I was thinking about what I wrote yesterday about not dealing with my behaviors: with the eating and the drinking and the spending. And the stressing.
For a while now I’ve had the feeling that last year was the year I dug out a bunch of my emotional shit, and that this year is the year I’m supposed to be getting my external shit together: learning to take better care of myself with regard to food, drinking and exercise. I haven’t been sure why, but I keep feeling like this year matters.
And tonight I figured out why. Next year I’ll be in law school. Next fall, I’ll be leaving my house at 7:00am Monday-Friday, and Monday-Thursday I’ll be getting home around 10:30pm. Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays will be spent studying and catching up on cooking and cleaning. If I don’t get my shit together this year, I’ll implode under that kind of pressure.
I’ve learned over the last month or so that I do best with a plan. Not just a to-do list, but a plan for ALL OF IT: the food, the exercise, the cleaning, the miscellaneous “to-do’s.” All of it. When I was acting in theater and working, I used to have down-to-the-minute schedules. I even had a scheduled time for rest and relaxation twice a week. Oddly enough, instead of feeling MORE stressed, I felt LESS stressed, even though I had SO MUCH TO DO. See, when I had a schedule, I didn’t have to think about what else I had to do. I knew it was written down somewhere, and on the list to be accomplished. Even if I was crashed out on the couch watching TV, I didn’t have the “shoulds” going on, because I knew that everything else was accounted for somewhere in the schedule. There was nothing else that I “should” have been doing at that moment: watching TV was on the schedule for that time, so I could enjoy it guilt-free and stress-free. Ironically, I don’t think I’ve ever had quite such effective relaxation time since then.
Same with food. If I know what I’m eating tomorrow, I don’t really think about it anymore. I don’t binge as much or drink as much. I don’t really think about what I “can” and “can’t” have to eat or what I wish I could have. I just eat the next thing on the list.
So this year I have to get my shit together. This year I have to get used to scheduling things again: workouts, food, miscellaneous stuff to do. The most daunting thing about it is the idea of sitting down every week (or night, in the case of food) and figuring the week out. That sounds silly, doesn’t it? It’s really only a 10-minute job, but it’s hard to remember to do it. I’ve gotten used to living without a schedule, although ironically I’m more stressed and taking worse care of myself this way.
I have to laugh a little bit. I read about how kids are supposed to have boundaries, that they do better with structure and limits, blah, blah, blah. I’m not sure what it says about me that I do best when I treat myself like a child. *grins wryly*