Guilt is Useless
I'm always amazed when I type the date to start my blog for the week. It's hard to believe we are in week 3 of the new year already, but here we are. I am not known for my patience, so shouldn't I be super fit, very organized, and in touch with my inner Sherry by now? Umm sure… I'm working on the patience thing too because I am not any of the above. Yet. I am working on it though and trying not to lose my drive and determination for improvement as I try to do life well every day, not just in January.
It can be hard to accomplish just about anything in this cold, dreary month. There are so many times throughout the day that my chair, afghan, and book are literally yelling at me to take a break and sometimes I do. I try not to be to hard on myself for that. I call it the 50 gift.
I'm now slightly over 50 (crap!) and in my opinion, I have done my fair share of juggling kids, work, housewife stuff etc. I may still be busy now, but it is my choice and I choose wisely. Sometimes the wisest choice I make is to grab some coffee and snug up for an hour in the afternoon. Hey, at least I am reading and not watching soap operas! There is a part of me that still feels guilty when I do, but believe me, I get over it.
That guilt thing is a wall I have to keep tearing down brick-by-brick. It seems women especially find guilt in just about anything. This guilt takes away from the pleasure you should be experiencing in any moment.
There are some things we should feel guilty about, like… drinking in your closet. Then, there are some things we have no reason to feel guilty about, like enjoying down time on a snowy afternoon. As I am writing this, I realize there is a wall I have to build every day to keep guilt at bay. I’m calling it, the wall of worthiness.
This is the wall that my daily list is written on. All day long, I tear it down as I complete whatever is on it. I write down things I need to remember and things I do every day that I don’t even need reminding of (make the bed?) just so I can feel accomplished and cross things off the list.
It reminds me of how weight loss articles will tell you that your worthiness is not a number on the scale, but how you feel. Well, that’s how I am about this wall: I let it define me by how much I was able to cross off that day. I never seem to get everything crossed off and so now I have all these partial walls around me. I can’t win!
In life, we are supposed to tear the walls down, not build them, but I build a new one every day. I think as women, we do that (at least me) so I have the feeling I am in control. That I'm able to manage what comes next. When in reality, I have no control over what happens next!
How many times have you had your day planned out and you get the call your child is sick and needs to be picked up, your car doesn't start, or you drop a gallon of milk in the middle of your kitchen? (It's definitely a game changer!) Then, we cry out in frustration, sometimes curse and then the whole day is ruined.
We give in to vices we feel entitled to, because the day is shot anyway. Time wasters, the day is useless because it didn't go as planned. I look back at my drinking career and I can see I often set myself up to fail in my attempts to stay sober.
The expectations I put on myself (and others) to make the day a success were quite high and when my wall crumbled, it was a good excuse to drink the day away. After I finally quit drinking, I still let the wall control me. I would leave the house in frustration and just go shopping, what a time waster.
Or there is the set up of the perfect diet day. I am sailing along having exercised, ate right and of course, logged it all into My Fitness Pal and then my perfect diet day is completely ruined. Why? I stopped at Costco. I partook in the free samples, carbs, and sugar, that were not a part of my perfect plan for the day. How do I log those?! I have no clue! My successful diet day is over, I am a failure, I suck.
All that stuff about starting over in the moment doesn't work for me. I need to wait until tomorrow to start fresh. Then, I fill my cart with all sorts of crap to finish out this very unsuccessful day. I have decided in all these moments to drink, shop, or eat away the guilt that goes along with the high expectations I have put on myself.
Guilt is a useless emotion, yet I let it control me and determine my worth in all these situations. I'm working on it. I'm no longer drinking it away, shopping until I have even more things I don’t need, or trying to eat away my failures. The last one is still my biggest challenge and I think it's because it is my last “crutch.” It creates so much drama in my mind! Drama that keeps me from living an authentic life.
Last week, I only had one successful day of “clean eating.” The rest of the 6 days, not so much. I'm trying not to be so hard on myself. One day is good, not my goal, but I am not giving up! My goal for 2017 is to be my healthiest ever. I am working out and trying to fill my fridge with as much whole food as possible. Now I just need to get it from the fridge into my mouth! My mind knows how good I feel when I live this way, I just need to keep going, and I will.
Some days I feel unstoppable (know what I’m talking about?) and others are hard, but the truth is that with God's help, I can do anything. He helped me quit drinking. I owe that all to Him and He can help us with all the other stuff too. It’s not about perfection for the whole year; it's about doing life one day at a time. It's about continuing to treat this body that God gave me with honor and respect.
I’m still making that list every day, but I am not going to let it determine my worth. I’ll just keep crossing things off. I’ve decided to add a few things to the list. Nap, read, and walk in the snow, just to name a few. I'm pretty sure I can accomplish those no problem!
If you read the blog last week, you might recall that my words for the year are Authentic Dedication. That is exactly what I am trying to do on a daily basis with this life that God has blessed me with. I’m not quitting and I encourage you to keep going in whatever you are trying to overcome this year as well. Put it in God's hands every day and in every moment.
With God ANYTHING is possible.
Peace on your weekend,