• Jennifer Holmes

Today I'm Spring Cleaning My Tree House!


I'm going to be 100% honest with you. This transition to working for myself has me waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.

I know it is the absolute right move, and on the surface I feel mostly happy and productive. But I've noticed my mind continually bubbles with warnings and unproductive thoughts.

There's my old friend Worry, who says, "Be Conservative! What if you can't make it on your own? What if you end up broke? What if... what if... WHAT IF?"

Guilt says; "Be reasonable! Who are YOU to have all this freedom, when a zillion other folks have to work for the man?"

Anxiety chimes in, "Be cautious! Now there's no one else telling you what to do. If you screw this up, it is ALL. ON. YOU."

It's kind of exhausting.

There's a great Matt Nathanson song called "Annie's always waiting". Annie says,

"My mother, she taught me how to doubt myself. Now she lives in my head like it's a tree house."

Admittedly, some of the warning voices in my head DO sound like my dear Momma. Those thoughts are boards and nails from long ago. They were intended to keep me from spending all my allowance on candy. Tracking mud through the house. Or falling out of trees while building my real life tree house. (Yep, that's me in the photo. My cousin is on the roof. And yes, I built that masterpiece!)

A bit later, as a sometimes rudderless and often frustrated (and frustrating) teenager, those caution messages got stronger and louder. I internalized them as truths about who I was. Allowed them to guide my choices and my future. But somehow, it never really felt like ME in those shoes.

Now, as an adult, I'm smack dab in the middle of the biggest transition of my life to date. I realize that I alone built this tree house in my head. And its time to do some spring cleaning!

So here are the self-judgments (disguised as truths) I'm chucking out the windows of this house! And what I'm replacing them with:

BYE-BYE LAZINESS! I realize it is SMART, NOT LAZY, to let my body (rather than brain) dictate my wake/rest schedule.

ADIOS FRIVOLITY! I proclaim it is NURTURING, NOT FRIVOLOUS, to focus primarily on the things which bring me joy.

HIT THE ROAD, RECKLESSNESS! I assert that I am responsible, strong, and smart. I can handle whatever life throws at me.

So now it's your turn! Are there old thoughts, fears, or ideas cluttering up YOUR tree house? What will you chuck out that window today? Send me a comment to declare your freedom! Or just do it for yourself. IT FEELS SO GOOD.

Love, joy, and fabulous orange table cloths, -Jen

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