Throw the Damn Axe
Planning my birthday is always super stressful for me. In my now 33 year old brain I still have elementary thoughts of “what if nobody wants to come to my birthday party because they hate me?” Having a birthday on Easter weekend does not help this scenario. As Drew and I discussed what I wanted to do we landed on a new activity to KC, axe throwing.
At Blade & Timber you can throw axes, like a really lumberjacky version of bowling. Which is kind of awesome and kind of terrifying. When we arrived I had a smidge of a Bloody Mary buzz thanks to brunch with my mom. We found our lane and our axe coach started off teaching me how to throw an axe. We worked on my grip, how hard to throw, how to aim. I was pretty good at most things but my axe just wasn’t sticking in the target. My coach looked at me and said…
“You have commitment issues, don’t you? Commit. Throw it.”
To quote Kelly Kapoor, “I have a lot of questions. Number one: how dare you?”
I mean, I am *well* aware of my commitment issues. I don’t need an axe coach to tell me about them. But he was right, I was hoping to get something to stick by moving my arms really hard. I needed to step into the throw, I needed to look where I was throwing, I needed to follow through. That’s how you get the axe to stick.
Because I crave structure, evaluation, progress I treat my birthdays as time for a performance review. Did I meet expectations? Did I accomplish my goals? Where can I improve next year? It makes my birthday, a time that should be celebratory, incredibly stressful and I get really sad. This year was no different. In the past 10 months I chose a *very* different path than I planned and while I committed to it, I haven’t been fully stepping into my chosen direction. I’ve been anchored, looking longingly at what other people are chasing, doing, accomplishing, and feeling like I’m not keeping up.
I have been quite fortunate that the universe has provided some flashing neon signs for me lately. I committed to an Instagram photo challenge for April, Christen posted about it mentioning the last time she participated in created a more meaningful social media experience for her. That seemed like a thing I needed to cultivate. One of the early days asked us to capture “Simplicity.” And while I was still goal setting, pondering what my 33rd year should be about, that simple phrase that little idea, simplicity, felt like the perfect fit.
As I move through this year, I choose to live a life of simplicity. Doing less, carrying less, struggling less. When I move out of the noise, out of distraction, I can focus on the people, things, goals that matter the most. I can fully step into them, I can follow through, I can get it to stick.