So can I just say how totally tired I am of being told to “Do epic shit?” Even just the word epic is tiresome.
I don’t know about you, but it just makes me feel bad about myself when all I see as the definition of epic shit is sexy people traveling around the world making a difference. Or just instagramming their bare feet in front of ocean waves. The people who do epic shit are on stages in high heels with sleek calves, right? They have a trending hashtag, or are cuddling up to Oprah in photographs that look shopped but aren’t. They vision board.
I always think pictures of ordinary people with Oprah look shopped. Just me?
And of course all of this stuff is great, but this is not the only definition of epic shit, you guys. It is just a tiny part of the story.
As far as I’m concerned, epic shit can also look like getting all the things on a to-do list accomplished on most days. Or at least getting most of those things accomplished on most days.
It is sometimes keeping my child alive on frozen fish sticks and canned clam chowder because I can’t battle over kale every day. Yeah, I am a health coach, but my son didn’t hire me to make him eat kale, he just needs me to love him and be a decent example and when I succeed at that without screwing it up and having to apologize for acting like a human who didn’t get parenting lessons, I consider it epic also.
I consider keeping my child, and for that matter myself, alive to be epic.
I consider going to the grocery store to be epic.
Oh the grocery store. Making a list, getting dressed, parking, crowds and acute sensory input overload, and then… small talk. Cashiers are all, “Got any big plans today?”
I get all paralyzed because small talk is so confusing, and I end up saying something nonsensical, too loud and with spazzy intonation. “No! I’m not going kayaking!”
And it’s true. I’m not going kayaking, even though it’s sunny out, even though that is what epic shit is supposed to look like. Nope, I am going right back home because I’m in the epic business of making sure my son’s homework gets finished and that we stay hydrated.
Epic looks like not having visible pee on the toilet seat.
It looks like doing the laundry, folding it and putting it away. Or at least, putting it in the right room.
It looks like functioning at the summit of my grooming potential now and then.
It looks like social time with friends for laughing.
It looks like the fact that there are people in my life that love me despite all the mistakes I make.
And, of course, it looks like all of the stability I have built despite getting dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood. It is the things I get written, captured, crafted, the meals shared, the good parenting moments, making a beautiful home no matter how many times I have moved somewhere new, started over from scratch. It looks like taking care of myself, my health and the health of my clients who trust me with their softest and hardest stuff. Yeah, that happens and it is seriously epic.
Sweetheart, I am not advocating mediocre shit. I really want you to write the book and start the business and do the art because all of that saves lives. I want you to travel to beautiful places and do useful things while you are there or just instagram your toenail polish in the sand. I want Oprah to meet you so I can make jokes about how funny you guys look in the photo together.
I will totally like that epic shit on Facebook when it happens to you.
But you should also know that just surviving all of the intensity and grief you have had to survive in this one go-round and still waking up every day and making a play for love is so beautiful it could crush my heart.
You should know with every cell of you that maintaining faith that everything will be ok, even when that faith is fueled by fury, is epic. Being able to remember to breathe once in awhile and witness how time slows down and expands just to honor the fact that you are paying attention, is epic. Being in awe of nature when you remember to notice it is epic. Those times that you feel good in your skin no matter how rare that happens are epic. The fact that these things, these sweet moments find their way through your chaos, past your walls of resistance, despite your clever excuses and your never ending insistence that you don’t deserve them… is epic shit, and you are doing it.
You should know that what you are already doing is enough.
You are enough.
So stop it with the pressure already, ok?
Love you. I mean it.
image by me