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To Change or Not to Change

I’m back. I spent the week in a reading deprivation as part of an exercise in The Artist’s Way. I was pretty pissed off about the assigned activity, but being the good student, I decided to give it a shot.

At first, I thought I could still blog. Writing, after all was not precluded from the task, but I realized too much draw came from posting a blog without also reading what my other blogger friends were talking about so I opted to shy away from the computer all together. Besides, once I got online, the internet was more temptation than I needed.

I have to say that a week without reading was hard, but it was also enlightening to show me where I frittered away my evening. I realized that hours vanished before I looked at the clock to see it was time to get ready for bed. With new found free time, I cleaned a little and spent some time thinking about how I really wanted to spend those weekday evening hours. I also thought about some creative things like making jewelry that had somehow slipped off my radar in an attempt to get everything else checked off my to-do list.

I reflected on when I began losing weight and incorporating exercise into my life. This process required me to put Me at the top of my to-do list and took a lot of time, but it certainly seemed worth it.

When people started to notice the physical transformation that had occurred, they often inquired about a certain secret potion. When I shared the reality about what my day looked like in terms of exercise, eating, planning, taking care of me, people often looked at me befuddled and asked how I managed to find the time to do all the things I professed. I remember thinking that the more time I spent taking care of myself, the more time seemed to appear for the other important things in my life.

When I take care of Me (my needs and hopes and dreams), I am a better person in all those other situations and relationships that surround me. Had I lost sight of that as well?

In addition, a question that was posed in the The Artist’s Way was, “Look at one situation in your life that you should change but haven’t yet. What is the payoff for your staying stuck?”

Hmmm. I thought a lot about my struggles in the past year with my weight and the fluctuation that occurred after I went back to work fulltime. What was the payoff that I received for not taking care of me?

I’m not sure I have a complete answer, but I do know that when I teeter at a weight that I know is not my fighting weight, I obsess on my inadequacies. Ouch. How in the hell does that complement the fact that I try to maintain a pretty optimistic-glass-is-half-full attitude?

I don’t like that discovery; besides it creates an environment that prevents me from being all I can be. It’s distracting, and I wonder about all the things I’m missing out on that might just be waiting to be uncovered. So, I suppose the week of reading deprivation proved to be beneficial.

Baby steps forward. Are there things that you know you need to change? What is the payoff to change or not to change?

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4 Responses

  1. Oh sure, I’ll always have things to change. To me, that’s half the fun of life–constantly growing, seeking, trusting. (The other half of the fun is learning to accept myself as I am now, in all my glorious imperfection. :))

  2. Yeah, I always want to be evolving, and yes, I need to work on accepting myself – warts and all. Some days that is easier than others.

  3. I like the question posed in The Artist’s Way… are any of her books more about self-motivation and reflection than art and creativity specifically? If so, I have a book to recommend to my husband! 😉

  4. Jennifer-i’ve only read this one, but there is a ton of self reflection and goal setting. I think everyone would benefit from the book.

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