I Started on a Tuesday

My husband and I have a running joke about starting new things that goes a little like this:
ME: Honey, let’s train to climb Mt. Everest.
HIM: Ok, sure! That sounds great. We’ll start on
Monday.
OR
ME: Honey, let’s take a class on Indigenous Cultures!
HIM: Absolutely! When I get skinny we can totally
do that.
At which point I know whatever it is that I’ve proposed will never happen. As I enter into the 15th year of our relationship I realize there are many different elements at work in these interactions.

1. I am a little nuts.
2. He loves me in spite of the looniness.
3. He doesn’t like change.
4. I like it too much.
5. He is very good at avoiding an argument by
using humor.
6. I am a little nuts.
7. I have an enormous amount of enthusiasm but
lack follow through.

8. He loves me anyway.
9. He is very unhealthy and stubborn
10. I love him anyway.

So in our commitment to our relationship, our respect for one another, and our commitment to our family we have made the unspoken agreement to engage in this interaction – forever. But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about our physical and emotional health, that of our children, and how to manage the immensely difficult task of being in 43 places at one time.

With mental illness and disease running rampant through our families I would like to live healthier because there is much to be done and it’s easier to get it all done when I’m not sick and exhausted all the time. You see I am super excited to be alive on this planet and there are many things that I have done but thousands more things I have yet to do. I want to do them all. The problem is that I have the passion of 10,000 Italian men and the attention span of a squirrel. So we continue to engage in this way where I make a grandiose suggestion and my husband knows that the desire to do this thing will likely pass within the hour so he agrees – sort of.

I have always felt as if I am in a race against time to get everything done. The problem is that when I think about all of the things that I want to do in life I get so overwhelmed by the magnitude and so disheartened by the time that I have wasted that I do nothing. If I want to watch a movie I look at the list of all the movies and think about all the movies in the world and I’m so upset about the fact that I have not seen them all that I cannot choose just one – so I will just listen to a podcast – usually about a movie that I haven’t seen – vicious cycle I tell you. The same goes for books and music, musicals, artists, philosophy, religion. I want to learn everything but because I don’t already know it all I am angry with myself so I just put it off until – Monday or when I get skinny. But this morning in the shower I decided that there is no time like the present. I am not skinny and today is Tuesday.

So here I go! I’m breaking the mold. I’m stepping out. Today is the day. I have struggled with anxiety and depression my entire life. I have watched mental illness destroy many people around me and what’s more I have watched fear destroy even more. I have seen so many people, including myself wait to start their lives until something else happens or for the perfect beginning. It never comes. Yet, I have also seen others whom I admire greatly push through their fear, self-doubt, and depression to achieve great success. And so I ask why the hell can’t I do that for myself? Tuesday is the day – and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and so on.

It’s time to recognize that life is short and being happy is work and it’s a choice. Not just today but everyday. I can do whatever I want so now it’s time to figure that out and go for it. Life is filled with uncertainty. The only thing we control is our reaction, our commitments, and our choices. I want to be healthy, feel better, and get in touch with the part of me that has gotten lost somewhere along the way. The me that once did crafts just because, listened to music, sang in the car, took walks, and drank coffee outside every morning. I want to rid myself of the pit of fear that has been lodged in my gut for years and years.I want to take control, be healthy, and really start enjoying my life. I want to write, perform, and help others. I want to be a great mom and an awesome wife. I want to be the best me possible. I want to make conscious choices. I want to really live. Today is the first step on that journey. I am starting where I am to get where I want to go.

Day 1

First Yoga in years….
Walked in to find the Rabbi’s wife, then another coworker, then the Rabbi came in and sat right in front of me. The thoughts of this being a relaxing endeavor were replaced with thoughts of “do my feet smell?”,“are they too close to his head?”, “do I look like a
total moron?”, “is she better at this than me?”, but somehow I just kept going. Now I feel like a bowl of jell-o, but I think I’ll go back tomorrow.

Day 2
Ok, so I’ve been faithfully devoted to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle now for over 36 hours…why is there still cellulite on my upper arms and thighs?! Why do I not have a beautiful mind?! I worked out again today. Just 35 minutes on the elliptical, 2.5 miles and 215 calories burned. That’s ok. But I am in oh so much pain. Not to mention not getting enough sleep last night because we had to stay
up until 1 am discussing the ins and outs of tv superheroes and their appropriateness for the children…and other exciting topics of interest…such as: Why you’re wrong and I’m not!; What does that mean?; Don’t be so emotional!; But What you Really Meant Was…also known as That’s Not What I Said…and so many more. Marriage is fun.

I peed a lot today. Probably from all the water and smoothies I’ve been drinking. Every time I have to stop what I’m doing and run to the bathroom I try to think about all the fat, toxins, and evil demons I’m releasing from my body. It helps to keep me drinking – which is a challenging task. Some days I have come home from working 8 – 10 hours or more and I realize that I didn’t drink anything all day except coffee.

Day 3

The third day is always the worst. I hurt. Everywhere. I’m still feeling impatient because the total body/mind transformation is not complete but I’m definitely feeling better…even with the pain. I finally found my scale this morning – yes, I lost (temporarily) misplaced my scale but I found it under my bed. Whatever, shut-up.

It read 6 lbs. more than I expected so I guess this whole endeavor was appropriately timed if not planned. Surprisingly, this morning I woke up after a 13 hour day yesterday and facing another 12+ hour day today and I don’t feel as if I’m going to die. Generally, I wake up following one of those long days with an excruciating headache that gets worse through the day. Today I feel tired and sore but it’s manageable and I feel pretty good.

But here’s the biggest thing – and I’m never sure what is related to what but mentally I’m sharper and emotionally I’m more balanced. Last night I got upset about something that my husband did. I was frustrated and I withdrew – even into this morning. But when he finally asked me about it I was able to say “That situation upset me but I honestly don’t know who was in the right. I am feeling that we
aren’t communicating very well lately and I would like us to make more of an effort to be kinder to one another.” He agreed and there was no argument. If that was caused by this new conscious approach I am happy to report it. If it is totally unrelated then it was still a successful moment in marriage communications and worth noting. I feel better. That’s good.

Day 4 with several days off the wagon…

See, I told you I lack follow-through. I fell miserably off the wagon…it’s true. I worked two 12+ hour days last week and I couldn’t muster the energy to continue on the right track. I have been eating at night, not working out, and basically not doing anything but working and mothering. Instead of losing 20 lbs. I’ve gained 5 and I am completely burned out. I began this little endeavor weighing 6lbs. more than I thought I did and so essentially I’ve gained 11 lbs. over the last 9 days. That’s what I call success!
And so here’s the thing: Life is hard and I am not perfect. I am good, sometimes I am great, but most of the time I’m just doing the best I can in the moment. I’m mostly a nice person and treat people with respect. I am generous with my love and
my time – most days. I am not always good at saying no, being good to myself, or avoiding cookies at 10pm. I am not patient – with anyone – including my kids and my husband. This is the thing I need to work on most – and the not eating cookies at 10 pm thing…and about a thousand other things but these are bugging me most today.

Being a grown-up is a lot harder than I thought it would be…

Much love,

Erin xo

4 Comments


  1. Oy vey, Erin, don’t be so hard on yourself. I identify with a lot of your feelings and experience of being overwhelmed, but remember that you deserve to enjoy your life. I don’t think happiness is work; I think you need to give yourself permission to be happy, even amidst the chaos and disappointments. I’m not lecturing; I’m talking to myself as much as to you. I know first-hand how difficult it is to change one’s mindset. Let’s both give ourselves permission, yes?

    Reply

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