Six minutes. I only worked out for six minutes today, according to my watch. It was a wildly unorganized, completely spontaneous workout, too. Past Jessica would have balked at such lack of planning and skill (it wasn’t the most graceful or textbook workout).
While doing my lunges, taking far too many breaks in between “sets” (if you could even call them that), I couldn’t help but notice how messy my room was. The whole apartment really is way messier than I like to keep my home. Unwashed dishes, trash waiting to be taken out, mail piling up for weeks, and just about everything that doesn’t belong permanently on the coffee table haunts me every time I have to open my eyes and actually look at them, which is any time I’m in the room. I used to be obsessively clean, to the point that it drove me crazy, literally becoming an anxious mess if things were out of order. It would be easy to become like that again. Some days, it makes me scream in frustration. But I let it go.
That’s because things are better now. I live in a comfortable zone between mild discontent and peaceful acceptance that this is my life now and I have other priorities. I will clean if, and when, I feel like it. I owe this renewed perspective to mindfulness training, a staple of CBT therapy, that I’ve taught myself with the Pacifica app I’ve mentioned. It’s also helped me learning to get in touch with the root emotions behind my anxiety and addressing those base concerns, instead of feeding the anxiety with a coverup, like perfectionist cleaning habits.
I could look at my physical health in a similar way. I’m nowhere near the workout machine I used to be, with specific workout plans, special “rules” for my diet, and an entire mentality consumed by how I could lose more weight or eat even more “clean”. It was unhealthy how obsessed I was with being healthy. I don’t like the way I look now, but like the messy tables and laundry baskets in my life, I’ve achieved a comfortable level of acceptance with my own dissatisfaction.
I’ve made small changes in my life to benefit my health and wellness. I will continue to build on those changes and improve, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t appreciate where I am. Life in general, I’m learning, should be celebrated in every stage, for every victory. Not just big milestones.
I can look at the mess and be okay mentally because I have a script to write instead. I can do a six minute workout and think “that’s good enough” because I got my blood flowing and my heart rate up, at least. I can eat vegetables with ranch dip and be happy that I got the nutrients I needed, instead of bemoaning that I used such an unhealthy condiment to do so.
I’m getting better, I’m still not okay. No one is probably fully and completely okay with everything in their life though. And that’s okay.