Wednesday, June 20, 2007

lameness is not a virtue

So it's like this: I've been failing boot camp. Not because of aptitude but because of commitment. I don't always go. I skip sessions. 6am is damn early, but I knew it was at 6am when I signed up. I am the boot camp black sheep; I get emails from the instructor asking me in a very nice way what the hell is wrong with me. I don't know how to respond because I don't know what the hell is wrong with me.

I used to be so committed to keeping my commitments. But lately I've struggled. I don't like that about myself but you know, it's true. I've said it. There. But the things I am letting go are things that are for me. I keep all the other commitments in my life. But the outings with friends, boot camp, bloggy book club (Kiki, dude, sorry). I can't seem to do it.

It's wrong, see. These small but important things are nourishment. But I can't find the energy. And I make excuses. And that is entirely lame. I want to do better than this, but the energy isn't there. And that's a vicious cycle, right? Because the energy comes from these things, these very good things we do for ourselves.

Make time, they say. Prioritize. You must. I know these things but it's not enough. I miss the dedication of my youth. I want to be the boot camping book clubbing produce eating girl. And yet the want is not enough to manifest the action.

Do I sound like I am whining? I hate whiners.


Julie Pippert said...

You know, once upon a time I had the focus. I was known as a Can Do person, 100% reliable, motivated.

Now I do things like duck phone calls some days, am a little erratic, forget to schedule things, procrastinate, frequently run late, etc. I think it's just overwhelmed a lot, too many demands. Small kids suck a lot out.

I bet your job takes a lot out too, combine that with small toddler person...

Anyway, I've had to recognize I can't be who I once was right now and have to adjust commitments accordingly. Rather than the enthusiastic YES I've always been, I'm more iffy these days. I've also learned to be honest sometimes, even when it's painful, "You kow what, I'm sorry but I have to say No here because this just isn't the right time for me."

I have no idea if that helps. I understand what you are saying.

Hang in there.

thailandchani said...

I have never been a focused person in particular and don't really like to make commitments. One of the things I know for certain is that a greater part of wisdom is knowing when enough is enough, and not making any more.

That's a trap, you know.. the overcommitted way of living. And it's extolled in this culture. Shoot, it's almost become a character issue for some! But there is no way it will nourish you.

You can still be nourished without making commitments that demand accountability for your time. Read when you want to read. Exercise when you want to exercise. The choosing is what will nourish you.

Overcommitment isn't a virtue.. and it ends up costing you and everyone around you.

So... relax :)



Oh, The Joys said...

Let's eat ice cream. K?

Tabba said...

You don't sound whiney.
Just completely overwhelmed.

Jen, be good to yourself.
We find ourselves in ruts sometimes.

The amount of things that *should* be done in the course of the day are immeasurable. And for whatever reason, we tend to think we need it the least.
We go for so long taking care of others that taking care of ourselves seems completely exhausting and selfish.
Even though we really need it.

Take care....the pendullum always swings back.

Kyla said...

You? Lame? No. Busy? Yes. Worn out by a demanding job and giving to others and a tiny dictator in your home? Triple yes.

It is important to take time for yourself...but making MORE commitments is just bogging you down, I think. The things you do for yourself should be free and flowy, not something you feel compelled to do. It should be relaxing, not requisite.

Christine said...

"It should be relaxing, not requisite." I agree with this statement from Kyla. Doing things you just don't feel like doing out of a sense of obligation, isn't good for the soul. Let some things slide away, and you'll be happier.

Hang in there. And 6 am is brutal. Too brutal.

Ruth Dynamite said...

I'm with Chani. Let it go. When the time is right, you'll be LEADING boot camp. At 5 AM. Hooyah!

Deezee said...

Sounds as if the comparison beast has invaded your psyche. Kick her out!

You are a mama and a worker and a partner. Something's gotta give. It's damn hard to keep up with our expectations (from one who knows!)

Sometimes it's good to say, "Whatever I do today is enough." And then you've got to believe it. :)

NotSoSage said...

Seems as though a lot of us are trying to find some balance these days, eh?

I bet no one else at that boot camp works as hard as you do.

Binky said...

I wouldn't beat yourself up over shirking the 6 a.m. commitment. Boot camp is no walk in the park. It's more like forced labor in the park. It's when you start shying away from an evening beer in the front yard with friends that you should start worrying.

What I'd most recommend as a energizing act for the 6 a.m. hour is SLEEP.

Beck said...

It's hard - I find that I'm so strapped for time and energy that my inner refusal to do something MUST be heeded.

Lawyer Mama said...

Jen, I do the same thing. If something has to give to get a little slack time - something we *all* took for granted before having kids - the stuff I do that isn't a Must Do gets put on hold. It's usually the stuff for me. Like exercising or book club. The problems is that it seems to become a Responsibility instead of a pleasure when I'm run down.

Take time for you when you can, but try not to feel guilty when you have to bail on some committments. Just think how much more tired you would be if you were forcing yourself to do all those things.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Prioritize? What is this "prioritize" thing you speak of? Not a day goes by that I'm not apologizing to someone for missing something. Relax, it will come.

