Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Turn Train

Week Three: Think First.

There's this little habit profile, which my darling Thomas goes through and applies his years of training in corporate America and says "Hmmm. I don't have any bad habits." Because the statement doesn't apply to him ALL THE TIME, then obviously it's not a habit he needs to worry about. If he can think of any circumstance during his entire life in which he didn't do X, then he doesn't mark it off. (He marked 1 box in B, E, F and H, and two whole boxes in A.) Heh. My husband has discovered, through Weight Watchers, that he has absolutely no flaws whatsoever.

Does the phrase horseshit occur to anyone else? So we had this little discussion about it last night... the goal of the exercise isn't to say you do something all the time, it's for you to assess what situations might arise that are going to hinder your weight-loss effort. It certainly isn't there for someone to say "Oh, look, you have a bad habit, you're a bad person." The only person who cares what's on your quiz is your wife, and what she's saying about it is "Okay, Mr. Perfectman, why, then, exactly are you SO FAT??"

But, again, I'm rambling. I do that... you should stop me, you know...

(You know, it's really hard living with someone who thinks he's perfect when 1) you know he's not and 2) you really know that you're not.)

Little quiz. Right. Back on target. This is about me, remember?

Well, obviously, I'm a fairly flawed individual. Of all the things listed, I have the least amount of marks in D (Manage your emotions) and H (Learn from Experience). One checkbox each... (I often give in to food cravings... and I'm very strict with myself and if I slip up a little, I give myself a hard time.)

I got two marks each in A,Prepare Yourself and F, Manage your Environment. And three marks each in B, Ask for Help, C, Manage your Thoughts and G, Monitor Yourself.

And the, most damning of all, I got four marks in E, Take Care of Yourself.

Well, this is nothing I didn't already know. I'm a diagnosed CoDe (Co-Dependency Issues). My feelings of worth are intrinsically tied around what other people think of me. I've known that for a long time. I was even in a support group for it, for a while. Although I find a GROUP of CoDe's to be just a stunningly bad idea on so many levels, I can't even begin to express it. I know some people have good results from it, but somehow, the little cynic in me (remember him? He says hi!) goes "Wait, wait... we're getting together with a GROUP of people who all show the tendencies to ignore their own problems to try to fix other people's... how is this supposed to work again?"

My happiness is all tangled up in the needs of the people around me. If my novel was to get published, and Thomas was to be jealous and angry about my success? Then I would feel absolutely no pride in my accomplishment. I probably wouldn't write anymore, either... This is, I think we can all safely say, Not Productive Behavior. Over the years, I've worked on the issue, and I think I'm no longer quite as bad as I used to be. But it is still a pretty strong pull... as a further matter of fact, it's one of my other goals for this year. I am sick and tired of being walked all over by the people in my life who have started taking for granted that what I want and need is less important than what they want.

But really, that's an entirely different post.

You know, I really don't know how to take care of myself. Well, not in the mom-still-does-my-laundry sort of 40-year-old virgin manner of not taking care of myself. Physically, I'm mostly set (well, aside from the too fat thing...). I know how to cook and clean and do laundry and that sort of thing. But emotionally? No, I don't really know how to do that. How I feel is so wrapped up in the people around me...

I have lots of friends, you know. I'm a social butterfly, able to connect almost immediately with people. I'm interested in people. My little cynic is jumping up and down right now, complaining about how people are stupid and selfish and annoying, but on this particular issue, I ignore him. People are fascinating. I love meeting new people, and I love having friends. How people tick, what they think, what they do, how they cope with their lives... all of this is interesting, and fun, and wonderful. I like to listen to other people's problems... and I love to offer advice. I like to think I give good advice, but then, I take entirely too much of my own self-worth from what other people think about me... I'm happiest with the friends that need me, that rely on me. And at the same time, some people do take advantage of it.

There are people who know that - no matter what - I will drop everything to help them deal with a crises. There's nothing wrong with that... but there is something wrong with the people who dump everything on me. And there's something wrong with me, that I'll pick it all up and carry their baggage around with me as well as my own. Honestly, I'm getting a little overwhelmed, here.

Again, that's a different post.

But how, then, do I take care of myself? I don't even know... The little Weight Watchers booklet isn't really helpful, either. The 'case study' for that model... goes rock climbing. Oh, that's helpful.

So... while I'd like to ride the My Turn Train, I don't really know how...

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