Wowzers. So… Authenticity as a monthly goal? Beautiful. And exhausting for this introvert.

I learned a lot, which was kinda the point.

I learned that showing up fully in every interaction is totally doable as a moment-by-moment choice. It’s way harder when I look at it as the thing I have to do every time from now until forever.

Also, it’s a lot harder to do in regular life than it was while I was out of my routine.

I learned that it’s hardest to have a “there you are” posture toward my kids.

I learned that I don’t do it very well when I’m tired, which is kind of how this whole season is.

I also learned that perfection isn’t necessary.

When I’m tired and not engaging well, it’s okay. My life is better when I am engaging fully, and every interaction where I do (or at least try) has benefits. But all is not lost when I have an off day.

So on to December.

This month I’m renewing  a little goal I held for a while a few years ago. Ready? Really deep…

No second helpings.

After a month where my goal was show up authentically in all of my interactions with others, a goal like only take one helping of dinner seems a little goofy. But it’s my year, my experiment, so that’s what I’m doing.

Let me be outstandingly clear: this isn’t about weight.

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you probably know that body image is something I’ve struggled with for… well, forever. I could go on and on and on about what happens to my body and my soul when I make weight loss a goal, but I’ll save that for another time. The short version: it’s bad. Really, really bad for me on all levels. I’m fine with weight loss happening as a byproduct of becoming healthy and strong, but I absolutely cannot, will not, never ever again, make losing weight a goal on its own.

This is about mindfulness.

…which is weird, because I’m actually automating a choice (the question of whether or not to have seconds always has the same answer: no) which seems like a decrease in mindfulness, but here’s how it has played out for me: I’m a super duper speed eater. Like, seriously. I could win competitions. And frequently I’ll notice 80% of the way through a helping that I haven’t tasted any of it, but now that I’m paying attention, it’s delicious, and I’d like more, thankyouverymuch.

The ability to choose more means I don’t have any immediate consequences for mindlessness. My hope is, with that option removed, I’ll be a little more inclined to pay attention to this awesome meal I should be enjoying from the start. (Also? I’ll have to be intentional about serving sizes.)

So there we have it. It seems a little anticlimactic, but month twelve of 2016’s experiment is as simple as eating only one serving of dinner.

Happy December!

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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