On Not Doing All the Things

I celebrated telling you that my son thinks I’m as big as a 450-pound mountain gorilla by having cowboy pizza and beer for dinner last night. I did not have any of the chocolate chip cookies, though (because I’d had 2 for breakfast and then my kids finished them off while I wasn’t looking), so I’m counting that as success and moving on. Onward and upward! And a little bit outward, thanks to the pizza and beer.

I got on the scale this morning. The same scale I’ve been avoiding for a couple months. I half-expected the display to read GORILLA, but it didn’t. My scale has no sense of humor. He’s a Strictly The Facts, Ma’am kind of guy. I’m like, “Can we please, for once, make light of this?” And he doesn’t even smile a little when he’s all, “Nope.”

Despite the gorilla / pizza / beer / cookies situation, though, my weight is unchanged. And by unchanged, I mean I’m heroically maintaining the depression gain. Plus the 20 years of incremental but steady weight gain before that. Next time someone asks me about my ability to commit and follow through, I’m going to mention how dedicated I’ve been to these extra pounds. Some people treat them like they’re unwanted. Me? I’m downright hospitable. Nurturing, in fact.

But wait! There’s more!

Butt weight! There’s more!

(My husband is from a punny family. I’m not. After 18 years of marriage, “butt weight, there’s more” is my very best pun. You’re welcome.)

Anyway.

Do you ever have moments you’re pretty sure you’re carrying stuff you don’t need – or even stuff that’s harmful – but you just don’t have the energy or time to identify it, focus on it, dig it out, and eliminate it?

Yes. Me, too.

It’s just that living life, doing our best, sometimes not doing our best in favor of doing our mediocre, and being this tired take time. All of the time. In the world.

I’ve found I can do 4 things in my life:

  1. I can be internally healthy. Write. Read. Nurture my heart and my spirit. Treat my depression. Be kind.
  2. I can be physically healthy. Work out. Plan meals with whole grains and green leafy vegetables. Log what I eat. Go to bed early.
  3. I can spend quality time with my family. Bike rides. Movie nights. Family meals. Conversations that include eye contact.
  4. I can keep my house clean.

Yes, I can do 4 things. Problem is, I can’t do more than 2½ of them in any given week. And lately the weeks look a lot like numbers 1 and 3, faking 4, and not so much 2.

photo (66)Once upon a time, it really stressed me out that I wasn’t able to do all the things. After all, other people seem to do all the things, and they seem to do them well. But, you know; I’m not other people. I’m just me. And I’m coming to terms with that. So now it just sort of stresses me out. But I’m also able to relax sometimes about the things I can’t do right now. To stop beating myself up for not doing all the things.

It appears as though life is a series of cycles. I’ve focused on my physical health in the past. I will focus on it again. Maybe even soon. But I find it difficult to regret spending the past few months on my mental health and on trying and failing and trying and succeeding and trying and trying to be kind.

I admire people who can simultaneously maintain a high level of physical fitness, mental health, investment in relationships and an orderly environment. I’m just not that person. So I’ve decided to lighten up. (Get it?) To just wait. Just weight. With pizza and beer in hand.

……….

What about you? Are you able to do All the Things? If no, which Things are on the back burner right now? And how do you treat yourself about that?

……….

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
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