Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Day I Usually Quit

On Sunday I had the pleasure of travelling with friends to see another friend perform in a wonderful show. I forgot how intimate and personal live theatre can be. I found myself fighting back tears for most of the performance, hoping an ugly-cry didn't escape and interrupt the whole thing.

I always choke up when I see another person struggle with emotion. And the performance was real, raw. It was about gender roles, exclusion and inclusion, acceptance and rejection, fear and love, faith and hope. These are emotions and situations we all deal with daily. The story hit home. I watched an entire room full of people weep at the vilification and the ultimate vindication of a young person navigating a complicated and unforgiving community. In that story, a room full of people saw themselves in one way or another. To say the least, it was an emotional and inspiring afternoon that reminded me of the power of art.

Having several hours of driving with positive women living life on their terms didn't hurt either. It reaffirmed all the decisions I've made lately to put myself back on the list of people I care for and tend to. I was exhausted when I got home. Exhausted in the crying-jag, so-much-to-think-about way that actually pushes you over a hump and onto a new level of consciousness. I feel like the old me, the past me, has finally shed the skin of tentative self-doubt. Yes, I have been practicing my motto of meaning over approval for a few years now. It has helped me tremendously to achieve a life of gratitude and focus. And now, now I am ready to embody what my mind has been seeking all this time.

So, as I mentioned, Sunday was a day of travel, conversation and reflection. And I know, I know, that the first day that I don't exercise or follow my eating plan is usually the end of things for me for about two or three weeks. That is how easily I derail. And my one day away from my home meant jobs that I would have done Sunday were all the more urgent on Monday. The pigs and sheep need bedding for these colder nights. The rabbits need a nice cozy bed. The lawn must be mowed one more time before the snow flies (forecast for Wednesday). I need to clean up toys and electric fence and flower pots before winter, remove and clean my screens, wash windows, the list goes on and on. And somewhere on that list is exercise. And a writer's retreat application that needs finishing. Which requires actually working on a story that exists mostly in my mind and has yet to make its way onto paper. So after a wonderful Sunday, Monday is usually the day that I quit.

Just recycling some old pictures of autumn in this neck o' the woods

The symbolic "Monday After"...after a day of broken routine I have a heck of a time getting back on the wagon. I normally excuse myself from returning to whatever exercise routine I've established. I'll take today off...I'll get back at it tomorrow...I deserve this break. And before I know it, three weeks will have passed and it is all the harder to get back at it. But not this time.

Yesterday I got most of my list accomplished. I also managed to read more to my 4 year old (also a goal), process tomatoes, work on the application and I did not let myself off the hook with regards to exercise. In fact, I did 30 minutes of cardio plus 15 minutes of elliptical trainer. Then once the kids were in bed I did an additional 15 minutes of elliptical. I followed my eating plan (although I think I'm eating too much; I need to rein in my portions). But this is less about weight loss than it is about discipline and consistency. I will consistently do the things that make me feel good. I will make time in my day to do the things I need for myself. No one can do this for me, and no amount of encouragement is going to help unless I .Do. This. For. Myself.

I have been struggling with my weight and occasional depression since I had kids. There is no shame in admitting that. It doesn't mean I don't love them. I have allowed my hobbies, family, garden and animals to be a shield to hide behind--a line of defense against the hard work I need to do to fulfill my potential. But I can recognize the days where it will be hardest for me to persevere. Thanksgiving is going to be a difficult weekend. There are so many people to see, a party, a huge meal. Company and Husband home for the first time in 5 weeks. But I'm going to work my hardest on the day that I usually quit. I'm writing it here so that I have to face my decision if I stop. I feel better when I exercise so I will make time to exercise no matter how busy the long weekend is. You heard it here first ;)



6 comments:

  1. Great post and inspiration for us all! I am struggling with some weight gain coupled with eating restrictions due to allergies and post-surgery, post-radiation issues. It's hard to maintain the delicate balance, and I've often been lazy and gone overboard with a "safe" food that is not very nutritious.

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    1. Jo, lovely to meet you. I am honored that you shared part of your story here. Obviously, there are so many things that make it difficult to do our best for ourselves--illness being to among them. I sincerely hope you are well and that you gain strength. I'm sure as you are able to add more nutritious things to your menu the energy to do more will return. I wish you all the best xo

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  2. Oh, self-care is the hardest, isn't it? I spent last weekend in the company of my bests, having quality time with all three of my bridesmaids, and then 150 sorority sisters. I'd been struggling with "who am I?" now that my life is not just my own anymore, and this last weekend, I had a mini-lightbulb: I don't have to pick. Why would I put myself in a box? I'm all of it, and there's no image I need to choose over another.
    But yeaahhh...following through on Monday? Tough stuff. =)

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    1. It is tough, Kirsten. It's something I have struggled with a lot since having kids. It's hard to schedule time for ourselves but prioritizing our own interests doesn't mean we are putting ourselves first. It's self-care. It's great for mental health and it's great for your kids to see you happy and involved in something. There are times out of necessity that my own goals get set aside. But there's no reason they should be forgotten!

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  3. You are so inspiring! Keep at it! And make sure that writing retreat application gets filled out and posted asap!

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    1. Thanks, Pru! The application has now been sent...whether I get in or not doesn't seem as important at the moment as actually making the time to apply. But I do hope I get in!

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