Friday, February 5, 2010

Takes a Little Time (Sometimes)

Well it may not be over by morning
And Rome wasn't build in a day
You can name that thing a thousand times
And it won't make it go away...

- Takes a little time, Amy Grant
You know, I've figured out my problem.

(I know, I know, I only have one?)

Seriously, y'all, bear with me. I had a bit of an epiphany the other day.

When I started all this, over two years ago now, I kept trying to remind myself that Happy wasn't guaranteed. I could get thin, and all that would mean is that I was thin. It doesn't mean I'm pretty. Or smart. Or confident. All it would mean is that I was thin. (er).

And still, I got here (no, I still don't really think I'm thin... I'm working on it. I'm definitely thinner. Normal-sized.) and expected to be happier. I expected to feel more confident, more energetic, sexier. Something.

And it still seems to be the same old me. Slightly older. A bit more fashion-conscious. (ok, and I've discovered something odd about myself. I like... shopping for shoes. And clothes. And hair accessories. Um... ok? This is me? Since when?) Now, I realize, going back and re-reading this blog, and other things I've written, done and said... that I am more confident. I am happier. But it was such a little bit at a time, I didn't really notice it was happening.

But see, here's the thing....

I'm stubborn. My dad likes to call it tenacity, but you may as well just call a spade a spade. It's pure bull-headedness.

I have not yet failed to accomplish anything I wanted to accomplish.

I wanted to quit smoking, and I did it. I started smoking when I was ten. years. old. Smoked on and off for 17 years. And quit. Cold turkey. Haven't picked up a cigarette in 12 years. Don't intend to ever do so again.

I wanted to lose weight. And I did it. You've all seen that.

I wanted to walk sixty miles. And I did that, too.

I wanted to organize my house, get my housework accomplished, and generally not feel like a slob. Mission accomplished.

So my problem?

I keep wondering why I haven't fixed everything else.

If I can do anything I set my mind to, why can't I do everything I set my mind to? Why, for that matter, can't I set my mind more often?

When I spell it out like that, even I can see how ridiculous it is.

Also... what the hell am I unhappy about? HONESTLY?

I have a wonderful husband (and I hate saying that, because it never sounds honest.... it sounds like a prelude to my saying "but..." And yet, it's true. He's pretty damn wonderful.) My child is not me, and that's ok. She's good at math, and has sticky points with reading. But she's very well behaved, enthusiastic about stuff in general, positively cheerful most of the time, and not particularly whiny. I get along with my parents, mostly. I love my step-parents. Most of the time. I'm friends with my relations, after seventeen years of NOT being friends with them. I even like some of them rather a lot. I get second looks in the grocery store. I've been whistled at in the street. (There needs to be a word for that feeling of being simultaneously creeped out and yet flattered at the same time, there really does.) I have enough money to pay the bills, buy some stuff I want, and yet not have everything I want. (Who really wants to have everything they want? I mean, if you have everything you want, you start wanting really complicated, world-domination sort of issues. And who wants that?) I have good friends. And even beyond my good friends, I have a wide circle of acquaintances. I'm comfortable with my life.

So what's my problem?

Today, I feel pretty damn good, actually. So... not much.

Maybe I should try being more aware of what I have and what I've done than worrying about those things I haven't fixed yet. There's still tomorrow, after all, and tomorrow is another day.


Tricia said...

I believe in the power of positive thinking.

Ok, I know that sounds corny and generic, but its true. When I start focusing on all I have going RIGHT in life, those little "wrong" things just don't seem to matter.

Summer said...

Watching you from a distance, it certainly seems clear to me that you've become more confident, energetic and sexier over the course of the last two years. You've realized that your body isn't your enemy or your prison, but an instrument you can train and refine. I think that's pretty awesome.

You've also embraced the fun of being a girl. That's awesome, too.

(WARNING: what follows may sound simplistic and stupid. But it's true to my experience.)
When I was younger -- through college age, really -- I struggled a lot with depression. I still have, literally, the scars to prove it. I wallowed in my unhappiness, made unhappiness part of my identity. I wore black clothes and listened to sad music and drank too much and sought out drama. And then one day I had an epiphany of my own: being sad wasn't fun. I decided to embrace happiness. I didn't WANT to be depressed.

Turns out that it is more fun to be happy.

I can't say that I never felt depression again, but the only times it's grabbed me have been when sad or disappointing things have happened. Situational depression, rather than depression as a default personality setting.

So what do you think will happen if you decide to be happy? It would be an interesting experiment!