For best results, listen to this song before reading or while reading this post.
aimee mann – AimeeMann-Momentum
You can’t see what lies ahead if you only look behind.
I feel little like I’m stuck in the movie, Groundhog Day.
I keep having this same conversation…during coaching calls, in forums, in mastermind groups, with friends and even with myself. We’re all feeling the same way…in varying degrees.
I’ve also had this song in my head. On repeat. For two weeks.
Today I actually sat still and listened to the lyrics in my head. And I’ll be damned if my subconscious hasn’t been screaming at me all this time!
So now I’m gonna tell you what she’s been telling me. I’ll try not to scream (because I’m nice like that), but, I will admit that I’m not-so-secretly hoping to implant this song in your head for a day or two.
It’s bigger on the inside
The song itself is a perfect metaphor for the happy faces we wear. On the outside, it’s upbeat, peppy & carefree. Hmm, sounds familiar. But, on the inside, the lyrics tell a very different, story of self-defeat & hopelessness.
Let’s take a look at that.
Oh, for the sake of momentum…
Momentum in the wrong direction is still momentum. Frustratingly backwards progress, but momentum nonetheless. We tend to stick with what feels good in life. And what could feel better than this comfy, cozy, safe & warm rut? Sure, it’s a rut. But it’s my rut. Right?
<Waves hand across your face> This is not the momentum you’re looking for.
I’ve allowed my fears to get larger than life
Hell yes! I have fears that are larger than life. I bet you do too.
Do your big scary monsters break down to thoughts like, “I might look silly” or “I might piss someone off?” Yeah, mine do too sometimes. Tell me, how in the hell do we let these little things get so huge and hairy and debilitating? Am I totally devoid of a little perspective?!
Okay, perspective. You get that. I get that. But what about real fears that touch on our real responsibilities to our families. What about the voice that says, “I might not have enough money to pay the bills?”
You’re right, that is a realistic potentiality for taking the leap into self-employment. And, you know what? I freeze in those headlights too. Daily. It’s terrifying. But it’s surmountable. It isn’t larger than life. It isn’t even the end of the world.
I have a magic light switch that sends those monsters packing.
I remind myself that I fear the alternatives even more. I ask myself, “What if I don’t do this? What’s the worst that could happen?”
Losing the freedom I have in how I live my daily life. Having to go back to work in a day job. Sending my kids to…ugh I can’t even type it…schooool. Having to hear my dad say he told me so.
Yay for a little freaking perspective and for some momentum in the right direction!
Okay now, moving on with the song.
And it’s brought me to my current agendum, whereupon I deny fulfillment has yet to arrive
Where then does all of this backwards momentum and fear leave us? Completely unfulfilled. That’s where.
But it’s more than that. It’s almost like we’re living a life of planned unfulfillment (I think I just made up that word). We actually deny ourselves the luxury of living a fulfilled life.
Can you see that happening in your life? You’re not alone. But why do we do it??
And I know life is getting shorter, I can’t bring myself to set the scene
We know our time is precious. Our kids are growing more every day while we’re at the office missing it. And we know it. Our dreams are waiting. Our lives our short & fleeting & fragile. And that thought is so overwhelming that we try very hard not to think about it. We can’t bring ourselves to set the scene. That would just make it all too real.
Even when it’s approaching torture, I’ve got my routine
How does Aimee Mann know this about me?! How many times have you felt yourself dying inside while you sit in your cubicle or in morning traffic? How important is this routine to you? How much do you love your comfy, cozy rut?
Or are you still there because it’s easier and less scary than making a change?
There’s more…lots more
She has more insightfully painful words to say about our crazy, self-depreciating urge to martyr ourselves to preserve a status quo we don’t even like or want.
I’ll write them here…but I would love you to tell me what it all means to you in the comments…or via email if you’re more comfortable with that.
Oh, for the sake of momentum
Even though I agree with that stuff about seizing the day
But I hate to think of effort expended
All those minutes and days and hours
I have frittered away.
But I can’t confront the doubts I have
I can’t admit that maybe the past was bad
And so, for the sake of momentum
I’m condemning the future to death
So it can match the past
Confession: I’ve been listening to this seemingly happy song over and over and over…and I get choked up every.single.time.
Tell me, where does this song shake you? Do you see yourself in these lyrics?
How can we stop this kind of momentum in our lives and change direction? How have you done it?