It’s a new year. 2017. I lived through one more pass around the sun, and a lot of other exciting and not so exciting things. I still don’t want to be my mother, and I still live in terror that I’m creeping ever closer to being exactly like her. No news there.
Biggest news, I’m trying to give up things. I’ve been trying to give up perfectionism for years, but it’s really insidious. It has taught me to judge myself on every single thing I do.
Things I’m trying to give up:
- Stuff (objects, crap, linens, clothes, furniture, things that we don’t need and which take space that we do need)
- Unrealistic expectations (this is tough, I have a hard time seeing my expectations as unrealistic, as I used to be able to do so many things, but no longer can)
- Long term goals (which could probably be categorized with unrealistic expectations)
- Taking on too much (this all jives with goals, and unrealistic expectations…)
- busy-ness (see above!)
Obviously, I’m still having trouble accepting my health issues and limitations. My current feud with my physical body is problematic. I want to see it as a holy temple, but the things it does most often are hurt, and lie to me. My nerves are liars, sending constant pain signals to my brain. My limbs suddenly refuse to support me at the most inopportune moments. My muscles and connective tissues are constantly playing a “yes, no, maybe” game with me, when I ask them to perform even the simplest tasks. My gut is constantly upset with me, and is apparently dragging my esophagus and vocal cords along on it’s constant, downward spiral.
So, the things I’m trying to give up are things like long-term goal setting, things like goal races that actually require training for more than 5 miles at a time, finishing vet tech school, because my body already tried to kill me once for taking on the clinical hours to complete it along with everything else I do, taking on new clients who need a lot of work, offering classes that require me to feel good every week, or need personal effort from me to be successful.
What I really want to give up is being mean. I have anger issues, and I always have, but I have, in the past, had the wherewithal, intestinal fortitude (definitely none of that now!), self-discipline, or whatever you want to call it, to check myself and be a decent human being, most of the time. Now I’m so fatigued all the time, I feel like I don’t even have the energy to be nice. I lose my temper quickly, I yell at dogs and children, I say mean, cutting, sarcastic things. And I’m paranoid. I feel like no one would want to be my friend, (and why would they, I’m mean, I’m always sick and complaining, I never show up when I say I want to, I’m just basically a huge drag!), I always think people are thinking ill of me, or trying to cut me out of things, or avoid me. Of course, as I said above, who wouldn’t!? I don’t want to be that person (my mother) and I don’t want my kids to have that role model for their lives, otherwise they’ll end up like me, trying to find new ways to express anger or sadness, and periodically falling back into unhealthy and unpleasant behavior patterns.
So, if I’m not setting goals, working, going to school, being busy, what am I doing? I’m doing what I previously thought of as “nothing”. I’m handling basic life skills and survival. I am actively pursuing health care and diagnostics, I can accept, on some level, that I may not be able to beat this, but I cannot accept not knowing what I’m fighting. I’m a data driven person, I need answers. This is a very time-consuming and exhausting task.
I’m actively homeschooling the kids, and enjoying it. This is also a time and energy sink. Humans require a lot of energy output and attention. They need more than I’ve been allotting to them.
I’m caring for the house, and the pets, and myself. Not doing a great job, but making a serious effort for all of us. I’m cooking and eating, and playing games, and knitting and running, and doing yoga.
Right now, I’m emotionally working through being what I’ve always thought of as a “Quitter”, and not in a good way. Quitter equals waster of time and money and preparation, person who doesn’t have enough self-discipline to follow through, person who will never get what she wants, because she’s not trying hard enough, or doing enough. Person who is a disappointment. To everyone who expected more of me, I’m sorry, I expected more of me, too.
I’m avoiding adding things to my schedule, and trying really hard to focus on doing one task at a time, another thing I’m not good at. I have a lot of personal “work” going on.
But if you ask me what I’ve been doing, I’ll tell you, “Nothing”.
If “nothing” consists of cooking, cleaning, playing, teaching, reading, knitting, running, doing yoga, spending time with friends and family and not resenting the time “loss”, making art, and being a lot less stressed, and a lot more happy, I’m sticking with it. So, my goal this year is to do “Nothing”.