Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Healthy Mind, Body and Soul 3/6/12

Yes, I realize today isn't March 6th.  I missed yesterday's entry.  But, you know what?  I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  I do that enough as it is and it just causes stress.

I was talking (well texting) with a friend who recently had surgery and she admitted that she beats herself up about things too.  During this conversation, She said something, that I thought so profound in its simplicity, that I just had to share it with everyone - "I need to take the energy I spend beating myself up and redirect it to living healthy."  No kidding, right?  Couldn't we all (well most of the women I know, anyway) take that advice?

We spend a lot of our energy on things that really don't matter and then, at the end of the day, we are spent.  We have nothing left to give others, much less ourselves.  I know I am particularly guilty of this and can become obsessive in my thought patterns.  Even something as simple as an exchange with a cashier or bank teller can have me going over and over the conversation in my mind for quite a long time.  I will ruminate about what she said; what I said; what I should have said.  These don't even have to be negative exchanges either, I can obsess about a completely benign encounter - wondering if I made any social faux pas along the way.  Invariable deciding I probably could have said something different, or perhaps not said something I did say.  Truthfully, it's mentally exhausting.

What a waste of time and energy.  Not only a waste of time and energy, but a waste of time and energy on people who don't even matter in my life.  I doubt any cashier has thought twice about the encounter s/he had with me after I leave the store, beyond perhaps noting whether I was nice or rude.  So, why do I spend so much time on the wrong thing?

I don't know-- perhaps it's a genetic flaw.  Maybe I'm too much of a people pleaser and want to make a good impression everywhere I go.  Or maybe I've never told myself to stop it!  Or given myself permission to stop doing it, is probably a better way to put it.  I need to give myself permission to spend my energy on things that matter.

So, what really matters in life?  That question can be answered differently by each person who reads these words.  What matters in our lives is a very personal thing.

For me, at this juncture in my life, the most pressing thing that matters is getting myself healthy.  In the form of losing weight, feeding my body properly is a given, but there's more too.  It dawned on me that I need to take time to laugh more.

Laughter has always been a balm for my soul, and I have to admit, I haven't done enough laughing lately.  I've isolated from my friends who never fail to make me laugh.  I've watch too much drama on TV instead of plopping down and watch I Love Lucy or some other comedy, that always has me belly-laughing within five minutes.

I've brooded too much and laughed too little over the past 12 months or so.  In my defense, the past year has been pretty serious, and I won't beat myself up too much for the brooding, that would, after all, be counter-productive to spending my energy on my health.  No, I'm not going to waste any more time thinking about it, I going to dive in and do it.  Laughter coming up:

Here's an excerpt from one of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes.  She gets a Loving Cup stuck on her head and hilarity only Lucy can produce ensues.

Laugh a little every day.  Add that to my list of goals.