dajamou

Where's the village?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Up days and down days.

When I was in college I used to get so exasperated with one friend. He was one of those people who would keep bumbling along in this pattern of self-destructive behavior (or other-destructive, for that matter). And he knew it, and talked to everyone about how he knew it. But then he never did anything about it. It seemed like he felt that acknowledging his shortcomings was enough to make it OK. He'd do this hangdog penitence act: "Yeah...I know...I'm so bad...I mess everything up..." Drove me freakin' crazy, because I could see so clearly what he had to do, and most of it was just to for God's sake STOP. Oh yeah, and think.

Here I am, almost 15 years later, and I'm in the same pattern. I know what I need to do to feel better, I know what activities I need to avoid or cut back on. And it's a rare day when I do what's best for me. I'll skip the morning exercise. I'll eat the chocolate that triggers my depression. I'll watch hours and hours of TV after the dajamou goes to bed. I'll avoid the dishes, the laundry, the vacuuming, claiming that they stress me out too much, even though if I just for Chrissakes did them I'd have way more peace of mind.

The super-scary thing is, now I'm a mom. I don't have the leeway I used to have. I have really really GOT to have my shit together if I want to do right by the dajamou. And lately I've been feeling even less together than usual. Which is not very.

Recently, on one of my parenting lists, I read something about taking care of yourself vs. treating yourself. A lot of the members agree that giving yourself "treats" as a way to feel better can often backfire. But if you use your "me" time to really care for yourself, then you can get back the energy and mental/emotional reserves to deal with the world. I'll paraphrase what one member said: "I think of the person I wish I were. And I think, what would that person be doing right now to improve her quality of life? She'd be going to the gym. And then I go do that."

So this is what I'm trying to keep in mind these days. We'll see how it goes.

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