Fat Fridays: Week 10 If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Here we are in week 10. I’ve had my first real setback this week. I haven’t exercised in two days, I came off of 9 days without sugar and blew it with pancakes and syrup yesterday and then donuts this morning. I’m finding that my setbacks are really tied to my bouts of depression. I hit a real low this week and I find that trying to keep myself moving and keep doing the right thing is really difficult when I’m feeling so low I don’t want to move.

Frankly, I’m getting pretty tired of this depression. A while back I went through about two years of deep depression. Now it’s every month I just have a couple days when it’s hard to cope. The problem is that while I’m in the midst of it, I feel like it’s all my fault. I am a horrible person. I’m a failure. I’m lazy. And then slowly the fog lifts and I get back to normal and I realize that I had been fighting off depression like it was a giant cloud that had settled around my body. This seems to be a cyclic thing. Some new, bizarre form of PMS? I don’t know. I think I’m going to start keeping a simple diary and see if I can track a pattern of which days I feel depressed, see if if there is any rhyme or reason to it.

I am at the point where I’m ready to start researching diets that lift depression. Right now if someone told me that eating a Keto diet (my personal version of hell) would take away my depression, I would be like, OK, sign me up.

So, here I am. I’ve been doing really well these past 10 weeks. Exercising, being more thoughtful about what I eat, trying to significantly reduce sugar. And then I fall off the wagon. This is where the real challenge lies. What am I going to do about it? Am I going to shrug my shoulders and think, Well, I’ve never been able to do anything long-term, might as well just give up and have a nice binge. Or am I going to accept the fact that this is how life works. It’s impossible to be “good” all the time. You mess up. Acknowledge it and then get back to work. Start exercising again. Cut back on the sugar again. Try to be mindful of what and why you are eating again.

I need to give myself this pep talk. You are not perfect Esther. No one expects you to be perfect all the time. One mistake does not make you a failure. You can do this. Have grace for yourself.  Don’t give up. Try again.

So, this is the plan for this week. Research diet and depression. Stop beating myself up for falling off the wagon. Climb back up onto the wagon. Keep going. And remember to be kind to myself.

Here’s to Trying Again.

Playing the Game of Life

I have decided that I need to take a different approach to life. My typical approach is: I’ve got a big job to do and my worth depends on how well I do the job and if I get it finished. (Finishing it perfectly is an added bonus.)  This is not working for me.

Every morning I wake up feeling behind. A good reality check says that, Hey, there is no way one woman can possibly keep a giant house perfectly clean, 10 children fed and clothed and happy, be a good wife, be a good friend, be a good daughter, citizen, piano teacher, sister, aunt and any other role I find myself trying to fill. It is literally impossible. And so I wake up in the morning feeling cranky, overwhelmed, slightly panicky, because I’m always behind. I never finish everything on my list. My job becomes the priority and it’s not very fulfilling. You wash the laundry and it’s dirty again the next day. You prepare a meal and fill every one up then you have to repeat the process in 4 hours. I find myself getting short and impatient with my little boys because they are constantly hindering me from getting my work done. I find myself complaining a lot.

As I stood in my little boy’s bedroom, observing the giant mess that needed to be cleaned up, I decided it was time to change perspective. What if I see all of this as a big game? What if every day I just play hard and enjoy the process. At the end of the day we declare a Game Over and then start again the next day. Ok. Rules. Every game has to have rules. And a point. So, the goal of the game is to be loving and kind to everyone in my circle of influence. There are a bunch of tasks or challenges to do, but the point isn’t to finish all the challenges. Instead just choose each day which ones are most important and focus on those. But finishing the challenge doesn’t count unless you continue to be loving and kind to those around you, cause that’s the main point of the game.

I think life will be a lot more peaceful and fulfilling if I play the game instead of work the job.

(I wrote the above this morning) (Finishing this up after a long day.)

Ok, I tried my new method of looking at things today. It was a bit harder than I was hoping. Mostly because I kept forgetting, and I would get all caught up in my “job” mindset and then start getting snappy again when I was interrupted. Loving people! That’s the goal! I kept having to remind myself. Ok, little baby. I was half-way done cleaning this room, but you are having a meltdown, so I will stop what I’m doing and hold you and love on you till you feel better.  Then, if I still have time, I will continue to clean this room. Because the room isn’t the main goal. Loving you is the main goal.

I wonder how long it will take me to adjust to this perspective shift?