I had the good fortune of moderating a discussion with Lucy Danziger, SELF magazine’s editor-in-chief and her book’s co-author, Catherine Birndorf at the YMCA’s Y Society charity fundraiser two weeks ago. We chatted about how to bring more happiness into our lives, clean up messy rooms (in a metaphorical sense) and ways to embrace being our best selves.
It was a spirited conversation that used their book “The Nine Rooms of Happiness” as a point of reference. Each room represents a different area of our lives – the bedroom, the kitchen, the basement, the bathroom, etc. Messes in one room often leave a trail of messes to another, and there’s usually a very short hallway in between! In reading their book, it struck me that often times our messes originate in the basement, where we store our childhood memories.
In dealing with issues, there are two challenges we face: self-awareness and actualizing. The second challenge I think is the greater one — doing something about the problem we know we need to address. As I mentioned to Lucy and Catherine during the event, I have had a lifelong habit of picking unavailable men. They’ve been geographically challenged or emotionally challenged and sometimes both. If I bust down to the basement to look back at my youngsterpup years, my parents’ marriage was a roller coaster of good times and constant fighting. They weren’t right for each other and finally cut themselves free in their early 40s after 20+ years together. It was the best thing they did for themselves and for our family. My brother and I are thankful for the childhood they gave us, but we acknowledge what a shame it was that they sacrificed their individual happiness to keep our family together. When we were young, my brother Matt and I would sneak out of the house late at night in our pjs to lay in the front yard while our parents fought. They never knew we did this until they read an essay I wrote for an MBA school application. Oh the guilt I was able to conjure up after so many years… :)! Kids are wise. They see things their parents do, and it shapes them and the decisions they make as they grow up. Oddly enough, the wisdom we acquire as children often gets mistranslated into foolishness in our choices in our adult years.
Relationships and role models, patterns and habits good and bad leave a legacy that steer us all our lives. I have chosen unavailable men because of the impressions formed from my youngest days about my parent’s relationship. My big challenge is to choose differently. I’ve got the awareness, but I need to actualize by making healthier choices. It’s a brand new year, and I’ve made it my resolution to be my best self yet. I’m making time for balance, prioritizing my life outside of Sweet Revenge® and being kind and good to myself – and this goes hand-in-hand with who I bring into my life.
“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” (Anton Chekhov)
Teaser Taste of Sweet Revenge®: Shoot it & Eat it!