So it’s Thursday and I can just feel the tenseness that Thursdays always seem to bring. In one week from today my friends will be coming and my anxiety has just amplified. I want to be calm, be still, be thankful instead of being overwhelmed. This is one of the joys in life and yet I turn it into an awful, miserable, scary, self-loathing, dreadful experience. I don’t want to do that. I want to look back and see peace, stillness, joy, contentment, freedom. So today, even though it’s an inevitable stressful Thursday, I need take some deep breaths, and still myself.
I get so overwhelmed sometimes that I literally just start attacking myself. I look down at my arms and legs, or pinch my cheeks or feel my lower back and just criticize myself until I reach a place of exhaustion. But I am thankful that it has been a week and a half since the last time I emotionally ate, and I do not want to travel the road that will lead me to that numbness and the devastating destruction it brings in its aftermath. I know that I’m unhealthy still because although I have no reason to hate my body, although I have been eating extremely healthy and well rounded, I still find areas that I need to improve, I am still disappointed in myself. Most recently I have been hating my body because I have been feeling like my rib cage is too big. I know that means I’m just picking a fight with myself. I have felt that way before, and that hatred has led to over eating. Only after I over ate was I able to see how off that thinking was, how I was truly just trying to pick a fight, choose something to hate so I don’t have to feel so out of control.
And that’s the feeling. I feel out of control. Why do I let myself get like this any time something good happens? I’m scared of the unknown. I’m scared of the silence. I’m scared of being out of my comfort zone. Of not being good enough for these people, for not getting their approval, for being yet another disappointment and failure. I wish I could just let all of that go. Who cares if my fridge isn’t 100% cleaned? Who cares if I don’t have a whole month’s worth of food stocked up in the freezer before they come? Do those things really make me any better of a friend, a hostess? Will those things change our time together? Is it absolutely necessary that I am perfect and have everything in my life neatly and perfectly trimmed and organized for us to be able to have a good time? Absolutely not.
They’re not coming because of the food, or the home, or the amount that I have or have not prepared for their stay. They’re coming to spend time together, and if I’m in some hard off planet too consumed with my own attempt to perfectionism then that won’t even be possible. That hasn’t been possible for years. My priorities in these more stressful times get all jacked up. I value perfectionism and the attempt of appearing like I’ve got it all perfectly put together more than I value appreciating the means behind these things. I value rushing, rushing, rushing, scrambling to get everything “just so” more than being a loving wife.
And let me just pause a moment and address my whole approach to school. Somehow along the way I developed this expectation that I had to complete the entire semester of school before it even started. Why is this so? Do I think I’m really that egocentric to not have to work as far as everyone else throughout the entire semester? Do I really think I am that “above this all” to be expected to be 2 months ahead of schedule? Why am I trying to rush so hard to get ahead? I’m failing to enjoy the process, failing to enjoy the joys and pleasures of education. I feel this huge burden and anxiety of failure because I have work to do! That’s absolutely absurd! Calm down! Breathe! I have work to do because I am a student. I have cooking to do because I value nutrition. I have cleaning to do because I am neat and organized. I have errands to do because I am a good hostess. So I need to stop hating this process, I need to take it down a few notches. I need to breathe. I need to appreciate the gift of every day, even Thursdays. I am blessed beyond measure, I just need to be still to see it.