Sunday, March 9, 2014

Carrying Weight

The older I get, the more difficult it is to accept backsliding. In 2012 and 2013, I made a lot of progress on three important-to-me fronts - losing weight, eliminating debt and finding a balance between work and life. I had a plan for each of these items, and I was working these plans like a mofo. And then life intruded. I lost focus on all three of these. I had unexpected expenses and made a major purchase (new car!). I lost my focus on weight management, and then I wound up sick and taking a medication that turned me into an eating machine.  Many things happened at work that conspired to dial up the intensity of my work life.  

And, too, I had many happy things happen. I've met and married a wonderful man, I've reconnected with some friends and family, and I've made new friends. If this were a balance sheet exercise, I'd be in the black. But life isn't really like that. Personal fulfillment doesn't work as an average across categories.

So, in early February, I took stock of where I was and had a little melt-down.  Several of them, actually. I kicked and swore and cried. And, at the end of that, I'm still where I am and there is nothing to be done except dust myself off and rewrite the plans and get to work again.  

That's the thing, though. Once I've kicked something, once I've made progress and corrected course a few times, I know how to find that course again--but I also know exactly how difficult it was, exactly how much effort it required. The effort to dig deep and find the energy to get back on course is simply more difficult the third, fifth or hundredth time. For the first time in a long time, I realized that I'd begun to question whether it is even worth the effort.  

Of course it is worth it. It is merely fatigue and the weight of being disheartened that makes it seem unworthy. Actually, it is the physical weight of my heavier body and the psychic weight of being disheartened about backsliding. And it is simply the bone-deep knowledge that it will never be easier than it is now (the corollary of which is that it will only get more difficult if I wait) that is difficult to accept.  

So I'm shaking it off.  I'm reminding myself why these goals are important. Here are four reasons:
1. Debt puts a stranglehold on your ability to make choices.  
2. Carrying this extra weight is very tiring, and I have a lot of pretty clothes that will not, at present, button.  :)
3. My work life is difficult, and it also is a handy excuse not to spend time doing what is difficult and very important to my heart--writing.  
4. I want to live a fulfilled life, and this stuff stands between me and my ability to do that.  

It's Sunday, the day each week that I, and many of us, prepare for the challenges that will come at us in the days ahead.  I'm being gentle with myself today, but I'm resolute. It is not helpful to kick myself for losing focus, it is not helpful to berate myself for falling into familiar, bad habits. So, I'm not going to to that. Instead, I'm going to pick one or two of those three big goal areas and make a plan to get moving forward again, just a tiny bit wiser than I was before. A tiny bit warier, too. 

Sending love out to all of my fellow travelers.  



Kelly said...

Babysteps my friend. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Just the very words I needed to read today. Thank you for sharing.

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