Lately, I’ve been reading, or rather re-reading, one of my all-time favorite books, “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More fun.” Crazy long title aside, this is my go-to book when my world is feeling a little wonky. The author’s methodical way of planning out her happiness project sort of relieves my over-planning tendency to do the same. Instead I able to simply focus on the message of being happy.
One of the things I love the most about this book is the author’s list of personal rules, or Twelve Commandments, that she tries to follow all the time. I like the idea of having a set of reminders to keep me on the straight and narrow, or at least pointed in the right direction. Here’s the thing, I don’t know all the rules on my list so today I’m sharing just the first one, and it’s … well … to be honest, it’s hers.
You’d think that at the ripe old age of 37, I’d have this one down pat. You’d think I wouldn’t need to remind myself to be myself. You’d think that three children and nearly fourteen years of marriage in, I’d know exactly who Jodi is … and if you think that, you’d be wrong.
I am still constantly figuring out me. For instance, for the past few months I’ve been running the Couch to 5k training program. I am signed up for a 5k in April and another in June, and I am crazy excited about both! I also promised my sister I would run a 10k with her in June. A 10k. As in 10 kilometers … 6.2 miles … fa …
(yeah, a long, long way to run … haha)
That 10k has been weighing on me pretty heavily, and for a while I thought it was just nerves and fear. But then last weekend I realized something: I don’t really want to run a 10k. I like to run. I enjoy my little 5k’s, but a 10k is a commitment. Lots of training, lots of time, more gear. The very idea of a 10k was weighing me down mentally and physically. My normal training runs were suffering, and I haven’t enjoyed one in weeks because even small 5k successes didn’t seem like enough in the span of a 10k race. When I finally asked myself why I was worried about this 10k, I realized I was running it for all the wrong reasons. I was running because my sister wanted to run it. I was running because so many of my friends are runners and knock out those long distances like they’re nothing. I was running simply to be able to say I’d done it! Literally as soon as I realized how silly those reasons were and decided that running a 10k is not “being Jodi” I began to look forward to running again, and I truly enjoyed my very next run!
I’ve noticed other instances of not “being Jodi” lately, too. Situations in which a little voice tells me I should like a certain thing or behave a certain way. Unfortunately that little voice is less Jiminy Cricket and more Sly Fox. Lucky for me I now have a rule, a guide to follow when that voice tries to convince me to do things I simply don’t want to do.
Rule #1: Be Jodi.
Because really who else could I be?