I think I’m going to get a tattoo on my left hand that says, “What do you really want?” & one on my right that says, “Are you sure the answer is ‘a cookie’?” (And maybe one on my forehead to announce to the world that I’m a Work in Progress.)
When I remember to ask myself that question, things turn out pretty well. When I forget, it’s not so good. Also – it doesn’t take much to derail my entire day. Last night, I stayed up too late to finish Marya Hornbacher’s “Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia.” And then I was sad. I don’t particularly want to be sad after midnight. I don’t sleep well when I’m sad, and after midnight, I definitely prefer to be asleep.
It was really interesting as my eating patterns can be – at times – borderline disordered. (Just ask the architect – wait, on second thought don’t – I don’t want to know what he’d have to say.) Stress really pushes me in that direction. And what causes stress for me? Divergence from my preferred patterns.
You might say I’m rigid, but I prefer structured. I go to bed at 9:30. Lights out by 10. Alarm goes off just after 5. Shower and coffee. Then up to the home office to write for an hour. Morning hugs and kisses with the Bean as he gets up and dressed and has a morning snack (skerel & grips are the current faves, along with some muk*). The architect and I pack his snacks and lunch, I make my kale smoothie and a lunch, and get ready to go.
Then work – usually meetings – and a 90 minutes window carved out every day. That window is for one of four things (sometimes two in combination): running, swimming, walking, or lunching.
Then more meetings and wicked productivity.
So – what happens when I’m up after midnight, full of sads?
I do not get up at 5 (I really don’t function well on less than 6 hours of sleep, and 7+ is ideal). I do not write. The morning is rushed. I got my smoothie, but didn’t have time to make myself lunch. My morning rushed by. I skipped my run (too tired) and skipped lunch (too busy trying to focus on work).
By two, I was cranky and stressed and headachy. Definitely not focused on work.
So, I went to the cafeteria. And surprisingly made poor food choices.
My relationship with food is not always healthy, and I definitely react to stress by either skipping meals altogether or eating all the food that appears in front of me.
I know how to avoid this. Early to bed, early to rise, etc. Recognize what I really want. Make decisions based on said wants.
What I really wanted to do was have a nice run and a small meal (salad & soup is my usual cafeteria go-to). That makes my afternoons powerhouses of productivity.
So – until I can rewire my internal reactions to stress and routine disruption, I guess I’ll just have to get those tattoos.
Probably in Comic Sans. Or Papyrus. Maybe one in each.
Or maybe just a sign.
And – if the answer to the second question is “Yes,” the by the gods, I’ll have that cookie. But if – like today – the answer really was no…well, then, I can skip it.
Everyone is a work in progress (WIP), and it’s good for me to remember that I’m not the only one who doesn’t have it all figured out yet.
*toddler translation key: cereal, grapes, and milk