Every Sunday is laundry day at our house. We strip all of the beds, throw in the towels and rake up the boys’ bedroom floor and blitz the laundry pile. By bedtime, we have fresh clean tightly made beds, fluffy towels and stuffed drawers. It’s all done. Until we look around and realize that we are all wearing clothes that are about to be put into the hamper and there begins the process again.
There is no such thing as forever done with laundry.
While we can finish a meal, a book, and a predetermined race, almost everything else is a lifelong process.
Well into my 35th year of weight loss, I can state without hesitation, that there is never “done”. I’ve lost about 5 million pounds in my life (the same 70 over and over and over again) and as soon as I let my guard down…get comfortable in my jeans…I’m justifying carrot cake as a vegetable and hollandaise as a side dish. And I’m back to square one.
Same goes for creating balance in our lives. We do a great job to weed out our schedules, say no to all of the “shoulds” and focus on the “absolutelys”. We get into a routine…increase our nightly sleep…focus on the most important things in our lives. And then slowly, without even noticing, the season changes, the schedule starts filling up, you start saying yes to little things that start ballooning. Your obsession with The Great British Baking Show Netflix binging is way more important than sleep (or is that just me?)…and WHAMO, you are right back in that harried, unbalanced state.
It’s no one’s fault. It’s not any one thing that tips the scales. It’s getting comfortable and thinking that you were all set. All done. Good to go.
I’ve said before that I live for Mondays, because it is a natural reset button for me. It’s my opportunity to draw a virtual line in the sand and step over it. It should be my renewed state of leaving the mistakes and the baggage behind and stopping the insanity for a moment to take stock. It “should” also be the moment when I forgive myself.
Half of my battle is beating myself up for the mistakes that I make (daily) and adding them to the cache of mistakes I’ve made already in my life. When the carrot cake is just too tempting to say no, I add that to the other 9 million pieces I’ve had in my life. When I say yes when I should have said no to a volunteer “opportunity” it gets tallied with the umpteenth hour that I’ve spent doing free work. I see the patterns in my life, and they seem so daunting, so big, that I think what the heck, this is just how I am and I let my guard down…I start to give up. I can’t let them go. While I might step over the virtual line in the sand, I take the ghosts of those mistakes with me.
So there are two take aways for me.
There is no such thing as a finish line—balance is a constant state of recalibrating and determination.
And the past is over—let it go, you cannot change it. Just because you’ve done this before, and will likely do it again. It does not define you—you can’t give up.
So decide how you plan to reset each day, and week, give yourself the space to evaluate and recalibrate, and truly let go of the “mistakes” from yesterday. Life is heavy enough, you don’t need to take all that crap with you. Believe you me. I can use all the help I can get before stepping on that scale!