Face Your Fear….It’s Only a Ham

It’s 2016. January. A time for new commitments, for new challenges.I-took on a ham. Yes, you might be thinking to yourself, ‘you feared a ham?? Really??!!’The answer is a resounding, ‘Yes!’

It sounds silly. But it’s the meaning that we attach to our fears that make them astronomically bigger than they really are. I hate to waste food. I love to save money. So-in an effort to save money, my husband and I watch sales and always purchase our meat on sale-as meat is such a huge part of the budget, it’s almost a game.   I know, it’s not climbing Mount Everest without oxygen tanks or running the Boston marathon in 45 minutes, but to us, it’s a challenge and the reward is we can take those funds and disperse them in other ways.

Anyway-back to the ham…. I purchased said ham in November of 2012. Yes-it’s been in the freezer that long. Don’t judge. After purchasing it we carefully double, triple wrapped it so that it would survive the freezer for a ‘bit’, not ever thinking that thanks to my supernatural ability to procrastinate I would make that ‘bit’ a really long ‘bit’.  Not wanting to waste food, we didn’t want said economic prize to go to waste-hence the triple wrap. Time marched on. The past few years have been crazy busy and the opportunity to have a big family meal in which I was prepared to cook said ham never presented itself.

So…..along comes 2016. I made a resolution that I wanted to be even more careful with our food budget and with that I realized that some of the food budget goes right into the garbage can as I’ve predominantly shopped without a list for like…ever. I am a ‘wing-it’ kind of a cook and generally make up what we are having by the seat of my pants, usually 10 minutes before we dine.   It seemed that while the kids were growing and young-our plans changed minute by minute. Does the term chaos mean anything to you?

Well-this is all well and fine, but the side deficit to this is that unless you are really laser focused and more organized than this little grey duck, you will waste food as you have purchased without a plan.

Sick and tired of wasted food being thrown out-I’ve resolved-NO MORE! Now, I have what I call the ‘Marilyn Plan’-in honor of my girlfriend who I lost to breast cancer last year. She, by the way, is one who marveled at my ability to wing-it. I marveled at her discipline to make a menu and shopping list every week. I can remember always thinking, amazed, ‘how organized!!’

So-I’m a couple weeks into ‘the plan’ and have my menu, my shopping list complete-laser focused. I finally took the ham out of the freezer. It’s a little thing. But in taking a peek at my soul and trying to understand myself a little bit better so I can make better choices, I realized that I was afraid of a ham! A little 8.23 pound ham! Me, a life coach! A person who is willing to help people tackle ‘big’, ‘intimidating’, ‘frustrating’ life problems. A cotton-pickin’ ham for crying out loud! I have never cooked a ham before.   I’m no Julia Childs, but I can generally make my way around a kitchen with a speed and efficiency of a ninja.

In pondering the fear of the ham, I had an epiphany. I made the failure of such endeavor out to be some big catastrophic thing. And so-I simply didn’t cook the thing. Ultimately, by procrastinating, I may have ensured failure by not facing my fear and cooking it in an appropriate time-frame. I may have to wing-it again in a few hours because I have something inedible. At the time of this writing, I haven’t as yet liberated it from the oven to tell of its worthiness of consumption-you may read about us in the paper in a few days….

I find that we all can tell ourselves a story. A big, fat, scary story about something that if attempted and failed would not be actually catastrophic. It would simply offer us insight on how not to do something-that’s all!

So what is holding you back? What’s your ham?

……………..update. It’s now May 2016. The ham was edible. Actually delicious. And we lived to tell about it. No drama. No food poisoning. Just a ham. And I still am on the Marilyn Plan. It works. We waste less and I’ve been more creative. We are eating healthier, more fresh and more variety in our diet.

Happy 2016 from Sassy Pants Coaching & Consulting!

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A New Year….A new website.  New beginnings.   Fresh new coaching programs.  This year I will have new clients….new friends.   Hope is renewed.  New beginnings in my marriage…….

New Year’s Day presented us with a fresh opportunity to do conflict in a new way.  We could have done the same old dance.   He’s triggered by something I say, he reacts-defending-lashes out, harsh words.   I retreat-go lick my wounds…chew that sock.  Tension.   Silent drive to the movie.  Sharp looks.   My judging his heart motive, making up a story in my mind, buying it-taking my story as gospel.    Punishing.  It could have gone on and on.  Tension building for the day-wrecking the weekend.   I decided to break the silence.  Offer up an opportunity to have dialogue about where we went wrong.   Still hurt and angry, he pointed out my infractions….judging me.   I listened-didn’t react.    I didn’t defend myself, but decided to own my wrong.  I wanted to diffuse the anger.  I confessed that I judged his heart motive.   I confessed my error, my wrong.   I can’t know the motive of his heart.   What a recipe for conflict…..to assume the motive of another’s heart-then judge them and react accordingly.

The next time you find yourself in conflict, try looking at the conflict as a pie.   Realize that there are all kinds of ingredients that go into that pie.   Think first what ingredients you added.  Were you judging the other person?  Were you assuming their heart motive?  Telling yourself a story (that you might be taking as gospel when you really can’t know for sure)?  Were you tired or already having a bad day and projecting your  anger or impatience  onto the person who maybe offended you in some minor way?  Could you have chosen to turn the other cheek?   Could you have set  a boundary early on and in a kind way so that bitterness and anger wouldn’t fester and brew?   Was there an opportunity to look at the other person and possibly see what was going on for them?  So many times we don’t look at the Conflict Pie and realize we are throwing in  some of our own ingredients.  We only look at the ingredients the other person has contributed….and we want them to pay….and we punish.   So many times I’ve miscalculated my husband’s heart….I haven’t realized that he is doing the best he can with the ingredients he has.  If he had sugar-he would probably put it in.

It’s a new year and I want to bake a new kind of pie this year.  I want to bring more of the good ingredients…..no bitterness, no poison, more honey.