Is Acceptance the End?
Monday, March 13, 2017
It's morning. A cold, clear, end of winter morning. The day is full of possibilities and I look forward to taking care of the things I think are important.
I list these important things for myself, particularly in the morning. Professional education, French study (for an upcoming vacation), taxes (gotta do 'em), Sparkpeople (either very early or around lunch), daily exercise, and networking with friends, doing stuff with my wife, and recreation. All important.
But even that list doesn't direct effort to decluttering the house in preparation for a move to another home maybe six to nine months down the road. Nor does it address another goal, a vague one of what sort of person do I want to be in retirement. The clutter, or excess "stuff" is a point of irritation and a reminder that there's ever more to do. The retirement goal is way to vague and pretty easy to ignore.
So what should I accept as OK? How much do I need to work? My professional studies must be done. I'll do them. I have plenty of time to complete the task. The French? It will be a big vacation event for my wife who really wants to visit Paris. I've accepted my own challenge of learning tourist French just to do it. I feel certain that my French will not be good enough to actually use on our visit, but I'll be able to try. I can take some pride in that goal and it adds a little excitement to preparation for the visit. And it's brain exercise, too, for a brain that seems to be slowing with age. Taxes? 'Nuff said. Will get done, and done well. Exercise? I'm very close to my high school weight. My body seems to want to weigh about 160 pounds, and I'd prefer 145, maybe 150. That weight range puts me closer to the middle of "normal" weight from a BMI standpoint. I've been there over the past few years, but often creep back toward 160. When I don't watch snacking on goodies.
Snacking on goodies is an entitlement issue, like watching a movie on TV. I "should" be able to do things like watch mindless movies and snack. I "deserve" some treats. The thing is, when I'm busy, I don't snack. When I'm watching TV, it seems like something to chew on is part of the package. I have not broken that connection yet.
Exercise? I hate exercise for exercise's sake. I've got an adequate gym, but I'm totally bored by pushing iron. It is so totally pointless. I generally figure that the best exercise for me is to do the physical things I enjoy doing, and let my body figure out how to get that stuff done. So I walk all the time, instead of driving. Walking is recreation. Hiking and backpacking are even more recreational. But hiking requires getting from the city to someplace with trails, and nothing's really nearby. Planning a trip to a park with miles of trails and then taking transit to the location, is a lot of work, and, more importantly, the trip to the park takes a lot of time. So my hiking is really urban walking, sometimes significant distances just to do it, but rarely among the trees and birds and so on. More among the tall buildings and bustling crowds.
Then, finally, the clutter. It's my lowest priority right now, and I'm doing little. And accepting quite a lot of chaos of boxes of stuff I'll get to, put away one day, or somehow process, or review before shredding.
Accepting the clutter and accepting a weight of 160 pounds, are two seductive potential outcomes that lead me to wonder if I'd ever reach the goals of living only with what I need and use, and shedding the modest bit of belly that appears at about 155 pounds, and disappears around 145. Are these goals important? Worth putting any effort into? Or should I simply accept that some clutter and some belly is simply the way I am, and continue to do stuff I enjoy, like occasional hikes or watching TV in the evening, and snacking on crunchy stuff?
For me, acceptance of this status quo is a sort of guarantee that it will be permanent. My preference is for neat and orderly, which brings some calm, but costs a lot of organizational effort. My preference is not to see my gut in profile, but my body seems quite content in that situation and I have to fight "natural causes" to get it thinner. I sometime wonder for whom I'm fighting.
If I summarize my intentions (studies, home admin, body shape and capabilities, life enjoyment) I find that I'm setting goals, looking for short term incremental implementations of larger goals, and setting routines that help me to focus on what I want most to do, then check off progress and take satisfaction in seeing important things get done.
If any of that sounds familiar, it may be because these ideas seem to be the basis of the Sparkpeople program, which seems appropriate to weight loss, but also to developing an attractive lifestyle, and emphasizes enjoying life along the way. So as I write this entry, I figure that a blog on Sparkpeople and participation in the program I'm developing on Sparkpeople is just the right place for me to be.
P.S. I don't accept 160. I just don't stress about it. Thanks for listening.