trying) too long, you eventually spend all your time thinking about making a change instead of just freakin’ doing it already! So, today’s lunch aside (seriously yuck), I will be throwing myself whole heartedly into pursuing excellence in several areas of my life. This does NOT mean I think everything is going to go off without a hitch or that I’m not going to mess up from time to time. I fully expect, though will endeavor to avoid, little failures along the way.

Throughout this process, and to make the process more manageable, I’m going to streamline my life as much as possible – you know, as much as is possible having a full time job, a gorgeous 2 year old daughter, husband, etc. I started this past Sunday by resigning as president from a local political club that is near and dear to my heart. It was a difficult decision, but one I had to make. I already feel like I’m being pulled in too many directions at once which means instead of being the best I can be in a given situation, I’m the “blah” I can be in many different situations. So, I admitted my plate was too full, took my ego out of the equation completely (hard!) and gracefully resigned. The group will be that much better for my leaving because my vice president has grown children, works part-time, and has loads more time and energy to do the job justice. As soon as I resigned I felt a weight lifted off my shoulder. Now, just because I liked that feeling doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing everything I care about; BUT, I will say the experience will make me more mindful about taking on more responsibilites simply because someone asks.

In addition to the title of this piece, the word “mindful” is another very important word that has been missing from life since around 2007 when I moved back to my home state and lost my footing. I haven’t been living mindfully – I’ve been living reactionally, automatically, unconsciously, inattentively, etc. You get the picture. Aside from my daughter, I have been allowing life to happen to me instead of really living my life.  And, now that I’m awake – or at least now that I’ve stopped hitting snooze – I realize how living life with the auto-pilot engaged has had a detrimental effect in almost every facet of my life. Deciding to live your life with purpose and to pursue excellence is a lofty but completely necessary goal for me. It’s going to be hard, but I know I can do it.

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