In keeping with the tradition of learning a lesson I almost immediately forget I’d like to posit an interesting and confusing statement:
It isn’t about NOT doing something. It’s about DOING something.
You see, I’ve hit another wall recently. I swear these things just jump out from behind trees as I’m walking along all fine and dandy. BAM! And boy does it hurt. But it may not hurt me as much as it hurts the people standing on the other side of the wall. As I slam into the wall, bricks tumble from the top. And while I complain about my broken nose, those bricks are falling on people’s heads.
And these walls are unavoidable.
In fact, I believe, I built them.
The idea is I built up this wall, which was supposed to be a support for a bridge, or the first wall of my house, or a beautiful garden to raise my petunias. However, when attempting to justify building the rest of the structure to my bank – who is deciding whether or not to keep giving me money – I get so overwhelmed with the thoughts of everything that could go wrong with my plan…
What if a car drives off the bridge?
What if there is a house fire?
What if a rabbit keeps sneaking into my garden and eating my carrots… and then I have to kill it?
What if it all falls apart, my dreams are crushed, I am a failure…?
Easy fix! Just walk away. Not my problem anymore. Let someone else deal with it. I’ll move on…
But let’s face it. When was the last time anyone ever “moved on?” Especially concerning a goal or a dream?
Hence my new favorite saying of the month (if I even make it that long). It isn’t about NOT doing something. It’s about DOING something.
My whole life I have given up things that seemed to be very bad for me. But I would allow myself indulgences at very specific times or events, which gradually turned into litterally whenever I want. I had given up eating junk food. But after determining I would be allowed to have junk food at special events where it might be served, that went from birthdays and holidays, to all celebrations and bank holidays, to special lonely guy movie marathons, to literally whenever I want. Same with soda, which began with “only when I eat out” but soon became “where do I want to eat dinner? Nope, I ate there for lunch.” Food is the easy one to talk about, but there are other things as well. Some more personal, and some pretty silly.
Early on into each sacrifice do I realize this isn’t going to last. One of the longest ones I’ve been on is no caffeine, which lasted at least 7 years. I had given up soda for a couple years longer and used to have nightmares about drinking soda and losing my streak. But within the last year I got the flu and Sierra Mist was my feel good fluid. And just this past couple of weeks I have been drinking sweet tea, full of sugar and caffeine! But after realizing that my latest bouts of tiredness, irritability, and general jack-assery were probably related to the caffeine, only compounding on my general anxiety about my health, I have now decided to cut that sh!t out!
And see, here’s the problem, though. If I say “I’m NOT going to drink tea anymore” eventually I will drink tea again. I had not had tea/caffeine for 7 years until one day I took a drink and then spiraled down the rabbit hole. What I need to do instead is tell myself “I’m going to drink something that is beneficial to my health.” Taking the positive road.
But oh my goody four letter word two shoes is that a hard thing to do!
I know because I’ve tried it for the millionth time just these past few weeks.
See, the thinking is that I would buy some fruits. When I get hangry for a snack, I’d pull out some grapes instead of chips. Eat an apple instead of a Twinkie. Have some green beans with my chicken nuggets. Or even a potato with my burger. Something besides greasy, fatty, cholesterolly, junk. And it worked fine at first. But… have you tasted a freaking Twinkie! They’re cursing delicious!
So being positive is stupid and ain’t nobody never got nuthin from it.
Or, I’m doing it wrong.
You see, I may have been buying fruits and veggies instead of chips and dip. But I was still eating out. My thought of “eat grapes instead of Cheez-its” was well intentioned… but that’s all it was. I wasn’t very positive that I could be positive about eating healthy. And I wasn’t very good at eating healthy because bad foods taste so darn good. Simply saying, “instead of eating delectable crap, I’ll eat gross tasting healthy stuff” I was saying “no more crap, even if it tastes like heaven made of meat.”
That’s just more “no-no’s” and I don’t like being told “no.”
So what do I do instead. Where do I go from here. Why is it OK to leave question marks off rhetorical questions but yet you still know it’s a question.
The answer is simple to state, nearly impossible for my feeble mind to comprehend, much less act on. I have to make a conscious decision to DO something instead of passively telling myself that I need to stop doing something. That means taking action to control my thoughts and desires and hold them captive to my will. Then, like breaking a wild horse, toss those reigns around my mind and ride it until it submits to my rule.
I just hope I don’t get thrown off more than once, because I’m stubborn when I wanna be, but I also give up quickly when the alternative is a double bacon cheeseburger.
P.S. – I’m writing this while half asleep, trying to get my sleep schedule back to a place where I can wake up in the morning and start my day with a nice breakfast instead of starting with a “holy crap I’m gonna be late for work!”