Two weeks into the new year. How are the measurements going? The weighing in on just how much we should berate or congratulate? How much self-inflicted weight have you put on your shoulders since New Year’s?
Hello, I’m Janice and I’m addicted to keeping score.
I give myself little stars on my calendar to measure how much I exercise, how much I study, how many words I write, how much I did or didn’t do of whatever I’m trying to do more or less of. I even keep score on how many pages I’ve read in a book.
Studying languages. That gets gold stars.
I lay in bed at night and rethink the day and the stars I did or didn’t earn. Then I hinge my mood on the score. Up or down. Happy or sad. Self-loathing and failure or elation and self-congratulations. The positive feelings don’t last though. They are soon replaced by fear that progress will vanish. Like how you look into someone’s eyes and you feel intense love, then imagine them dying in a tragic accident.
Parents. I know you know what I’m talking about.
What parent or aunt or uncle or grandparent hasn’t imagined a thousand deaths of the dear children in their lives. It’s madness! Shake it off, we say, which we can do with the tragedies imagined, because deep down we know we can’t prepare for those anyhow, but those things over which we can act. Those are tougher to shake off.
My point here is that we are all insane.
Caissie St.Onge wrote this beautiful piece about Oprah and weight loss and Weight Watchers. One gorgeous paragraph stood out and helped me release myself from (some of) my score-keeping insanity:
“Oprah is arguably the most accomplished, admired, able person in the world. She creates magic for other people and herself on the regular. So, if Oprah can’t do permanent lifelong weight loss, maybe it can’t be done. Oprah is also crazy rich. If Oprah can’t buy permanent lifelong weight loss, maybe it can’t be bought. And that sucks. But it is also incredibly freeing if you, like me, have thought about your weight so many times throughout every day of your life that it becomes as maddening and distracting as if you’d stowed a beating tell-tale heart beneath your floorboards.”
So I’ll try to simmer down the insanity and you try to do the same. Deal? Deal.
In other news, I sent off the letters for the month. Gold star for me.
Get ’em over at my shop.