Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blog First, Think Later

Do you, like me, have all these "shoulds" running into one another in your brain? You know, like, "I should really call X with whom I haven't spoken in weeks," or "I should really organize my important papers." I should clean out my closets. I should dust. I should go see a dermatologist. I should wash the car. I think women are especially vulnerable to the "shoulds." I don't know if it's nature or nurture, but I suspect both. I know that my husband is one of the most blithely unhurried people I know. Not that he doesn't care about things, but that he is able to relax when it's time to relax and get jiggy with it when it's time to get jiggy. I'm more likely to fret when I'm trying to relax, thinking about all the things I need to be doing. And then when I'm doing things I need to be doing, I'm thinking about how much I'd love to relax! It's ridiculous. But I'm sure I'm not alone.

I'm not going to let this blog be one of those "shoulds." My temptation is to let writing slide in favor of all those chores, or all the time-suckers that are sort of fun, like watching TV or reading. But I know what happens to me when I go for too long without writing. I get nervous, I start doubting myself, doubting whether or not I have anything worth saying. And I put it off one more day. Meanwhile, I start having even more conversations with myself, start writing blogs in my head without getting them down anywhere, and I get twitchier and twitchier. Argh. No bueno.

Today is a day to write. Tomorrow is a day to write. The day after that is a day to write. The point to just to do it, to think later. Make it automatic, like brushing my teeth or drinking my morning coffee. After all, it's elemental to who I am. Why fight it, why run from it, just because I'm afraid? I didn't run away from the challenge of the 5K race this past weekend. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and felt a rush like I'd never felt before when I crossed that finish line. I ran in 38 minutes, which is great considering it's my first time. Training for that race never felt like a "should." It felt like honoring myself.

I think magazines are especially dangerous to women, in that each issue holds out the promise of a better, shinier you inside. Read it and you'll be a better mom, a better wife, a better cook, skinnier, and with expertly applied makeup. I have been the Magazine Queen in my lifetime. But I'm kind of over them now. It feels good at age almost 33 to say, "This is who I am. I am quirky and kind of round and like to wear jeans all the time and have hair that doesn't do anything I want it to." I wish I could have found this self-acceptance earlier, but I guess it doesn't work that way. I still have my days when I do nothing but beat myself up, but I'm getting better about cutting myself some slack. The "shoulds" won't get this woman down for long. Who's with me?

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