Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Suck it up, Buttercup

I'm a big girl now.  I have a husband, a house, offspring, two cars, a job. And there are still things that I do not want to do.  Ok, that I just have dug my heels in refusing to do.  When my van starts to make a weird noise, the first person I call is not my husband. It's my dad. Why? Because I trust his knowledge of automobiles (as he still calls them) implicitly.  I can call him and within minutes has the solution, which is to take my van in himself.  Mechanics make me nervous.
Cleaning windows.  When we bought our 1930's home it had the original windows. Ten years ago we had them replaced, but that doesn't stop me from telling Don I don't know how to clean them.  I also don't know how to use the stupid Xbox remote that controls our netflix.  And guess what? I'm not about to learn.
Many women take pride in not needing a man.  I do. Desperately.   Well, the truth is, I know I could do some things but I think Don and my Dad like to feel needed. At least that is what I keep telling them.
Recently I have had to face some grown up decisions.  I'm still amazed at times that I am a grown up.
Sometimes I will be sitting in my office and wonder how this happened? How did things get so serious all of the sudden?  I loved the time when I could go tell my mom something and she would take care of it.  Now being the mom, I have had to learn to take care of things.  Not only things regarding the kids, but for my well being too.

There are times when you know that standing up for what you feel is right is the right thing to do, even if its not the easiest.  There are times that I just have to tell myself; "suck it up, buttercup"
The first time I heard that phrase was from a travel team soccer coach.  We were at the end of a game and it was 130 degrees outside.   I begged him for a sub, but he knew I had 5 minutes left in me.  I would have argued, but I was so tired and out of breath I didn't have the energy to whine.   I survived, we won, the end, right?
Wrong. Now as an adult, I don't have a coach telling me to suck it up.  In regards to personal issues, it is just up to me.  We face things in our life that, frankly just suck.  Watching my uncle die? Sucked. But my inner voice said "suck it up buttercup".  He would have done it for me.  Putting my beloved pet down when my husband was out of town? Sucked.  Ending a toxic friendship? Getting up the courage to speak up about something that you know is right is equally as hard. But again, you just have to say, suck it up buttercup. Realizing that the office water is depleted and my only option to avoid perishing from dehydration is the drinking fountain? Yep, in this case I have to put e coli aside and suck it up, or die.

There is an inner argument in my head.  My desire to do something vs. My doubt I can do it.
I recently decided to put together a small production called The Mamalogues.  Sure I had doubt, what if nobody wanted to participate, what if nobody wants to come, is this a stupid idea?  One morning I just got up and decided to do it.  Guess what? Everyone I asked to participate said yes, it sold out in a week and in the dress rehearsal I learned that it isn't a stupid idea, it is brilliant.   Brilliant because each of the women have so much to say.
Easily I could have let doubt win, like so many other times. But the world would still be going on, and I would have always wondered what it would have been like.
I would have told myself I didn't have time..but you can always find time to do something you love.
Somethings aren't even that poignant.  Today I didn't feel like going to work. It is hot, I have to park 4000 miles away but I'm not the only person who has to make this voyage so I just tell myself  "suck it up buttercup".

What I realized today is that all this time I have been "sucking it up" I never really knew what I was
(for lack of a better word) sucking up?  Fear.  Doubt. Laziness.  And it has resulted in something I didn't anticipate.  Years of gulping down emotions resulted in bravery, confidence and ambition.

The pain and discomfort I feel in my stomach before I embark on something uncomfortable is fueled with the confidence of doing what is right.  If you know that your intention comes from a good place then it can't be wrong.

Examples of buttercups who sucked it up; Amelia Earhart, her outcome might have been less than perfect, but her legacy taught little girls that she was capable of doing a man's job.  Steve Jobs, if he would have decided to wait until he was rested to create Apple, then it would have been too late.  Betty White.  She could easily hung up the towel and retired but the world would have missed out on how funny she is.  George Takai again, he could have just decided to live off the Star Trek royalties, live a quiet life, but instead, the 76 year old became an advocate for LGBT rights as well as an author, an  internet sensation for his humor and quick wit, which I am grateful for because his posts make me laugh..and I believe laughing makes me feel better even when I think its not possible.

My point is, next time you feel like not trying something, or not speaking up, or tolerating a frenemy, just tell yourself to suck it up. Even if the outcome isn't what you hoped, you at least tried, and you never know who might have a positive impact from your simple act of bravery.

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