February has never been my favorite month.
I do love Groundhog Day. To me, it is the first sign of thinking about spring. Whether it is six weeks or eight weeks or whenever Mother Nature sees fit, no matter to me. A cute rodent is looking for its shadow and the world is wondering if it will be an early spring. Someday I will make the journey to Punxatawney and be a part of the spectacle.
Valentine’s Day? Hmmph. Whatever. I make an effort for the boys. We like to make cute Valentine projects. Love is wonderful. But the holiday is not really my scene.
Superbowl Sunday? Such fun. I love any big sporting event. Competition. Food. Clever advertising. What’s not to enjoy? Although I enjoyed it so much more when I lived on the West Coast and it didn’t start so late in the day.
I’ve got some friends and family with birthdays in February. That’s always something to celebrate. And Fat Tuesday usually happens in February and I can get behind a day of wanton excess.
I discovered I was pregnant in February. That was an interesting year.
It’s the shortest month, so its got that going for it. And once it is gone, Spring is so close you can practically taste it. But alas, if I had to choose one month out of the year to ditch…sorry, February, you’re it.
This year, I decided to combine lots of different elements to make February more engaging, more challenging, and ultimately more transformative (I hope) as we cruise into the Springtime of my 40th year. First, I decided I would undertake the Sober February Challenge.
It is exactly what it sounds like but you can follow the link and read it for yourselves. People do it for all sorts of reasons, but I figure it will be a good way to detox my body and save some money, too. I’ll need that extra money because I am also going to detoxify by changing my diet. I did a similar program last year (no sugar, lots of protein and veggies, moderate fat) and it worked great. I felt so much better and had more energy and I figure THAT is exactly what I need to feel great this February. The only catch is there’s a lot of cooking and meal planning and organic food shopping that needs to happen. But that’s OK, I won’t be spending any money on wine or on alcohol if I go out with my friends, so I can put it toward my meals.
No drinking should also help with quitting my worst vice: smoking. I’ve come so close, so many times. I get to the point where I am only having one cigarette a night or only when I am out having drinks with friends and I think, why the hell can’t I quit? What tethers me to these disgusting, smelly, nasty, cancer-causing sticks? These are rhetorical questions. I’ve tried everything. It’s just going to take sheer will power at this point, but this seems like the right time to do it.
February, since you already suck, I am just going to make this the most brutal 28 days of my life. It will be like boot camp. Only better. And I will come out of it a healthier and happier person.
So, with my no drinking, no smoking, new diet, I figured I would need another challenge to keep me focused on why I am doing all of this–because I want to live another 40 years (at least) to share many more adventures with my children and experience as much of this world as I can and to write about it as I go.
I looked for some good blog challenges to keep me on track like NaBloPoMo did, but I didn’t find any that struck a chord. So, I decided to make up my own: Full-disclosure February.
In looking back at my most popular posts, I noticed that the ones people responded to the most were those in which I was revealing the most about myself. Since September, I have been wanting to write a post inspired by a speaker that I listened to at a conference I attended through my work.
Kevin Bracy was a truly amazing speaker whose thoughts and words have stuck with me all these many months. The conference was for parents who are a part of a very special community Share Your Story, whom I have the privilege of working for and with. It is a support community for parents of premature children or children with birth defects or children who had to spend time in the NICU and for those parents who experienced the loss of their child. Kevin had his work cut out for him as he took on the role of keynote speaker and addressed what these parents were going through in “Finding a New Normal”.
One of the exercises he had us do was to go around our tables and tell a bit of our story using these words, “If you knew me, you’d know…” and THEN go around and say “If you REALLY knew me, you’d know…”. It was a tough, emotional exercise, but revealing. Not only revealing to the people at the table, but to ourselves, to reach into the place that sometimes not even our closest friends see, a place sometimes we don’t even go, and see what we pull out.
I kept toying with the idea of making it a blog post or series of posts. Something along the lines of, “If you knew me, you’d know I was a single mom of twins. If you REALLY knew me, you’d know that even though I’ll often say I thought I was too selfish to have babies and be a mother, my whole life I dreamed of having a big family. A loving husband. Lots of kids that loved one another and looked out for one another. A fairy tale. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and their whole crew. But me. And someone who loved me more than life itself. And a big brood of happy, healthy kids. However, I am stuck with the reality that while I am so ridiculously lucky to have healthy, mostly happy twin boys, I will probably never have that fairy tale. I would love to be married to a loving man and have another baby, but the reality is that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me. And sometimes I resent the hell out of that.”
Full-disclosure. All February long. I will detoxify my body and my mind and put all my energy into writing (and parenting) (and waiting for Spring).
I’d love for others to join in. If you decide to join, please send me a link! I also think this will only work if my lovely and amazing readers will comment and ask me questions or give me topics on which they’d like my raw and unadulterated answers. Give me something to write about!