I have really allowed myself to wallow in the mire for some time now. Sure, a few months after Eeyore was born I dragged myself to a “butts and guts” class at the gym twice a week, and went out for the occasional drink with friends, but other than that I have permitted myself to live in a constant state of self-pity and with a whining lack of self control. “Everything is so haaaard,” I have said to myself and others, “how do people ever get it together with little children?” I have abdicated responsibility for myself, pretending I am a puppet whose strings are yanked by the universe, and I am really, really tired of it. It is an unsatisfying way to live.
Now I am about to turn 40, and it finally occurred to me that I could use that as a catalyst for positive change in my life. While the issues I would like to address are basic, I have allowed them to take on such a monumental, mythic role in my life that addressing them will take a real commitment; a commitment that an adult of 40 ought to be able to make. I’d like to have a little more strength of character than I have shown in the past in making some decisions about myself and sticking with them.
So what do I want to do with this resolve I will somehow find deep within myself? Well, like I said, it’s basic. I just want to learn to take care of myself, so that I can feel physically and emotionally healthy, and like I am in control of my life rather than the other way around. That encompasses three main goals:
1. To eat better and get enough exercise to have a healthy, fit body that feels good to live in.
2. To somehow corral the whirling mess of stress, apathy and childishness I have cultivated in my life and bend it forcibly into submission. I’m not dumb enough to think I can get rid of it completely, but I’m hoping that by accepting the need to partially live in the moment and partially set some rules as to how I can do a few things for myself first, I can reach a happy balance.
3. To be kinder to myself. No one is a bigger bully to me than I am. In addition to not criticizing myself for all my perceived physical imperfections, that also means not beating myself up if I go another year, or forever, without writing a book or doing something else I had decided would give my life worth meaning. I need to recognize the meaning in my life as it is.
Don’t I sound terribly New Age? I’m the farthest thing from it; I just want to enter my middle years with a little more purpose than I’ve shown in the last few years. My late 20’s and early 30’s were lived purposefully to the extent that I arranged an interesting international career and lifestyle for myself, but for much of my late 30’s I have been a little lost at sea. My career became somewhat less glamorous, and of course my previous blog chronicled my less than satisfying romantic adventures. Now my life is completely different with a gorgeous fireball of a husband and (almost) 2 children, and it seems like it’s time to figure out a way to embrace my new existence with a little more backbone than I’ve exhibited thus far.