Dear Orange Rhinos,
I feel like we should be having this conversation instead of you reading it. So let’s pretend. Here is a glass of wine and a cup of coffee (um both with chocolate, obviously, since this is a heart to heart); grab whichever you prefer.
First off, a disclaimer. This post is not going to be perfect. It will probably have grammatical errors. Wait, all of mine do and that is usually intentional, I digress. This post will probably have typos and errors because I am not going to really proofread it because I want to post it tonight, immediately. Actually, I have wanted to write and post it for months but you know, life happens. And while the message is really, truly, madly, deeply important and does deserve all the editing and correcting and quasi-perfecting, it ain’t gonna happen.
And maybe that is okay. Because that is kind of the message. Grammatical errors happen. Typos happen. Yells happen.
Yes, yells happen.
Yells happen. Sh*t happens. We have a bad day. We have P.M.S. The kids have a bad day. The kids have I.A.J.A.K.S (I am just a kid syndrome). And so yells happen. And it feels sh*tty, really, really sh*tty. And on top of feeling sh*tty from yelling once an hour, once a day, once a week, once a month, or once every few months, chances are you have other things in life that make you feel sh*tty. I know I do. Some days I feel cruddy about my weight gain. Some days I feel cruddy about my grumpiness. Some days I feel cruddy about the lack of “quality” time I give my kids. Some days I feel cruddy because of finances.
My point? There are SO many things in life that can make us feel cruddy. I do not ever, never, ever, EVER want this blog or the Facebook page to be a source of that. Never. I do not want to add to anyone’s stress. Which is why I share the following points:
(1) The Orange Rhino Challenge “rules” are there are NO real rules! (well except that you are nice to everyone who is taking it)
I set up the 365 days straight and the yelling-meter because I am a cold turkey, organized, need parameters type of personality. Without such things, I don’t stay motivated. That is just me. Counting days and level of yells may work wonders for you or it may not. Either way is ok. I just want you to feel good about yourself for (1) deciding to change, (2) making the effort, and (3) discovering that you are trying hard and making progress. You are making progress by the way, whether you see it or not. Awareness and taking on a hard habit to break IS progress! I have felt the opposite of all three points and I simply DO NOT want you all to feel that. End of story. So if my “rules” are doing that, adjust them. At the end of the day, taking The Orange Rhino Challenge means challenging yourself to YELL LESS and Love More irregardless of whether or not you are counting days. Which brings me to the next point.
(2) Set a Goal that works for you!
Only you know how you operate. While it is said that having a concrete goal helps one to achieve, there is no reason to say that 365 days straight needs to be your goal! Pick something that motivates and inspires you. Maybe it’s going to bed feeling less guilty. Maybe it’s going the first hour of the day yell-free. Maybe it’s making it through the morning routine. Maybe it’s 3 days, then 6 then 12. Maybe it’s just showing up and trying. My point? Do what works for you.
(3) Count or Don’t Count!
If counting towards a goal works for you, embrace it. If it makes you stressed out, don’t count. Again, this should not be a place of added anxiety. I would cry if it were. Really. I don’t like seeing anyone I care about stressed. And I care about all of you. I do. When I started this challenge I met a great woman I named Mrs. Sunshine (she just had a ridiculous positive attitude.) Anyway, she found that counting stressed her out. So she stopped. She focused on just general awareness and living in the moment, enjoying the moment, doing the best in the moment. That worked for her. Guess what? She has gone a long time without yelling.
(4) Either way, it’s all about LESS is MORE. Yelling Less is Loving More.
Again, I chose a 365-day straight goal. My mom (who has a background in therapy and all that jazz) told me I was nuts, that I was setting myself up to fail, that it wasn’t about perfection. Looking back at the year, I can say that my goal was fine and that in achieving my goal I can say that it truly is about YELLING LESS (whether for 365 days or 365 moments.) Every day that I yell less than I would have pre The Orange Rhino Challenge is a win.
Any moment that I don’t yell, is a win.
Eventually, all the yell-free moments add up. Whether they add up to a year straight, a day straight, a month, or a few months straight, they add up and symbolize something better than the alternative. And that to me, is what matters. My mom was right. This isn’t about perfection. I am not perfect. Never will be. I am sure there will be a day when I yell. I am sure it will catch me wicked off guard. I am sure it will catch my boys off guard. And I am sure that I will get up and go on with life, waiting for the next opportunity to yell less and love more. And it will be okay because there will be more positives in my days than negatives. (And by the way, you should know that I TRULY believe that you all will get to the point where you have more +’s in your days than –‘s. You will get there. You will get there!)
This is the moment where I normally would stop and torture myself to get the above sentiment perfect. I know I am not saying what I want to say. I know I could do better, that I could write it more powerfully, more succinctly, that I could turn it into an entirely separate post, but I also know that it is okay to not be perfect. What matters is knowing me, taking care of me, so that I can yell less and love more tomorrow. I have learned that this year, big time.
This Orange Rhino needs to sleep tonight in a big way. I went to bed at 8 last night and couldn’t fall asleep until 11 only to be up at 5. I was a witch today and I hated it. But I forgave myself and did the best I could because at the end of the day, that is all we can do. Our best, in any given moment. It might not be perfect and that is okay.
(Right? It is okay. LOL. Someone please tell me it is okay and that the above point made sense. Because even though I am telling myself it is okay you all know that I am a work in progress and still trying to embrace that imperfection is perfection bit!)
Sleep well. Forgive yourself if you yelled. Set your own adjustments to the rules to inspire you. Do what you need to do to challenge yourself to be an Orange Rhino!
All my best,
The Orange Rhino