Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Learning to Begin Again on a Tuesday

Let's be honest: I am a horrible blogger. Seriously, heinously, offensively bad.

I swear, I've tried. But, I am always failing: failing to find anything good to write about. Failing to see what seems to be seen so easily by any number of the bloggers I follow - the story. Is it that I don't have one? Can I not see the subject matter because my life has none?

Before you think I'm about to take a nose dive onto Michigan Avenue or something, don't worry: I'm only writing that stuff to make a point! I am, in all honesty, troubled by the fact that I can't seem to make the same connection to writing that others do, but I feel primarily concerned about the failure stuff. So I don't have anything interesting to say every day of the week - does that mean that I've failed?

The short answer: No. Absolutely not. That's crazy.

But knowing the truth and embracing the truth are two different things. And the crux of the entire situation rests on the somewhat disturbing fact that these feelings of failure are 100% completely, absolutely, without a doubt self-inflicted.

I'm doing it to myself, yo. And that's why it really hurts. (Somebody cue Thom Yorke!)

So, in the interest of self-improvement and my continuing (albeit somewhat desperate) efforts to write a blog that won't bore people to tears or lie dormant in the wasteland of my creative drought - I decided to start my journey (again) with a solid dose of self-assessment and a challenge:

You see, I've always had this strange tendency to begin any new regiment or project on a Monday. It always seemed logical to my slightly-OCD brain to start a new pattern on the first day of the work week (because I'm a slave to the system like that). And because I just can't seem to derail myself fast enough, I add the extra rule that these new lifestyle choices not only must begin on a Monday, but they also must be executed to perfection - no failing. No setbacks.

Let's not even get into the fact that Monday is not some magical reset button that clears the slate of last week's activities (because that would just be more truth than I can compute at the moment), but it is becoming obvious to me that there are many embedded issues within this one personality tic that are severely damaging to my hopes of becoming this better, faster, model of myself that I frequently daydream myself to be.

Issue #1: No one is perfect.

How can I ever expect myself to live a fulfilled life when I am jinxing myself like crazy right from the get-go? With each new pattern that I put into place come any Monday morning (seriously, any Monday. You pick. I'm always starting something.) I am also instilling an impending sense of doom. For example, let's say I decide to start exercising after work every day. Monday evening I do some crazy workout video (like the evil, evil 30 day shred), and come Tuesday I have sore muscles. Well, I can't work out with super sore muscles, right? I might hurt myself or something (which is probably not 100% true, but I live in a particular slice of reality where facts just bend themselves to my will - it's awesome). So, Tuesday I don't work out and in my book you can suddenly chalk up the entire experiment as a failure. With that one slip-up: FAIL. And then! When I think about the concept of getting back on the horse (BURN, Jillian!) I set my jaw, determine I will be victorious and plan to start on Monday.

Let's summarize this: no one is perfect. Got it. But, I set my goals at perfect and quit when the path deviates even slightly. Two things: 1. See how I'm the one creating all this drama from thin air? 2. See how messed up that is?

I do.

So, from Issue #1 comes Lesson #1: Be more realistic about what you can achieve.

Issue #2: Einstein said it, and you know that guy knew everything!

Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.


Um, that's totally what I've been doing. Over and over and over again. Same thing. Same result. But each and every time I am somehow able to convince myself that it will be different - THIS time will be the winner. Yeah, it's pretty close to crazy - too close, in my humble opinion.

What did we learn from this, kiddies?

Lesson #2: Don't be a bloody lunatic, for crying out loud!

Issue #3: This has got to be bad for business.

There's no way this is not damaging behavior in some way shape or form. I mean, constantly feeling like I've failed? Constantly striving for unattainable goals (i.e. Today I'm going to try to be perfect! FAIL.)? Repeating this same cycle of disappointment in an seemingly endless loop of mind games that creates nothing but problems and negative energy?! I've heard it said a million times, but it is a fact that a large portion of successes can be attributed to a positive outlook. Don't know if you've deduced as much, but the aforementioned feelings of failure and subsequent personal brow-beatings do not, a Pollyanna make.

Lesson #3: Lighten up. You're ripping yourself to shreds over NOTHING.

I think it's safe to say that it's time for someone (points to self) to actually implement the lessons above instead of just nodding politely at them and moving on (which is also how I handle panhandlers, but that's beside the point) - contrary to popular belief, self-analysis (although always a hilariously good time) is only productive when you actually put the lessons you learn to use (this is earth-shattering stuff, kids) - SO!

I'm writing this here as a beginning and as a realistic challenge to myself.

Here's to starting things on Tuesdays....


ree said...

Yay for Tuesdays! I think a lot of it has to do with school starting on Mondays. It's our first regimented activity, isn't it?

I'm the same way. Everything starts on Monday. Maybe Friday would be a better choice. ;-)

Emily said...

I think you just outlined in this blog what took me a couple of years in therapy to learn. Awesome! :)

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