Friday, January 14, 2011

A Confession, and Going Deeper with No

I’ve got to say it. This month has not been 100% TV free. The exception I have made is reruns of Monk on Netflix with Gavin, basically limiting myself to one 45-minute spot but sometimes dozing through the start of a second episode. In my blog for writing moms I revealed it may be the pleasure of watching someone more neurotic than myself, plus the strange magnetism of Captain Stottlemeyer that keeps me coming back.

Here’s the thing: Gavin and I enjoy this moment. Cuddling, commenting on the murder mystery at hand, having a snack. And, yes, we could be doing something more enlightening. But we are tired and the snuggle under the TV blanket feels good.

One of the things I have been saying no to since October is overeating, thanks to Weight Watchers online , and I’ve learned a few things along the way, things that I’ve read and knew instinctively but for which I’ve needed some reinforcement. I even wrote about one of these concepts as the theme of my piece in the Get Satisfied anthology (How Twenty People Like You Found the Satisfaction of Enough)---extremism doesn’t work, at least not for me. I need to allow myself to be human, to crave the occasional chocolate, hold myself to a lower standard for productivity once in a while.

On the other hand, my sister and I have both noticed that making exceptions is a slippery slope. Take Thanksgiving. It should have been one day of gastronomic indulgences, but that one feast led to 3 days of extremely poor accounting in the calorie department, for sure. So I guess the rule for me is to pre-set a time limit for the whims I cannot deny—yes, I can have my 45 minutes of TV, yes I can eat with relative abandon for a day and a half. Then it’s back to my higher standard. (And I do think, by the way, that ultimately TV's got to go away completely for me).

This Year of Saying No isn’t only about habits that are less than ideal. It’s about granting myself the quality of life that I want, the relationships I want. It’s about recognizing the self sabotage of not “sticking to my guns”, of failing to make room for deeper gratification by clearing out the BS that I sometimes let encroach upon my life. Oh, yes, there’s TV, and debt, and other common American overindulgences. But there’s also the need to avoid choices based on fear and to stop acting out of guilt or obligation, more deeply rooted and perhaps more spiritually damaging practices.

If you’d like a list of my “nos” for 2011 (and these include the world of yeses that they will make room for), please drop me a comment and I’ll send them along. 

I’d love to see your list!

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