Monday, May 20, 2013

Space for "I Can't"

I'm that curious kind of over-achiever who, having tasted a lot of success in some areas early on, decides that perfection is the necessary thing.  When perfection becomes harder to achieve or impossible, something stutters in our brains.  We become immobilized and resentful.  We stop trying because hell, if it can't be perfect, hang it up.

Case in point (and here I'll be posting something shameful):  my dining room table. Here's a balls to the wall, fully exposed shot of what I see from my perch behind my laptop as I write this:

Here we have the remainder of lunch-making supplies -- the kids had PB&J and SmartFood popcorn, among other things.  Also included is Chickadee #1's lunchbox, which was in the car overnight.  She went to school with her lunch in a paper bag today.  I have a plastic liter bottle of water on the table -- I was terribly thirsty after yoga this morning.  My purse (you can just see the strap) is on the chair opposite me.  One of the girls left her pink glass on the table this morning.  The telephone is at my side in case my sister calls from France.  My empty tea cup is farthest from me, patiently waiting for me to fill it again with my favorite tea, PG Tips.

The point is, looking at this makes me exhausted.  This morning's disorganized rush for the door meant that I didn't have time to clear the table after making lunches.  Then I ran off to yoga and got caught in a massive, tear-inducing traffic jam.  After yoga, I rushed home again and, instead of calmly clearing the table, I sat down and started to write this post. 

I had something I wanted to say: 

The notorious cow-faced pose:

I've written about this crazy thing before.  I'm sorry to say that it is no easier now than it was then.  In some ways, it was more difficult today.  As I attempted to twist my legs into this position, I could feel the entire left side of my left leg burning as if it was on fire.  I could sort of do it, but it was miserable.  After class, I was talking to my yoga teacher about it and she suggested that I might want to do the pose in a chair.  I'm also using a chair for my foot exercises and I am a much happier person for it. 

I was thinking about this on the way home.  I think that one of the things I like the best about the yoga class and the teacher's approach to it is that it leaves space for "I Can't".  I can't twist my legs into that position.  I just don't have the flexibility.  And, instead of feeling defeated by that, I'm empowered to do what I can.  To try even though it's difficult.  I'm very grateful for the space Marianne gives me for "I can't" because I don't think I give it to myself often enough.  I look at my messy dining room table and beat myself up because it is that way.  I look at the number on my scale and actually consider doing surgical violence to my body because I am so discouraged with my progress.  I don't want to go through the process of succeeding.  I want to have succeeded. 

I remember telling a friend a long time ago that I wished my life were over -- I wished that I were 80 years old and looking back on a life well-lived, a happy marriage, wonderful children.  I wanted to know that everything turned out all right.   My friends laugh at me because I read the endings of books early on.  I want to know how the plot ends and then find out how it fell together.  I'm not sure what this says about me or my apparently permanently frustrating weight loss journey.  I'm sure it says something.

Psychoanalysis in the comments will be gratefully accepted.   

1 comment:

  1. We are rowing the same boat, I feel this way all the time....
    my whole house looks like your DR table. We do the best we can. My kids get the best of my time, housework will always be there. You feed them, you put the o2 mask on yourself and did something for you... yoga. Set your goals smaller for the day... so you get the dishes in the dw today, next its get one load of laundry started. And task the beauties,the wheels stop, if I don't get help... be good to yourself... and not so quick red pen, you are not giving yourself an A for loving self first. Not an F for what you have not accomplished. xo