After my mini pity-party yesterday, I decided the best course of action would be to get up and get out. I elected to walk the mile to a bookstore that I visit with varying frequency, depending on my mood.
This mood said, “Get some books, and quit whining.”
Even though the weather was tolerable, by the time I got there I was fairly sweaty. I felt good – and bad – about that. My muscles were still slightly achy from the 11-miler I ran Sunday, and I figured some light walking wouldn’t hurt. I also knew I’d sweat a bit because I’d been wearing jeans and an oversized t-shirt, which is basically women-speak for “It’s summer, and I’m not shaving.” Sunday’s run left me with another gift: chafing, right on my bra-cup line in the front. I slathered on Neosporin and Band-aids before putting on my bra, and it helped a little – but the real lesson (or shall I say, the continued lesson) is Body Glide all the time, everywhere. The t-shirt was helpful in that it didn’t cling, but still, my mood had begun to color my perception. I might have smelled, I thought. Blood from my injury may have seeped out through my shirt, I thought. (It turned out neither was true.)
I opted to get three books: “Drop Dead Healthy,” by A.J. Jacobs, in which the author attempts to get fit from head to toe by trying various fitness and diet regimes; “How To Be Alone,” by Jonathan Franzen, a book of essays; and “Writing Down The Bones,” by Natalie Goldberg – apparently, this is a classic writer’s book. Naturally, I bought it, figuring it was a step in the right direction but not so radical as getting a “PUBLISH YOUR BOOK NOW! DIRECTORY OF AGENTS, PUBLISHERS, ETC!” type book.
I didn’t feel like walking after that, but I continued on to the grocery store and bought pretty useless, mindless food. I got two vegetarian frozen dinners, two “healthy/organic” bags of chips, four types of Kind bars, and two pints of Ben & Jerry’s – one of which was a combination of vanilla ice cream, caramel, and fudge-covered potato chips. Yup – someone’s PMSing.
I got home, ate dinner, ate ice cream, ate chips, drank Diet Coke, and started reading “Drop Dead Healthy.” I realized the irony, but the true irony was when I woke up on my own at 3:30a.m. this morning (of course!), kept reading, and ate the remainder of one pint of ice cream. Around 5, I went back to sleep, woke up at 9, kept reading, ate some chips, went back to sleep at 11, woke up around 12:30, and finished the book.
I had a few deep belly laughs from it, though to my chagrin it reminded me that I was doing a piss-poor job of following through on my own goals. Jacob writes: “All my fitness books talk about goals. You need a goal, and preferably a publicly and loudly stated one, one whose failure results in high levels of humiliation.”
And so, in February, I said: “I’M DOING A MARATHonnnn…” and back in September of last year I said, “I’M GONNA FINISH MY book………” and when I graduated college I said, “I’M GONNA LOSE THIS weight……………………….”
So, really, I’m no good at setting goals. I wade through diet and fitness with the tenacity of a newborn: I don’t really do much except observe and cry a lot, and every now and then I reach a milestone, much to my amazement. I wonder about a lot of things, what I should eat (I realize ice cream isn’t one of those things; neither are chips or Diet Coke), I’ve tried many different avenues: I sometimes eat vegetarian and sometimes steak tacos. I’ll eat quinoa and then grilled cheese and fries. I have three Jillian Michael’s DVDs and get e-mails regularly from two yoga studios. As of this writing, I am practicing neither.
I worry I’m going to end up with diabetes. For about four years now, my left leg has been more swollen than my right. Diabetes and blood clots have been ruled out, and so I just live with it. But I grimace – especially in summer – when I look at my feet and think they look like fat little sausages. My fat sausage feet.
I worry I’m going to die suddenly – like, have the best day of my life and then, as I’m cocooned in my own happiness, I will trip and fall into the street and get run over by a car.
I worry that I won’t cook meat all the way through, that the increasing amount of freckles I find on my body are a sign of impending cancer.
I spend a lot of time worrying, and not enough time doing. It’s an amazing feat I get anything done at all. In college, I saw a movie called “Safe” with Julianne Moore, in which she gets so allergic to environmental toxins, she ends up alone talking to her reflection in the mirror.
I don’t want to end up like that.
Yet, it seems like laziness is the only goal I’ve successfully completed. To be fair, I’ve never stated that goal loudly and proudly; furthermore, it’s not something you really should be proud of.
I’ve briefly flirted with the idea of scheduling my life from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. I imagine it would make me more accountable, but also give me panic attacks.
I don’t need anymore of those.
And right now, I need to stop dwelling on this and actually do something today besides read and eat shitty food (but it tastes so good!).
Have a good day, everyone. Take better care of yourselves than I’ve been taking care of myself, okay? (It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it…)