This week I’m attempting to be on a family vacation in the Texas Hill Country. (You can follow some of our adventures on Instagram, if you’d like.) I say attempting because I’m also a tech CEO working her tail off to get my startup well into our next chapter, and that doesn’t really allow for days without some sort of work. But I’m sure trying.
Earlier this week I began reading Annie F. Downs’ book, “Let’s all be Brave,” while lounging at the pool. (Thanks, Donna, for the suggestion.
I’ve never thought of myself as being brave at all, but reading this book caused me to think about things in a new light and I was almost brought to tears a number of times, recalling my startup journey and how, well, brave, I really must be.
A few scary/ brave things I’ve done or am doing that came to mind:
- Launch a business to solve a problem I didn’t want to face anymore, knowing I wasn’t the only one frustrated, even though that meant a major change to my life as a stay at home mom and diving into deep waters in areas I needed to learn? Check.
- Go to events where I don’t know a soul and mingle to make the right business connections and have a good time? Check.
- Speak in front of 14,000 people live about my business? Check.
- Fly to foreign countries alone where I speak very little or none of that country’s native language and pitch my business? Check.
- Parenting teenagers. Working on it.
Yep, I’ve done those things. I just did them. I’m still doing them. In each one, and many others as I look back, I never saw myself as brave, just pushing on with what needed to be done.
As I read Annie’s book at the pool, I started to think of other things, too.
I was reading while wearing a bikini.
I’m 44, y’all. I have carried and delivered 3 babies. I have been a Weight Watchers success and am now currently NOT a Weight Watchers success. Launching a startup in wine has put at least 20 pounds on me. (Aside from the travel and, well, wine, I can’t be expected to sample all that wine with salad alone. There’s cheese and jamon and pasta and prosciutto and bread, gorgeous bread, and so much other deliciousness!)
So, before the trip, my husband bought me a few vacation clothes, including a bikini. And it actually fit. And I thought about the fact that if my HUSBAND thinks I look good in a bikini, shouldn’t I honor that and take HIS perspective into account?
I look in the mirror and see flaws. He looks at me and sees the woman he loves. Shouldn’t that be more than enough? Isn’t he the only one at the pool that I should be concerned about aside, maybe, from my own thoughts which we all know are going to be more critical than anyone else’s?
And so I wore that bikini to the pool and read a book about bravery. And didn’t even make the connection at the time. But you know what, I’m going to put that in the bravery column.
Yesterday, while in the San Marcos River, I learned what a wimp I am when it comes to the power of rushing water and the possibility of smashing into boulders underwater or slipping on slimy rocks. My kids cheered me on, though. My 14-year-old even held my hand to guide me a few times. So see, I’m not all that brave.
But I sure try. We’ve got to try.