Usually by now we are so over the current year we are happily making plans for the year that is coming. It’s right there, you can see it: your “start over” that’s coming just after the holidays are over.
When I was young I loved the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. I remember sitting with my friends saying things like ” I resolve to clean my room more.” or “I will eat more vegetables.” As I got older I realized that you don’t need a new year to change things in your life that you want to change. You just need to do it. There is no magic that comes on January 1st that makes you any more or less likely to stick to the changes you are trying to put into place.
The truth? You will fail. You will fall off the wagon of yoga or heading to the gym 5 days a week. You will eat that cookie you swore you wouldn’t eat and you know what? That’s just fine. That part doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you move forward from it without punishing yourself or saying “I can’t do it.”
This isn’t a lesson I learned in school, or even a lesson I learned in love. It’s a lesson I am learning in pain. Constantly I try to adhere to some type of normalcy. A regular sleep schedule, an exercise routine, a clean diet, or even just more time for me in any capacity. I do my best to implement these things and they stick for a while but then something comes up. This pain flare comes through and it lands me on the couch and keeps me from my mat. It makes me so tired because I can’t sleep and then I’m making bad food choices because I’m tired and cranky and hey, I hurt. Since everything else sucks I deserve a cookie damn it!
And then it’s over and I look at the wreckage it left behind and I get so discouraged and I think what is the point? I mean really, what is the point in trying so hard and then having to start all over? So I give up and I stop trying all together. I sit and watch TV and read magazines and eat whatever I want and I just wallow in what I can’t do. It’s ugly people. Real ugly.
After what has probably been one of my worst “give ups” ever I am finally realizing that it doesn’t matter how many times a pain flare throws me off my game, it just matters that I get back on it. Every. Single. Time. Instead of seeing pictures of fit happy people and thinking “Well they don’t have to deal with what I do.” I am reminding myself that everyone has their own struggle and everyone falls off that wagon. Everyone eats that damn cookie. Yep. Everyone.
What I am also reminding myself of (and you, because you’re reading this) is that I don’t have to wait for the new year to get back to it. I don’t have to wait for the pain flare to be over to make good choices. I don’t have to wait for those next lab results or the next procedure to find ways to take care of myself. It doesn’t need to be a drastic measure or shift to be good. It just needs to be good. In any capacity.
This isn’t to say that I am suddenly enlightened or above the struggle to stay positive, and I am sure there are many cookies in my future. I just really wanted to share this with my Spoonies and non-Spoonies because everyone needs a little reminder every once in a while.
It really is okay if you eat that cookie.