Hello Loooooozer,

forgive

Have you ever made a new year’s resolution that you truly intended to keep, only to chide yourself in the first week of January for failing to keep it?

I did it for years and felt like a big, fat loser.

But I went on making resolutions every year, even though my inability to keep them made me feel terrible about myself.

With the exception of resolving year after year that I would stop drinking – right after the Super Bowl-Easter-Fourth-of-July-Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday – the only thing I can remember about my new years’ resolutions is never keeping them…

…And, one piece of great advice from a friend who reminded me of my high school Headmaster’s famous mantra while we were watching the Super Bowl, drinking Heinekens, and munching on some Nacho Cheese Doritos.

“Be the best you can be!”

Dick Webster was the Headmaster at LaLumiere, a small private boarding school in LaPorte, Indiana where I went for my junior and senior year in high school.

Like most educators there, he was also a coach, a mentor and a friend whose favorite mantra was: be the best you can be!

Not only do I still hear that mantra in my head, I can still hear his booming voice on the basketball court: “Free throws win basketball games girls!”

Too bad I was a lousy shot, but boy I was lightning fast under the boards and he was a champion at motivating my spirit.

Like Vince Lombardi who knew that winning world championships was a matter of inches, Webster knew that winning was a matter of free throws.

Incremental Success

I’m not writing this week because I want to or because I think I can.

I’m writing because I don’t want to and I didn’t think I could.

I’m writing because a friend asked me not to give up; to push myself just a tiny bit more to be the best version of myself that I can.

It’s easy to be hard on myself and feel tempted to give in on giving up.

Self-care is not something I was taught to care about.

I was taught to care about winning, which was measured by losing so I tried never losing.

I was taught that winning at all costs was the equivalent of success, so I tried to be successful because I thought happiness was hinged inextricably to my success.

That cost me a lot of happiness.

I had it so wrong for so long!

Winning, success, and happiness are not inextricably tied.

They can’t even be properly measured together, not by my definitions anyway.

Success can only be measured personally, and happiness?

That’s overrated too.

On any given day, I have everything I need and it still never guarantees me happiness.

I will always want more, desire more.

Webster knew our winning could be measured in free throws and our success incrementally measured in each player’s ability to give a little bit more than we thought we were capable of giving.

On or off the court, success requires consistency.

It’s a sobering reminder.

I want to feel resolutely more content everyday because it’s the only time I ever feel satisfied.

But it’s not easy.

It means getting out of my own way every day – over and over and over again.

While 161,264 hours of sobriety add up to 6,720 days, 220.70 months and 18.39 years, they’re all successes of yesterday and I’m sure I’m very happy about it all, but who’s counting.

I only have today to be the best I can be.

Success and happiness are as fleeting as the passing of time and as fickle as the glory of a game winning free-throw.

If I want contentment in my life, I have to keep my head in the game even if it means sitting on the bench ’cause some days are downright dreadful.

Those days in particular are the days that I need to let someone help – that’s trying too, and trying in any variation is winning.

Here’s to taking a shot at making our lives incrementally better today, a journey filled with many happy moments, and a destination filled with contentment.

Until next time,

Be the best you can be; a courageous champion of your contentment. You might be the reason why someone else doesn’t quit.

Cheers!

####

Photo Credit: Me

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14 Responses to “Hello Loooooozer,”

  1. ScottJanuary 11, 2017 at 9:07 am #

    Well said!

    In grad school we had an exercise we had to complete in teams. We had to toss a ball into a basket from a variety of distances. 30 ft, 20 ft, 10 ft, 5 ft and 3 ft. Well DUH, no surprise, more balls made it into the basket at the 3 ft distance. The exercise was meant to show us that (in addition to of course having long-term goals), making three foot tosses is much more attainable and something we can focus on *today.* I always remembered that example.

    Keep up the great writing!

    • MO VEARJanuary 14, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

      Hi Scott,

      Sorry for delay. I don’t know why you keep going to spam, but don’t let it keep you from sharing. I’ll get them eventually!!! 🙂

      I love this anecdote. Whoever had you do that was so smart because clearly it made an impression!

      Thanks for reading and for your continued support.

  2. Maria MaganaJanuary 9, 2017 at 8:16 pm #

    Funny I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a few years ago since I never did keep them. But I do try to reflect at the beginning of the New Year and think of something to make me a better person, not going on a diet or going to the gym or going to bed earlier but maybe something like praying more or counting my blessings more or choosing joy when surrounded my aggravating circumstances. Not always easy to do but totally worth the effort. Love all your articles and look forward to reading them.

