In January, I wrote about how I’m giving myself the gift of a year by taking good care of myself. I wrote another post about the ways in which I am taking care of myself.
First, I want you to know that I’m doing pretty well — not fantastic, but pretty well.
There’s one main reason I’m not doing fantastic and it’s a concept you would think I would have learned by now, being almost 40 years old, and all. It’s this:
If you try to do everything, all at once, you will fail.
I tend to get ambitious and did at first. Quit all bad things! Eat well! Exercise everyday! Lose weight! Tone up! Clean house! Cook daily! Write often! Spend time with family! Spend time on work!
Exhausted just reading it, aren’t you?
I had to calm down and focus on just a few things. I can be happy with this year’s efforts if I emerge having accomplished just a few things — I can add other things next year.
I do not have to do everything, all at once.
Enlightened, aren’t I?
My friend Mary called me on it, without even realizing she did so. When I had to tearfully call her to break our date for the Oscar Night Party because I’d injured my back, she said, “What’d you do, exercise too hard to look good for tonight?” And she was right. Guess what? You can’t do three months’ worth of exercise to look awesome for a party the next night. It just doesn’t work.
I’m an impatient person trying to slow down, look around and take care. If you’ve managed to do this, I’d love to know how.
I’m really liking Crossfit for it’s efficiency in workouts. It might look insane, but everything scales back to an achievable level for you personally… and achievable still leaves me no question that I did the most I could do. I’m sore today after a 20 minute workout yesterday, but it’s a good kind of sore.
Well, being on the other end of the spectrum, I am trying to do MORE. I work 3 days a week, 10-12 hour days. One would think w/4 days off a week, my house would be spotless, I would cook wholesome meals for my family, be thin and svelte from endless hours available for working out, etc…The truth is, I have a hard time getting out of bed. I get up, get the kid to school, and return home, thinking, I’ll just read a couple chapters and then go clean the kitchen. A lengthy nap or novel later, I realize my morning is gone. Sometimes it is all just a bit too overwhelming, so I escape into sleep or a novel. Then my last day off finds me scurrying to halfway do all those things I’ve neglected for 3 days. Sigh. I’m trying to set small goals every day. Overachievers or underachievers, we are all searching for the perfect balance, eh?
To answer your question about why this post made your mom worry ~ well, that’s what moms do. I swear. If we aren’t 100% happy all the time, it feels like an elephant-size burden to them. This whole thing about the ‘perfect balance’ or finding absolute happiness itself is overrated (I just blogged about that at Psychology Today. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-slow/201003/finding-the-happy-within). It is not only impossible, it is exhausting just trying. While it is admirable to want to better ourselves (who doesn’t want to tweak this or that about ourselves?), looking to outside things will not give us the alignment we crave. Once you can identify what it is you are searching for, it will help you make more sense of what to do within the time that you have. Overexercise, a spotless home and a bigger bank account are mere expressions of what it is we truly want ~ that is, to matter and to lead meaningful lives.
And you, my sunshine Marijean, truly matter. You do!!
Oh, and remember who wins the race in The Tortoise and the Hare? I’m all for the turtle. Besides, they live longer than rabbits do! 🙂