I have often wondered what purpose worry serves. Though no satisfactory answer has yet surfaced, a theory has emerged. Sometimes I think maybe my mind has to have something to do and in the absence of something worthwhile, or productive, it defaults to entertaining itself with the useless expenditure of energy that goes with worrying.
Of late, my pointlessly obsessive stool has three legs. When two of the legs are stable, the third can be counted on to wobble. These legs provide endless hours of fun ruminating over their possibilities.
Though they have no particular hierarchy, leg number one is my weight. About two and a half years ago I embarked on yet another quest to get healthy/fit, i.e. shed some poundage, a project I seem to take on every twenty years or so. When I began I didn’t know it was going to lead to reassessing my entire life as well, but there you go. Anyway, shed I did, by severely restricting my food options as well as overall caloric intake. I didn’t have a number I wanted to achieve on the scale, but when I blew up my life along with my diet a little more weight came off than I probably intended. Funny how when everything feels out of control, one of the things you know you can get a hold of is what you jam in your pie hole.
Transitioning from a married person to a single one, and then back into a committed relationship as quickly as I did is bound to have a physical as well as emotional impact. I didn’t get sick, though my hair and nails sure took a beating. Still, I liked being thin and fitting into styles of clothes I’d lost hope of ever seeing again. Fast forward to now. My life is stable and if not a constant bliss-fest, at the very least content. All of a sudden it isn’t as easy to pass on the good stuff. Whoever said once you get off the white stuff for a period of time you wouldn’t even think about it anymore was not talking about me. I think about it constantly and sometimes when I smell toast I feel like I want to kill someone. The slippery slope of, “well it’s only one bite, what could that hurt?” has been breached. It would appear that happiness is the antidote to life choice induced anorexia. Who knew? While I am most grateful to be happy, I am not willing to go back to being fat for the privilege. Hence, the weight leg of the equation. Vigilance is called for, though obsession is probably less likely to aid in the never-ending quest.
Leg two involves finance. In my former life I didn’t think much about money (don’t hate, I was both stupid and lucky and I recognize that). We either had it or we didn’t, and there were periods of each. That was not my department. I handled the kids and dogs and well, life, and he figured out how to pay for it. It ultimately wasn’t a satisfying arrangement for either of us, and not a partnership in any sense of the word, but we ignored that until we (I) couldn’t. So many things I didn’t even know how to think about or find the answers for are now my sole responsibility. Not a bad thing, it was well past time for me to be an adult in more areas of my life, but not a walk in the park either. I’m most fortunate to have found smart people who give me great advice, but at the end of the day, if I screw it up it’s on me. So there’s that.
In some ways the third leg is the most challenging, and maybe the hardest to talk about or admit. This mostly amazing, but still occasionally wonky leg is my romantic relationship. Fortunately I was too dumb to consider how complicated entering into a new entanglement might be. In one’s twenties the baggage is smaller, lighter and more easily ignored. Not so into one’s fifties. Negotiations and tradeoffs are trickier when one’s candy shell has become hardened by time and life experience. I might not have considered that it takes time to get used to, learn to read, or accept another person’s quirks and signals. Leaping off the precipice sans fully formed game plan or parachute as I did, I was (am) appropriately motivated to make this thing work. Which is not to say I have to, I want to.
Better than 87% of the time this thing is, to quote Mary Poppins, “practically perfect in every way”. Another 11.8% is just fine, leaving 1.2% of OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE??? On a rational day I’d say those numbers were spectacular, but on the days my brain decides to eschew logic for neurosis, whoo boy, can I have fun with that.
So I got that going for me…
Most of the time I can talk myself off these nasty ledges, and I have a partner who is quite skilled at logic and reason, on top of loving me, to lead me back to sanity. Now sure how I was smart enough to choose someone who can do that, but I thank my lucky stars that I did. Going forward my goal is to recognize my good fortune and embrace gratitude, and in doing so maintain perspective and just maybe attempt to bend my overactive mind in a more positive direction. For there is always hope!