    • MO VEARJanuary 14, 2017 at 1:42 pm #

      Hi Maria,

      Sorry for delay. You went into my spam, but don’t let it keep you from writing because I love hearing from you!

      I’m with you. I just need to keep being mindful of choosing joy one day at a time!

      Thanks again for reading and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it very much!

  3. KKJanuary 8, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    Ah, sobriety will get easier when you don’t have to calculate the time you’ve been that way. Per our conversation on the canoe trip, I did enjoy the company of my friends and others without the use of alcohol and had no desire to partake in that.
    You are always a ray of sunshine to be around so I know you’re always the best that you can be!

    • MO VEARJanuary 9, 2017 at 7:00 am #

      Thanks, Karyn! 🙂 Yeah, I can embarrass myself stone cold sober now and remember everything; it sure is a lot more fun – for everyone!

      Thanks so much for commenting. Always appreciate it; and you!

  4. GTJanuary 7, 2017 at 5:30 pm #

    “Consistency, aye there’s the rub.”

    Mo, this blog has so many important observations I am not even going to try and select a favorite. Like many of us you have endured life’s negatives. Some of these resulted from our own folly, others resulted from situations and people we could not control. But the brilliant thing you have done is to abide; and more, to draw true wisdom out of your personal encouter with life. I have been very fortunate in my choice of sisters.

    Okay, just one of the many truths you identified. “Self care is not something I was taught to care about.” Not at all obvious; a subtle insight you nailed. I think you just made an unbroken string of free throws.

    • MO VEARJanuary 9, 2017 at 6:51 am #

      Aye.

      Mr. Webster will be happy to hear about my string of free throws! LOL.

      Thanks for commenting and thank you for helping your family to understand more fully, how important self-care truly is. I think women/moms are more challenged in the area of self-care, for all the obvious reasons, but I know men struggle too. Regardless of trying to be an example to my kids, it reminded me that I should be communicating more, giving it language…

      As always, thanks for your comments and insights.

  5. JerryJanuary 7, 2017 at 10:07 am #

    Really love this one. Every time we defeat that defeatist attitude in ourselves we should rejoice. That is the way to build those new pathways to contentment in our brains. But rejoicing is a feeling, not just a thought. And yes, even asking for help (or accepting help) is winning. Congratulations on your years, months and days of sobriety. That is truly something to feel joy about. Feel it! Love it! You are winning!

    • MO VEARJanuary 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

      Funny, I struggled with putting this out, mostly because of nagging self-doubt and impervious perfectionism – yet I’m getting lots of emails from readers who like it. Go figure. I guess, case in point, just keep working at it.

      Thank you for letting me know, Jerry, and for your kind words. I love being on the receiving end of hearing you say: You are winning! I felt like a winner when I read it – LOL.

      When I’m writing, I’m trying to being as honest as possible, saying it as much for me as for anyone, but I always hope that it resonates with my readers because honestly, I don’t have a great barometer for this stuff. I’m learning as I go and grow, so thanks for sending good vibes back!!!! 🙂

      • JerryJanuary 7, 2017 at 10:26 pm #

        You won just by getting it down on paper/digital media. Are you looking for some kind of acceptance in chasing perfection? Being as honest as possible is far more valuable. But we do want someone to read and understand our honesty, hopefully without judging us. too harshly. So I know what courage it takes to put one’s writing out there and risk disapproval. Just remember you are writing for you and therefore no barometer is necessary. There will always be someone who just doesn’t “get you.’ The same for your writing. You have to be OK with that. And on some days you will be and on other days you won’t. Thanks for listening to my two cents. 🙂

        • MO VEARJanuary 9, 2017 at 6:42 am #

          Hi Jerry,

          Thanks for your thought provoking comment. I’m not so much seeking anyone’s approval at this point in my life as I am a connection to others.

          Like I mentioned in last week’s article – the God of my understanding comes to me through other people, so connecting with others not only affirms that for me, it makes me feel a little less lonely at times, especially when I want to give in on giving up.

          There are plenty of people who don’t “get me,” who never have and never will. During my younger years, when I was chasing their illusory approval, it was based on a need that was lacking in me, an emotional one that was never met; hence the chase. I don’t rely on that anymore, nor do I mind being alone, but I think there’s a big difference between being alone and feeling lonely.

          We all just want to know that we matter, so my hope in resonating with others reaffirms for me that I matter too, that I’m not alone in thinking this way. That’s all. 🙂

  6. AndrewJanuary 6, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    Nice piece! Keep on writing..

    • MO VEARJanuary 7, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

      Thanks! Appreciate it. xo

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