…because there is no going back.
I turned 48 last week and for the first time in my life I felt bittersweet about my birthday…not just sweet. I have always loved my birthday (and I still do…it always feels like a day that is ripe with promise and #48 was no exception).
But there was also something unfamiliar with #48 and in the days and weeks leading up to it I finally came to the realization that what I was feeling was a sense of loss. We lose our lives because we spend our lives and I have probably spent more than half my life by now.
And so it was with that in the back of my mind that I blurted out to a friend, “but you can’t take a step backward…there is no backsliding…it’s impossible!” I said this in response to her telling me that the evening before she felt she had eaten “too much” of the “wrong” foods.
“Did I take step backwards?” she wondered?
Even when it feels like we’ve failed, we’re still making progress and moving forward.
And then it occurred to me that there really is no deadline for the journey, even though SMART goal-setters would like us to have one. I mean, yeah, if you want to run a 5K or if you’re writing an article for publication, there will be a deadline.
But as I have said here way too many times, I don’t like setting goals related to achieving a healthy weight and maybe it’s because I don’t think there should be a deadline. How many of us have done that before, set a goal weight and a deadline by which to reach it, only to not reach it, or reach it then wonder, “now what?” or reach it and then regain and start the whole process over again?
Talk about pressure! And that’s not to say that pressure is a bad thing, but I think we’re all better served when we learn when pressure works and when it doesn’t.
As a writer, I have a love/hate relationship with deadlines but I know they work for me.
I love/hate them because they give me a time frame (“love” knowing that there’s an end date, “hate” because I often don’t want to let go).
And I love/hate them because they put pressure on me (“love” the pressure because it is part of the creative process, “hate” the pressure because it’s stressful and uncomfortable).
As someone striving for a fit, healthy body, I have learned that deadlines do not work (for me). In fact, the other day someone on an online fitness support forum asked me if I was “in maintenance” meaning, I suppose, had I reached my goal weight? I think the reason she asked is because unlike many other people who post there, I don’t talk about actively losing weight.
In response I wrote: “I don’t know how I’d classify myself…I guess I’m just inching towards better. Better health, better life…happiness, peace. And I have faith that my body will respond in kind…so far, so good. I stopped making weight loss a priority a while ago, hoping (and now knowing) that my body would release what it doesn’t need.”
Do you have a deadline?