Day the First, y’all. Defining my Core Values, or: Why I Cannot Get Away With Saying ‘Y’all’.
So it’s Day One: Define Your Core Values day. The Day One section talks a little bit about men feeling shiftless, having less drive and ambition than the men of generations gone by. There could be a bunch of reasons for this, but I’m inclined to think it’s because all men were born with the innate need to kill a mastodon, and thus wander around feeling unfulfilled at all times. Personally – do I feel shiftless? Sometimes. Certainly when depressed, I feel all . . . weird and floaty about life. (Weird and floaty is an accurate descriptor, and I do not care to explain it.)
What does defining core values do for us? In a general sense, and according to the 30 Days blog, it can give us purpose, make life simpler, prevent us from making bad choices and give us confidence. In particular, to me, I think that if you don’t have a basic set of defining values then you’re going to hit a lot of places where you can act…badly, for lack of a better term, and in a way you might regret.Nobody likes that; we all have plenty of reasons to lie awake at night without adding anything of our own creation.
An important thing I think I should add is that this list is so, so very personal. I don’t need you to follow my code, and that’s the tricky part – remembering that your own way is not the best way. It’s just the one that works for you. And you will sound like an ass if you start preaching from a pulpit of moral certitude. Also, I will shout at you.
Now, onto my instructions!
1. Sit somewhere comfy and relax. Not a problem. House of book nerds = at least three chairs in house designated for reading and writing. I chose the giant yellow puffy chair, if anyone cares.
2. Have the proper tools. I had a notebook, a pen and a light-duty nail gun. Always be prepared.
3. Ask: What is truly important to me? This was the hardest part to me. They say: “Think about those moments in your life when you felt completely whole and fulfilled…” -Heh? Wha-? I can’t remember breakfast. So, yeah, challenging. I first came up with the usual, like: “Oh, I feel so serene in my yoga classes,” but you know what? No, I don’t. I wonder if my underwear is sticking out of my weird capri-things that all women are contractually obligated to wear. I’m annoyed that my hair is always touching my face. The only time yoga is peaceful is during the meditation, and that’s because I’m pretty much asleep. As it turned out, my peaceful, fulfilled, happy moments were around campfires in the quiet, flying up the coast, and being in the zone when writing. (There are more, but I’m bored of this now.)
4. Write down whatever comes to you. I don’t do well with open-ended tasks, so I set a fifteen minute timer, which seemed like a perfectly reasonable amount of time in which to contemplate the vastness that is My Core Values. I randomly wrote things down as they came to me, as instructed. This is a surprisingly fun thing to do. I wrote about a page worth of random value-like-words, scribbled half of them out, and pared them down to eight or so. Those eight then had to vie to be one of the five survivors. SURVIVOR: CORE VALUES. Now with more bugs! And nail guns!
The winners are:
Security and Adaptability had a fight to the bitter end, but eventually I decided that I would only ever be secure if I was adaptable. So I feel like that’s a two-for-one’er. After this, I had to number them one through five. I don’t feel like coaxing my poor ol’ mac through another round of photo uploading (seriously. It’s a lot of work.) so here they are:
I don’t know if I feel like a better person for having done this. I certainly don’t feel worse. What I did realize is that I don’t spend a lot of time (or any, really) sitting and thinking about the way I live my life, and what kind of person I want to be. I mean, outside of therapy, where I am forced to do so and examine my choices. What I like about Day One is that it has made me revisit what’s important to me. I’m gonna stick the list to my refrigerator, or something else I love unconditionally (Get the dog!) so that I’ll remember to check it out if I’m having a bad day. Maybe it will turn out that I’m just feeling trapped, or I haven’t written anything in a long time, or I need to go out and fix something on the truck. (That’s a tricky one, as it only makes me feel competent if the truck still runs when I’m done.)
Bring on Day Two: Shine Your Shoes. There will be excellent musical accompaniment to that post; I can feel it.