Monday, September 9, 2013

Tired - Tried - Tied

Today I am fighting a battle. Oh, nothing like true warriors who are fighting life or because they are paid to do so...but a battle with myself.  There are times in our lives when we have to just sit and give ourselves a good lecture.  Tell ourselves that it is not too late to change, not too difficult to do, and not too ridiculous to get back on the horse after being thrown off countless times.  Figuratively, not literally, that last one, by the way.  I've never been thrown off of a horse, but that's because I've made it a practice to stay off of horses.  I think that they are beautiful and majestic animals and I love looking at them in the field a half mile from my house.  That's close enough for me.

I'm not trying to put rules and restrictions on myself, put myself on a program, or even tell myself that I'm out of time to make a decision.  I'm not going to give myself a hard time, be angry at my foolishness, or even curse the fact that I have this thorn in the flesh when others do not.  I'm not making excuses, berating myself, or even complaining about it.

All of that is futile, unproductive, and in my unique case - tired and tried.  

Did you notice that the words "tired" and the words "tried" have the same letters in them.  Just two letters turned around make all of the difference in the world?  No wonder people trying to learn English think it is ridiculous.  I thought French was hard (and it is, by the way...even if I have two small nearly 7 and 8 year old tutors who laugh hysterically when I try to say anything in French.  Particularly if it involves an "r".)

Most people I know are tired.  They are tired of struggling, tired of striving, tired of not sleeping well, and tired of waiting for something to get better.  They are worn out from attempting to be everything to everybody, doing more than what is expected of them, keeping up with their own expectations, and working longer hours - either at work, at home, or supporting someone somewhere.  I think that most of us have fallen into the habit of being tired in some respects.  We work out for an hour and are exhausted...but we can sit and type on a computer (ahem) for hours.  We have every opportunity to go to bed early...and we stay up late watching reruns of Frazier.  Or Friends.  Or whatever.  We overschedule ourselves and then can't understand why we don't want to do everything that we've managed to fit into what should work...but really doesn't.  We long for peace and do nothing and to have a say over how we'll spend the hours that aren't tied up doing everything that we are obligated to take care of in a 24 hour period.

I remember a time when getting an invitation to do something was a joy.  It was an opportunity to do something different...something fun...something out of the ordinary.  It was something to be looked forward to with excitement and was a star on the calendar of a month of normal.  Now, an invitation is something that has to fit in between obligations, work, visits that need to be made, friendship upkeep, the needs of the children, church activities, and workouts.  More than once lately, I have seen an invitation as more of an obligation than an opportunity.  When did that happen?

Maturity.  It's not for the feint of heart.

I want to be less tired...but I don't want to sign up for "tried" either, truth be told.

People who are tried...are dealing with the aftermath of something that has rocked their world.  Maybe it is the care of someone who needs them for a season.  Perhaps it is pushing themselves to do something that has been a goal - like training for  a marathon or a massive weight loss undertaking.  Or it is surviving a divorce, downsizing, empty nest, surgical wake-up call, demands that cannot be ignored from a boss, or just something that has taken a person to the end of their capacity to deal.  Except they do deal...and keep on dealing.  

Because they either have no choice...or that's just how they roll.  As for me...I'm the latter.  Sometimes I let people know...and sometimes I just keep it inside until I can talk about it.  Sometimes I'm able to function and other times I'm so scattered that I can't focus.  I'll do something repetitive and mindless just to get myself back on track.  I'll count the revolutions I make on the elliptical machine so that I won't think about anything but that.  

Really.  I do this.

Tired and tried.  Even worse when handled in tandem.  And often we try to be big, bad, and brave and put on our big girl/boy panties/boxers and deal with whatever it is head-on.  Except when we are tired...and when we are going through something...that's when we are supposed to rest, release, and regroup.  

Yes, more often than not...the easiest answer is rest.  Yeah, yeah, I hear you laughing.  But it is.  Sometimes, the best answer is to quit striving and worrying about it...and just drag thyself to bed.  After you've done that...pray about your situation and give it to the Lord.  Then ask for some direction and try to figure out the easiest and most practical way to get from point A to point B.  The next day?  Rinse and repeat.

Over and over.

Those of you with children who are taking every moment of your day or are the primary caregiver and nothing is getting done?  Keep asking for help until someone answers, lower your expectations, and rest when whoever you are caring for rests.  I realize that we all have standards of getting through each day that are unique to each of us...but just because your soup cans aren't alphabetized and your laundry is wadded up in a basket - clean - but nowhere near being folded are put will survive it.  Trust me on this.

I am happiest when things are in order.  But "order" is a relative term.  I have friends who would be appalled at the level of "order" that I'm okay with and others who think I'm a decent housekeeper.  It really just depends.  I could spend every waking moment trying to bring it one step closer...or I can accept that sometimes in one day I can do more than I can do in a month of struggling and be okay with that.  Generally, I clean when I'm mad.  Since I try to avoid being angry...I have to let some things go.

It works for me.  But if I am fired up at someone...I rarely waste the opportunity to clean something.

Tonight I am glad that I had the discussion with myself this morning.  I forced myself to just sit and do what I could.  I showed up to get weighed tonight and I'm going to a class tomorrow before I have to be where I've obligated myself to be for the next six weeks.  Big Dave and I are eating out of the freezer during September...and we are determined to buy the least amount of groceries that we can so that we can get some of this food out of the house that has been sitting there because one of us was too lazy to actually cook it.  Yes, by month end, it will get interesting.  And some of it may be at odds with what I'm trying to do with weight loss and working out.  Including committing to writing down the number of steps I take every day for a free pedometer.

Free is good, y'all.  And so is having to report my steps to a higher power.  Work.  Not THAT higher power.  Trust me...He knows.   And I like to think that He is strongly nudging me to get back on track and quit making excuses for being overweight and cursing my sluggish metabolism.

I like to think that when we are tired and tried...that there is a third word that is close..."tied."  I want to be tied to good behaviors, habits, and a schedule that is rational...not jam-packed.  I hope that the coming weeks will find me resting a little more and getting off my own back.  I had seriously not realized the weight of that as being part of my problem.

That and these dang closets that I can't seem to get around to cleaning out.  

Except tonight...I'm committing an hour to just that.  As soon as I get up from here...I'm headed to see what I can do about that.  And then I'm going on to bed to rest. Just because.

And for those of you out there carrying burdens and monkeys on your back that you'd like to release...just do it.  Yes, I know that's a Nike slogan...but it really applies to everything.  Just know yourself and love the person that is you.  Take care of yourself as you would your best friend.  Be easy on yourself like you would a very young person who is trying to figure things out.  Be good to yourself and be grateful for all that you have been blessed with in this life.  

That's my plan.  Maybe it will be yours too.  If so, I wish you every success. 

Now...go rest.  That laundry will be there tomorrow.

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