“Jim-bo, that’s what I call myself sometimes.” With those simple words, I was transported back in time.
“Cinder-r-r-r-r!!!” I can still hear her. She was the only person in the world who called me that. She was my softball coach. The nearest neighbor growing up. And our school bus driver. She had a booming voice that matched her outgoing personality.
Cinder pulled me down the memory lane of names I use when speaking to myself. When I need loving and coddling, it’s “Cinnie Annie” like my aunties would croon while babysitting. When boundaries might be beneficial, I speak to “Cindy Ann,” like a parent using that tone of voice. “Cin” is the playful one that spurs me onward and upward. What do you call yourself when having a heart-to-heart with the one and only YOU?
“Jim-bo” was speaking about time. The time is now. My focus became split between what he was preaching and my use of time. It took a lot of memory power to remember the nickname “Cinder”. Once I did, I spoke to myself in all tones from an assertive coach to dear friend.
I cheered myself on with a super loud “Cinder-r-r-r” of encouragement from the dugout to the outfield. Yes, 2021 started with some
disappointments and I’m choosing to make lemons out of lemonade. Not teaching one of my favorite classes at the University opened up time for me to take a course about best practices for online teaching. Like my coach used to encourage me, I’m keeping my eye on the (metaphorical) ball—online teaching with variety, engagement and physical activity.
Promote MY Rhythm
I spoke lovingly to myself, like my aunties sing-songing my name, “Go sleepie, Cinnie Annie.” Yes. It’s ok to relax and binge watch show(s) during the darkness of winter. Sewing was very relaxing in December; I think I’ll make fleece pillowcases to match the t-shirt quilts. I spoke love to this aging body that alternates between thinking it can sweat itself into nothingness at night to thinking it’s young and nimble enough to walk on ice in the winter. Just like the rhythms in a ballgame (diamond base pattern, 3 strikes and you’re out, four balls and you walk, etc), I want to foster my own unique rhythm in the big and little things.
Keep My Vision in Sight
“Cindy Ann.” Holding boundaries with yours truly is a lifelong goal. “No” isn’t the easiest word for me. Whether it’s declining a volunteer opportunity or simply resisting a bedtime snack, talking to myself with a slight edge-y tone often helps. In life, we want to hold the details within the bigger picture; similar to knowing my position on the ballfield in relation to others’ positions. So many of our life choices are related to boundaries.
Talk to Me, Baby!
Self-talk goes deep. The way we talk to ourselves is often portrayed physically in the way we care for ourselves. Do I dress like a slob or does my clothing look put together? Do I slouch and duck my head or does my posture portray confidence? Do my food choices and physical activity level model respect for the body in which I live?
Who Can I Change?
The time is now. I’m super excited to be teaching Optimal Brain Organization. Nineteen years ago, when I first attended the course, I took the opportunity to change my self-talk as a mom of littles. It was life-changing! I cannot change others. I can change myself! Notice how you talk to yourself and then acknowledge what could be shifted in that conversation.
Whether on the offense or defense, keep your eye on the ball.