Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Waiting for It vs Working for It
Holy Breakthrough, Batman!
Epiphany time: I'm done with goals I have to wait for, I will only focus & put my energy into goals I can work for.
And here's how I came to this. It started with a fight with my husband (for clarity, my weight had NOTHING to do with our fight & Dave has seen & approved all of this...lest tongues start wagging about the state of our marriage). It was a stupid fight about me not starting the dishwasher & neither of us putting the defrosted meat in the fridge & him not putting away the baby's bathtub. See, stupid. As all of such stupid fights go, in order to justify how irate we were getting with each other, we escalated dishes & meat & baby tub into a global relationship argument with words like "always" & "never," which prove utterly useless in 95% of fights because always & never are, in reality, mostly impossible. The crux of Dave's argument was "give us some slack, we just had a baby." The crux of my argument was "it's time to be done with slack, she's 6 weeks old." Both (moderately) reasonable in context, but the context is unimportant for what I realized while doing the inevitable argument post-mortem in the the shower.
Like many who are overweight/obese/body conscious, I knew that *gasp* my weight kept me from doing things that I wanted to do out of fear of failure or ridicule. The kicker for me is that most of those things that I stopped myself from doing were completely unrelated to my weight (like venturing out of my corner to meet other moms at kid activities or growing a garden or re-purposing bedraggled furniture). And while I was busy longing for all of those things, a voice inside my head would chime, "You'll do that when..." The "when" was always some nebulous time when I would lose the weight, something that sounded just plausible, but gave me enough wiggle room to back out & not have any skin in the game. You'll do that when, you'll do that when, you'll do that when. But at some point during my prior process of shedding pounds, the voice just started saying, "You'll do that." Period. So I did.
It wasn't a conscious choice at the time, but this morning as I was lashing out at Dave over the idea of allowing time to readjust & find a new normal, I realized that the idea of "give it time" has become absolutely abhorrent to me. I spent 30 years giving it time, waiting on the sidelines...I've used up most of my sideline time. It turns out that in a relationship that's a pretty unacceptable & unrealistic stance to take. But for the purposes of my process of getting back to fighting weight, it's a really good thing to know about myself & a pretty useful idea to leverage in setting goals & making plans. Plans that are based on the passage of time are just not useful to me. I need to have goals that are based on actionable steps with finish lines defined by accomplishments, not deadlines. I want every reason & motivation to work for my success, not wait for it.
In the past I've set a couple of mini-goals based on time, most recently my vow to be out of maternity undies in two weeks (which I did), but most of them left me frustrated, whether I succeeded or not. Now I know why. Simply letting time go by isn't something to be proud of. Time passes regardless of what I'm doing. I want my time to pass intentionally & purposefully because I previously let time & my life pass me by out of fear.
So, I'm glad that I started my morning sitting on the floor by the refrigerator boo-hoo-ing over dishes & meat & the baby's tub because it got me here. And here is good. I'm just thankful I was crying over spoiled meat--not spilled milk--because then I would look ridiculous.