I put on my big girl panties even when I don’t want to
Tomorrow I drive six hours to my new apartment in Upstate New York. I. Not we. Because my husband has to stay here in New Jersey in a hotel for another week. Still on the night shift. This does not thrill me.
There are things about it that I am cool with. I will be happy to be back on daylight hours. I like the idea of setting up our new place so it feels like home when he finally joins me there. I like the prospect of my whole kitchen for meal prep. And a dishwasher again finally! But mostly I hate being separated from him.
When I was in the food I was very bad doing what needed to be done. I was bad at doing my homework. Bad at waking up on time. Bad at paying my bills. Bad at anything I didn’t want to do.
In getting my eating under control, I learned to do the drudge work. For one thing, I had to make all of my food. And I had to make it in a timely manner. It was the first step for me in honoring my commitments. