Thursday, November 01, 2007

What DO you want?

Today tastes like Tootsie Pops and gumdrops and those awful peanut butter taffy things that come wrapped in orange and black waxed paper. How can they be so greasy and so sweet at the same time? You'd think one would eliminate the other.

As threatened discussed earlier, we're back to the introspective thing before Excessmas kicks in and the Adverbial Celebration is swiftly upon us. I think of the turn between Samhain and Yule as a gathering in, lying fallow, winding up time. A time to see what you have reaped, and decide what you will sow in order to get more of what you want the next time 'round.


What DO you want?

Once the easy answers are out (a million dollars, a Barbie body, a dream life) and the answers your mother would want to hear are out (peace on earth, to heal the sick and injured, to be a stellar yet humble example of all that is best in humanity) then what's left? What do you want?

I want to get clear with my desires. I want to know that what I want is truly what I want--not what I should want or what someone else wants me to want, but an intrinsic desire. I want to know what I want, and how much it will cost, and to be okay with that cost. The cost of losing weight is exercising and skipping dessert more often than not, is changing what I eat and how much I eat and watching how I plate the healthy "good food." It's a cost measured in time spent and conscious, thoughtful choices made, rather than grabbing the fun stuff right now.

The hard part for me has always been being okay with the costs. It costs X dollars, Y hours, Z effort to achieve the desired result. I'll spend it, and get the result, but then spend time fretting about the time/money/effort expended. I'll eat the cream puff, and then castigate myself for the excess sugar and fat consumed.

Right now, I'm thinking about a fiber festival in Washington this spring. I'll have the time off, no problem, I can certainly ask for this as my big Excessmas gift from Gareth (assuming I can get the classes I want to take) and if I get my choices when registration opens, this will expand my repetiore and feed what I do. Soul food, as it were. Experiences don't require dusting.

And yet and yet and yet . . . there's airfare, and hotel room, and food, and the costs of the classes. And there's other things that need to get done that will take money, and there's other things that we want to get done that will take time.

I want to be rid of this ambivalence. To be rid of second-guessing myself. I want to own my decisions wholeheartedly.


Jeanne Rhea said...

Wow! I think you are wanting a perfect world. ;) I want the same things.... I'll be reading to see if you manage it and how.

Judy H in NC said...

I think (at least in my life) the old inner critic comes in on so many eating better...seems "good" food costs more than "bad" food...and then with 2 teenagers, even wanting to train them into eating better, some days you can only grab and eat and who cares what it is.

And the same thing with taking classes. I start out with wanting to and then I start thinking about bills, etc and then I don't and then I hate myself for not taking them.

At some point we have to say "I AM IMPORTANT" and worry less about the $ costs and more about the mental/emotional costs. I'll just work a few extra hours, make up the some of the money and do it. other words....GO FOR IT!

Spike said...

See, and for me, I think it boils down to making decisions "guy-style."

A guy looks in the mirror and thinks, hmm. Getting a little pudgy there, chum. So at lunch that day, he eats about HALF of normal, has a small dinner that night, and so on. He skips desserts without apology. If anyone asks, he says, yup, trying to lose a few pounds. HE OWNS HIS DECISION. And if he decides to have one cream puff on Sunday with Mother, then HE OWNS THAT DECISION, TOO. He doesn't justify his choices, he doesn't second-guess himself. He has that ONE cream puff and enjoys it, knowing that he's going to have to eat salad three times a day for a week to make up for the calories.

A chick has trouble zipping up her jeans and decides to go on a diet . . . so she talks it over with her friends, and substitutes "light" dressing on her salad, and has "just a bite" of everyone's dessert. She buys treats for the family (and nibbles as she cooks and cleans), candy for the trick or treaters (and has just one . . . or maybe TWO), she goes to the gym and hangs out on the exercycle reading magazines for twenty minutes. SHE'S NOT OWNING HER DECISION. She's second-guessing herself, not really willing to commit to the consequences of what she's choosing.

Thus she doesn't really get anything. She's not losing weight, NOR is she enjoying her treats. She's stuck in limbo, hating herself for her lack of self-control and for not getting results for the work she's doing.

Yeah, I have bills like everyone else. I have to prioritize like everyone else. (Bill Gates has to prioritize, f'r heaven's sake!) I just want to be able to make decisions like a guy--I chose to go to this workshop. I knew as I was registering that attending the conference would mean eating mac and cheese for a week.

I want to smile as I eat the blue box, remembering that I chose to go to the conference, that I had the experience I desired, and this is just part of the cost. I CHOSE THIS, AND IT'S OKAY.

Spike said...

And just a quick follow up--a footnote, as it were.

Registration opened, and I went to snag the classes I really wanted. I had three number one's and two number two's.

Then the server on the other end overloaded and dumped me out. By the time I could get back in, ALL FIVE courses were gone. Dang.

Yes, I could ask to be waitlisted, BUT that has its own risks. What if I only got a three hour class out of the deal? That's six hours on a plane and overnight in a hotel for three hours of a class. I don't think the game is worth the candle.

So--there's always next year. I know if I were running this event and certain classes filled within MINUTES of registration opening, those would be the teachers I'd ask back to teach those classes next year. Additionally, it's not the FESTIVAL I wanted to go to, it was the CLASSES I wanted to take. So I can stalk the teachers' websites and see when and where they'll be teaching the things I want to learn.

And since I've gotten ok with the idea that I want to DO stuff rather than HAVE stuff, the only little gremlin voice I need to deal with is the one in my head that thinks I ought to want a plasma TV, ought to want $500 jeans, ought to want MORE STUFF, BIGGER STUFF, BETTER STUFF, rather than what I'm comfortable and happy with.