I couldn’t write this morning due to heinous computer complications that no-one wants to read about and I certainly don’t want to write about; it was bad enough having to live through it once without going into the details of it again here. Suffice to say my computer was out of commission until we got back from lunch with my parents at around 3:30 pm and it cost me the time of my morning and a goodly chunk of G.’s morning too.
Now, thanks to the kindness of husfriend(*) I’ve been for an 8k run (badly needed, feels like taking prescribed mood medication!) and now get to sit with a cup of my favourite tea while he cooks the children’s supper and I get to type away here.
I’m now 5 days into this shiny new year. It’s not as filled with the drive to change and improve as last year was, but then again this time last year I was way more desperately in need of change. I felt like I needed to change or die.
It’s funny, I’m guessing that externally not that much looks different about my life. I mean, the problems I was experiencing were so private, so hidden, such a source of secretiveness and shame that no one could have known what I was carrying. That gave them a sort of festering power over me too. And if that makes it sound like all my problems are in the past, well not so. My problems aren’t past at all, but they’ve a lot less power over me. I feel like they don’t rule my life in the way they used to.
And so, I’m not experiencing that desperate drive towards change. I don’t have that all-consuming me-focused determination that actually does really work to kick-start change. It worries me a tiny bit because I’m a bit of a half-cooked chicken here, and I don’t want to risk giving everyone in my life salmonella.
So, yeah, I’m worried that I’ve gone a bit logarithmic and all that beautiful rapid early change is going to slow down to a crawl with greater and greater effort required to experience the same increase in growth. But maybe there’s something to be said looking at the Y-axis as an absolute value above zero, or maybe even above the negative outputs I have experienced previously.
Is constant acceleration desirable? Actually, it’s kind of attractive, isn’t it? Hasn’t that been part of the problem with things like alcohol and other addictive substances and behaviours all along? We eat or drink more and more in the desperate attempt to recreate that first rush of accelerating change. I’ve seen myself sabotage self-improvement efforts and even wallow in the exact opposite of the behaviours I crave for myself just so that I can go back to the beginning where the potential is the greatest.
It’s nice living in the dream of potential. It’s why starting new projects is way more fun than ploughing through the boring middle of them, or even finishing up the last finicky touches. But if I’ve got one over-arching flavour to the resolutions I’ve got spinning around in my head at the start of this shiny new year it’s something like this: Do the boring stuff. Make the small boring daily choices that will amount to a big change in the long run. Solidify. Sustain. Small boring incremental and daily – those will be the watch-words.
And so I’ve opted for a small very light 10 minutes of yoga each morning – because I know I can do it. And I’m surprised to notice that I am experiencing some small noticeable changes in my flexibility and bodily comfort. I usually go for wanting to nearly cause hurt in my body with my fitness goals, because that way I know they’re “working” and I can imagine the amazing levels of fitness and strength and weight-loss I’ll achieve if I keep doing the same as this for the rest of the year.
Except I’m then not able to do it for the rest of the year.
In fact, I usually get such pleasure from the living in the potential of doing something in the long term that I no longer feel the need to actually do the thing for the longer term. After about 3 days or so I’ll start to tire of the effort. And after all it’s been such a great effort that surely one day off won’t hurt. And imagine how much I’m going to do tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that, and …. so on.
I draw the path of my exponential growth so well in my mind that I feel like I don’t need to do it for real each day.
Well, if this year is going to be about anything, it’s going to be about daily effort. And acceptance.
And an almost fanatical devotion to the pope. And nice red uniforms …
(*) Have I explained this one before? Just after marriage I felt like I didn’t want to abandon the friendship implicit in having a “boyfriend”, but at the same time acknowledge and appreciate our new married relationship. Twee, I know, but there you go.