Ever since Monday night, I’ve been thinking. And ever since I jotted down my thoughts about Rose, I’ve been trying harder to be one. In the wake of memorial services and bad-news emails, perspective is clearer and action is more easily determined. The lines between important and unimportant are clearly drawn.
The trick is to keep going. Next week. April. July. Where will I be in July?
This morning I stayed home with Typhoid Mary–again–because THIS TIME she has strep. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. I know. Ridiculous. There are two schools of thought on contagion with something like this. Quarantine the poo out of them and clean things within an inch of their last layer of finish. OR…Make out with the germy one and expose yourself and get it over with. I know the first method SEEMS so much better and cleaner and righter. But where’s the control in that? I LOSE control. If I smooch the germs, I am taking back control. I am saying, DO YOUR WORST because we are ready! I am saying that YES, we may get sick also, but we chose this. We didn’t want to stay well. We are doing it on our own terms.
That’s stupid. Nobody does that, but I do like to think about it. It’s sort of a Walter Mitty moment for me and I like it.
Typhoid Mary is on meds and acting completely fine now. Jury’s still out on the rest of the inner circle.
So, back to thinking.
Since I’ve been practicing epiphanies since Tuesday, I’ve been also listening to the arguments in my head against making changes. We all have moments where we are standing at the intersection of Self Improvement and I Wash Myself with a Rag on a Stick. In those moments, there are factors that cause you to go down a new path or stay stuck on the old one. For me, sometimes my remaining stuck is based entirely on the lies I hear in my head and then choose to believe. Here are a few of them:
- This won’t matter. This DOESN’T matter. Oh, yes it will and yes it does. Absolutely it matters. Whether it’s the banana or the cheesecake or the bible reading or the Price is Right or the counting to 10 before putting the child up for sale on Craigslist…it matters. Five minutes matters. Small choices matter. A day is made up of hundreds of small, “this won’t matter” choices. Seven of those days and you’ve got a week. It matters. Make it matter. If you mess up, get up and try again. But try NOW. Because now matters.
- I should start this tomorrow. I’ve already wrecked today, so I’ll start tomorrow. No. This doesn’t work. It CERTAINLY doesn’t work with dieting. It doesn’t work with much else either. Do it now. Putting off a good decision just creates a few more hours of bad ones. I’m creating a hill that’s almost too high to summit. If you are having the thoughts, then start immediately. Procrastinating is risky at best and crippling at worst.
- I don’t have an original thought in my head. Actually, this one is mostly true. But that’s okay.
- Unoriginal thoughts are worthless. Not that many people actually DO have original thoughts. We are all sharing ideas and trying to keep from making the hole in the ozone layer any bigger than it already is. Share those unoriginal thoughts. It’s all good.
- This is permanent. The way it is now is permanent. No. You can change. IT can change. This too shall pass.
- I will someday arrive. I keep this one going in the biggest way. I really think I still believe that I am someday going to pull it ALL together in such a spectacular way that I will be able to recognize that I’ve arrived and sit back and enjoy a utopian peace. It’s a fluid journey. I will keep moving and never arrive. I will never be able to get ahead of the obstacles or predict them in such a way as to totally dodge them.
- I’ll be more useful later. I’m not useful enough in this phase of life. Wait until the babies are all bigger. Gone away. Washing their own armpits. Whatever. Wait. Wait until you are more useful. This is a lie. Don’t wait. You are useful now. I don’t know how. I just know you are. And I am. And I’m figuring out how best to figure that out. If we all look at the Roses in our life and step up our game just a little, we’ll see big changes a year from now.
- It’s too late to do anything about that. There are times when it really IS too late. As in, I can’t send Rose a note and tell her she’s largely responsible for my recent epiphany. However, most of the time, this isn’t the case. So what if I waited 10 months to introduce myself to the older couple sitting one pew in front of me in church. This is a little embarrassing, but swallow the awkward, woman, and just say something (I’m giving up on you). It’s not too late. Befriend someone. Send a note. Let go of something terrible. Make a change. It’s not too late. And if it IS too late on some front, we can still take a step in the right direction. It’s up to us.
- Past failures equal future failures. Where fitness is concerned, this one gets me. I’ve been trying to drop 25 pounds of Typhoid Mary and her sister (who’s only like a day older than her…not really) weight for 6 years now. I haven’t accomplished this because it’s hard and I’m tired and I like donuts and many, many other artificially beautiful tasting things. I’m tempted to give up and think that since it hasn’t happened, it won’t. Ever. This is a lie. Again, it’s all in the hundreds of small decisions in my day. I am not destined to fail.
- I’m good with 5 hours of sleep. Really, I’m not. What happens the next day can vary from drunken knock-knock jokes to grumpy snippiness or bad decisions or snoring in the carline. Five hours of sleep isn’t enough. And since I’m telling myself this lie right this moment, I’m signing off to get a solid 5 1/2. Awesome.