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Reframing "Starting Over"

Reframing Starting Over

It's the beginning of April, the beginning of a fresh new season, and with the winter funk finally starting to lift, I feel like starting over!


Again.


Like, again-again.


I want to start working out again, so have come up with a new plan to get active.


I want to start working on my blog again, and maybe reboot it, again.


I want to change my mindset in some areas again.


I want to be a more hands-on, deliberate parent this spring and summer while I'm off from work.


And I want to start being more mindfully grateful... again.


Now I know what you're thinking: those are all great things to want to reincorporate into my life. But the reality is, I seem to fail at every single one as time goes on. I have a workout plan and after the first couple of weeks something happens that derails me and I miss a workout or a series of workouts and then (because I'm type A) I feel like the whole thing is ruined and I have to start again from the beginning—but that's so daunting!


Or I start to eat well, and then have a week where work stresses me out and I end up inhaling industrial size bags of Cheezies at my desk 3 days in a row. Diet ruined... I might as well sod it off.


Truth is, many of us feel that way and react in the same way. We feel defeated when plans don't go the way we had hoped and, well, planned. So, we feel kind of like a failure to have to "start again" or "start over".


But a friend recently posted something on her Instagram that really made me stop and look at starting over with a completely different lens.


She used the analogy of a relay. 


Let's say you and 3 friends are running a 12k race (I dunno if races come in 12k, but the math works better for my analogy so let me have my 12k). Each of you is responsible for running 4k of the full journey. Each runner brings a different skill set, level of participation, outlook, understanding about the mechanics of running... tons of variables. Even if you've all prepared together, your experience of the journey will be different.


Maybe Runner 2 will learn a little bit about the track conditions from watching Runner 1. Maybe the performance of Runner 2 will allow Runner 3 to pace themselves differently.


The point is, each runner will build on what the runner before them was able to accomplish.


And that's how I now see starting over, starting again.


It's a passing of the baton.


You're passing the baton to a version of yourself that has learned lessons from the previous version. It's moving on to a new leg of the journey. 


Look at life as less a marathon or a sprint and more a relay. Each passing of the baton means you're moving on to a better, more experienced version of yourself that has different priorities, a different lifestyle, different goals and dreams. Why would you continue to judge yourself based on criteria that no longer fits?


So, yes, I'm starting over. I'm starting again.


But here's the difference this time, I'm not beating myself up about it. I'm excited to continue my evolution.


What are you looking forward to starting over? Are you changing the direction of something in your life? I'd love to hear about it.

Sarah K Follow

A new mom again in her 40’s, Sarah is an older mother of 2 girls, aged 10 and 1. She’s a working mom, a wife, a teacher, a writer, and a doodler. Her mission is to share reality beyond the filter, beyond the carefully curated insta-pic, and the hollow-quote memes we judge our existence against. She wants to spare other moms everywhere the feeling of failure and “not good enough”. So she’s real, not perfect; raw, not half baked. Join her adventures as she navigates new motherhood again after 10 years, and experiences a toddler and a tweenager, with menopause not far behind.

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