Monday, June 19, 2006


I do a lot of my running on the treadmill. There are always people who want you to know that it’s not as good as whatever else you SHOULD be doing but I consider it to be one less obstacle between me and exercise and in the War Against Fat - removing obstacles is important. Should I make my own salad dressing three times a day? God willing, sure, but if spray on salad dressing means I eat salad at every meal instead of tater tots then spray on salad dressing it is. I try to let some things go.

But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter of fact about obstacles

That usually when I slog out my miles on the treadmill I listen to music and I watch TV (with closed captions on) at the same time. It distracts me. But now things being what they are I no longer have a tv in front of my treadmill and I can watch DVD’s on my computer but lordy Netflix has been slow lately, so I’ve got nothing. Nothing but music and my own thoughts, and I have noticed that actually, when I am not distracted by a tv show and reading and I am just running along, I get some really excellent thinking done. I plan out my day and I think about what’s going on in the world and I think about all the shit I’d like to get done in my life. And today while I was running I was thinking about how I am a perfectionist, and how it only recently occurred to me that being a perfectionist isn’t such a great thing. It’s not as if you achieve perfection all the time because you are a perfectionist. Nothing’s ever perfect. Being a perfectionist just means that you have to live with the constant nagging feeling that if you work a little harder and kill yourself a little more, you’ll get to perfect. You never will, and being a perfectionist means always chasing that dragon. Because nothing ever does turn out perfectly it means you never worked hard enough. It’s constant failure, essentially. Nothing is ever good enough for me. Not my body, not my job, not my family, nothing.

I’m not sure that a leopard can change its spots and all that. I’m sure I’ll always be a tinge on the anal, uptight, controlling side. Even spray on salad dressing and running six times a week on a treadmill are failures I have to explain away. But I'm trying. I'd like to be able to let more things go, to not have to explain my reasons to anyone, to be happy with “good enough”, to not let a fear of “not perfect” paralyze so much of me. I'd like to be a casual confident person who doesn't give a shit about salad dressing.

I am not a godly person, and I’m not an alchoholic, and excuse me if I have flung about this next bit in a manner in which it’s not meant to be used. But today as I was running, this just came to me, and seemed to be so something I need to take to heart:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

If I could do just one tiny part of this – if I could accept, or not even accept, but even just identify, the things I cannot change about myself, my life, the world, I think it would be an amazing step for me.

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