On Motherhood & Sanity

Saturday, April 17, 2010

what if?

I’ve been toying with a pretty radical idea lately; what if (what if) I changed those things about myself that drive me crazy and that I know are bad for me.

It all started with Facebook. A friend sent out the following question:

What is the ONE THING, if you did it consistently, you know would totally change your life? And What ONE THING would you stop?”

I tried thinking of one, but three immediately came up; eat healthy, go to bed early and clean up. Yeah I know, not creative stuff, but what can I say, I’m a simple girl with simple issues.

We all know that eating healthy is good for you. That it increases your energy levels. But we just can’t bring ourselves to stick to it, because life is full of sweet little rewards that taste good and provide immediate satisfaction, and when it comes to a sweet tooth, I’ve got the sweetest tooth on the face of the earth. But there is this little voice inside me that keeps asking, “but what if?”

The wisest piece of advice I’ve heard on this came from Jen (you know, Aniston), and it was simple: stop eating shit every day. So what if I skipped that cookie I don't need, (and the five that usually follow it). What if instead of nutella on my bread I had lean ham, or even more radical, an apple?

I am also a very messy person. Growing up my mom used to call me Ms Autumn, because it was like I was shedding leaves throughout the house (in the form of shoes, books and empty glasses of water). My brother always said a detective would have a very easy time working out what I did; “you walked in through the front door, (left coat there), had a milk and cookies (plate still on table), watched TV on sofa (left magazine out)” and so on. And although it is a quirk that both my husband and I have accepted about me, the bottom line is it drives me nuts. Not that I do it, but the mess actually bothers me. Deep down and although I can hardly admit it to myself, I am a closet freak who would love to have a color coded wardrobe, the kitchen contents organized in tagged see through matching Tupper ware, and all the papers in my office filed in color coded folders. But mess is to me like mold to the tropics, it just grows around me. Whenever we go to a nice resort the first thing I do is take a picture of the room, because I know it will never look like that again. Not while we are there anyways. But, what if I followed the one minute rule? (from the book The Happiness Project, where you don’t procrastinate on anything that takes less than a minute). What if every Monday I filled a large garbage bag with the useless crap that is lying idle on every corner of the house. What if?

What if for a month I decided that no matter what I was going to go to bed and turn the light off at 10:30. What if I managed to turn myself into a morning person, and actually have breakfast with my family. What if my mornings where slow and lazy instead of manic and painful. These days by the time I wake up I’m already late! Not the best way to start the day.

It sounds so simple, so perfect and so impossible at the same time. There is a big –gigantic- invisible barrier between me and these goals. And I know because I have tried and failed so many times. But I also know because a few times I have managed to cross the threshold and get to “the zone.” That place where your brain no longer questions your decision. Where temptation no longer exists. It’s like a switch is turned off and cookies no longer seem tasty, and cigarettes stop being attractive. When you are there it seems so easy you wonder why you didn’t just do this before, but should you loose this state of grace then you remember, because I don’t know how to get back there, and judging from all the self-help stuff out there, I think we are all still struggling to work it out. I suspect it has something to do with absolute resolutions. When you know you are serious, your brain and body follow. But how to get so resolute?

Truth be told I don’t know. But I can’t seem to put away this little voice inside me that says

“what if you try it? Just this once. Just this month. Go on, I dare you”


Alex said...

I too am a night person in a family of morning people and have really struggled to change that. I used to set my cell phone alarm for 9:30 pm everyday so I'd remember that it was time to get ready for bed. And it worked. For awhile. But now my hubby & I are trying to come up with a more reasonable compromise (because I still was slow and grumps in the morning AND felt like I had no Alex time at all). Maybe I can pick something to change?

tara said...

Okay, I'm totally doing this. But there are so many things to change I don't even know where to start. Okay, here it is. I am not going to yell at my kids for one whole month. No yelling at all. Same tone of voice no matter what they do. Unless they run into traffic, then all bets are off.

www.kukis.es said...

For me it would have to be checking my kids homework... it bores me like crazy because I find it so silly and pointless, but I know that for them is important... The mess around me someday I might try and triumph.. but for know I will stick to the boring and pointless homework...