Almost everyday I have a plan. That is, I have something that needs to be accomplished. Often my plans are based on the needs of someone else, my husband, mother-in-law, friends or grown children.
My daughter just got married at the end of December so my plan everyday for a few months involved doing something for her wedding. And the very last week before the wedding, it was all about the cake.
I baked, assembled, decorated and transported her wedding cake. (The one you see pictured) If you have ever done this, you know how nerve wracking it can be. You never really feel good until you see the cake, in one piece, set up at the reception. And then you wait for some validation that it actually does taste as good as it looks.
I am a baker at heart, and have made wedding cakes in the past. But this cake was the biggest baking/decorating project I have ever undertaken…But there was a time in my life when I thought I would never be able to accomplish anything that required so much work, skill and patience.
When my daughter was younger, she used to say, “Someday, you’re gonna bake my wedding cake.” I remember telling her there was no way I could do that. I knew her plans for a wedding cake were on a much grander scale than I could manage.
But over the last few years, I developed a knowledge and confidence in myself. And when she began to make plans for her wedding, I offered to make the cake. I knew I could do it. And I knew it would be the biggest, best looking and best tasting cake I have ever done.
Knowing my background of anxiety, eating disorders, self-flagellation and general negativity, I wonder sometimes what the actual turning point in my life was…the one thought, or attitude which changed my perspective from –I can’t, to –I can?
As hard as I try to pinpoint that one thought, nothing stands out. But there was certainly a shift in my thinking. It happened over a period of time and it stemmed from having a plan for each day. The plan was not just a list of things I needed to accomplish for others, or errands that needed to be done. It was more like what type of person I wanted to be, how I wanted to live my life.
When I decided to begin each morning with a plan for what I wanted my life to look like, I started to like myself. I had more energy to put into accomplishing things I used to only wish I could do, and all my outward directed plans just fell into place.
Here is a list of my of ‘plans’ for each day. Usually I pick one thing and try to work on that for just today or even for the week. I don’t always succeed, but overall, I am becoming more of the kind of person I want to be, and a faith in something bigger than myself, (I call this God) has awakened in me naturally. If I can do this, and accomplish more than I ever dreamed, you can do this too. It’s a piece of cake.
Today I will not complain about anything.
I will not voice any regrets about the past.
I will not talk about anyone unless it is to praise or congratulate, this includes myself.
I will give thanks for everything, even the difficult and unwanted things.
I will not get offended by anything that is said about me or too me.
I will not judge myself or others.
I will look people in the eyes while addressing them.
I will be respectful of others beliefs and attitudes, even if I do not agree with them.
I will not correct others.
I will not dismiss anyone as being ‘below me.’
I will not feel diminished in the presence of anyone I hold in high esteem.
I will not chastise myself or anyone else for the appearance of their body.
I will not dwell on my mistakes, I will acknowledge them and move on.
I will accept the good and the not so good things that happen today, all with an attitude of peace.
Today may be a stepping stone to a better day, but I will not wait until the better day to enjoy my life. I will appreciate and enjoy my life today.