Monday, February 6, 2012

How Things Are Going


I often enough read blogs, books, and essays by people who seem to have it all together. I visit my therapist weekly and am suspicious that she just might be as happy and balanced as she seems. For all my writing here about growth and understanding, I thought it was long past time for a bit of balance.

First, the things at which I'm doing well.

I've become more compassionate. I'm learning that skill and I find that the more I learn and the more I practice compassion and empathy the more valuable they have become for me. Here's a silly example: I don't get upset in traffic much any more. I was that guy who, when someone was riding my bumper would slow down just to piss them off. I have been the guy who swings wildly around the slow car and slams back into the lane just to show them who's tough. And I have been the guy with his middle finger in the air to any perceived slight. More than all this, I was the guy who would brood over these things for hours after the fact. I'm not very much like that any more. I don't worry about the other people on the road. I let people in even if they did just do something foolish. I shrug my shoulders when something happens. And I breathe.

Breathing is the best part of all this. I'm learning to breathe, silly as that sounds. When something bad happens, I breathe three, five, or maybe ten times. I focus on that action and find that it gets me through the bad thing and into a place where I can be myself. I'm signing up for a class in meditation and I can't wait for it to start. I'm excited about being more calm and at peace.

I've been a better husband since I started writing these entries. I'm listening more than talking. I'm understanding that my role is not to solve problems but to be in the moment, available and of use to my wife when she has something she's dealing with. If she becomes depressed, I don't have to fight that feeling (or flee from it). I can simply be with her and talk with her. I can go for a run with her. I can think of it as a problem that she is suffering through and not make it all about me.

As I said above, these are the things I'm doing better with. But there are other things that I'm still struggling mightily with and the first thing on that list is my health. I'm a pretty healthy guy in that I don't get sick often, I have very few aches and pains, I don't wear glasses, my teeth are sound, I have an iron stomach, and so on. My issue is with eating and exercising. I'm at my best when I eat well and get out for a run. I haven't done well with all that lately.

I weigh 209.2 pounds as of this morning and have been stuck at that weight for a while. My stomach is large enough to be uncomfortable physically and emotionally. I have been eating out of something other than hunger and doing that a lot. For me, this is a sign of something going on, a product of my long history with food, and an issue I haven't yet found the solution to.

This morning, in the shower, I was trying to think of one habit I could initiate that would help me with this problem. The list went something like this: get back to running every day, don't eat after six in the evening, stop drinking coffee, and other suggestions of that ilk. None of them feel like they are the right choice. Most I've tried before and had trouble with. Others feel foolish or too strict to be of much use. I need to do something, but I don't know what.

Before I go any further I need to say that I'm not looking for suggestions on this. I'm not in a place yet where I'm ready to accept that. Maybe later.

Right now, my goal is to continue with the project I set out for myself this morning: to get stuff done. It's not that I've made a long to-do list. On the contrary, I'm just taking up each task as it presents itself. Like this writing. I thought of it, was at the computer, and it needed to be done. Now that I'm set with it, I can move on to something else.

I have a feeling I'll be on this subject for a few more days. Hell, I'll be working on this stuff my whole life. I probably won't need to write about it every day, but at least for the next few, this is the topic on which I'll write on.