I hope.

Anonymous said...

I've got to go to bed, and I think I actually mentioned something about sex earlier, too, but just wanted to take a moment to say NO, you are not whining.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you just don't have the time or energy to do it all.

Em said...

You sound like a woman with too much on her plate! Boot camp?! Oh boy... I couldn't even imagine...

flutter said...

meh, quit beating yourself up. You've been on an emotional boot camp for a few guess what piece of you is requiring your attention?

Rest. You are a wise one, be kind with you and the energy will come.

Jenn said...

The boot camp email comment made me laugh so hard I could barely breathe.

Only because I write those messages to myself all the time.

Besically, I've decided that the only thing I'm good at committing to is my eternal non-commitments.

And that's just gonna have to be how it rolls in Jenn land, dude.

urban-urchin said...

oh honey you're not alone. I bought an elpitical machine in january. I've used it once.


painted maypole said...

Dude, (can you tell I just read Christine's post?) skipping anything at 6am is totally allowed. 6am???? The only thing you should be doing at 6am is sleeping. that's my theory, anyways.

carrie said...

Right there with ya, just different "stuff" I'm not doing.

Waiting . . . okay, well that didn't work.

Maybe being overwhelmed is just something I've got to get used to.

Take care of you.


Z said...

There have been times when I've ducked out of the evening beer in the front yard with friends, because I have had so many obligations I can't even manage anything else, however relaxing.

You're certainly not whining. Are you saying you are going to give up boot camp? If so, we all completely sympathise. It might be too much right now.

But are you wondering how you can motivate yourself to do something you want to do? If that's the case, is there someone who could call by to pick you up on the way? That might just give you the extra impetus to roll out of bed.

kgirl said...

In the scheme of things, having to give up, or even falling off of (fairly inconsequential) certain commitments so that you can give whole-heartedly to the others is no big deal. Don't beat yourself up.
We're definitely not as young as we used to be, but we also never had so much demanded of us.

Slackermommy said...

I can relate to you writing "I miss the dedication of my youth". What happens to us as we grow older? I was more health conscious, ate good, exercised,and took care of my skin. But I also had the time and energy back then. Now I wish for a moment of boredom!

Little Monkies said...

Sometimes I just want to get off of the damn hamster wheel.

liv said...

Exactly what Julie said. Precisely.
(especially the ducking phone calls bit)

Earthmamagoddess said...

sweet sista jen.....

this is a sign imo to listen to....

the key is that you have noticed you flake only on the things for YOU.

this is what causes burn out my dearest.

you are only one you and everyone's limits are individual, only you know what they are and it sounds like you are past them.

remember its ok to say no that way no need to make excuses she says to herself as much as to you

love and light as you sort it all out. keep some for you so you have enough left to give

metro mama said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. You can't do it all. Between motherhood and the wonderful work you do, you're doing lots.

Hel said...

Oh don't I know the feeling. For seven years I did a martial arts class between 6 and 7 in the morning and between 6 and eight in the evening Monday to Friday. And then just for good luck one thrown in on Saturday mornings.

The for a year just twice a week and for the past three years. Nothing.

I have tried. Three different yoga classes . And Florian teaches martial arts on our property three times a week. Nope not too much there either.

And I don't have any children. Sigh.

The good news is now that I'm working a bit less I suddenly found a yoga class that I love so much I actually want to go.

I hope you find something that you can release that will free up energy for those things that nurture you.

The energy has to come from somewhere.

And shudder forcing yourself to be at a boot camp at six in the morning. That my dearest sister is asking for trouble from the inner rebellor.

Cruel and unusual punishment indeed...

mamatulip said...

No, you don't sound like you're do sound a bit overwhelmed, though.

kristen said...

dude, we're mirroring each other in the commitment arena. xo

KC said...

Funny, I thought you were prioritizing...sleep? early morning blogging? family qt? All seem like very fine alternatives to ungodly exercising so early. I think as we get older we are full of commitments...but different ones. And we know what is really important.

QT said...

DUDE! You don't have to be perfect. So go to bootcamp when you feel like it, read when you feel like it. Just because you can't do it EVERY time doesn't mean you should completely give up.

Carrie said...

All you need is motivation. I've also experienced the same situation and it's really frustrating to know that we sometimes lose interest to some of the things we like.

Susanne said...

I don't think motivation is the only factor necessary. You - as everybody else already has pointed out - have a lot on your plate. You don't need more things to commit to on a regular basis.

While you might need to read a book in a while, or take a brisk walk now and then for exercise, you don't need book club or boot camp.

Fun things should stay fun.

And I have to admit that I never have been as unreliable, forgetful and confused as nowadays. And my life hasn't been empty before having a child.

Danni said...

I agree with QT that it's only normal for us to be down sometimes. We don't have to force it because it will certainly do us no good.

luckyzmom said...

What you need is a long hot bath.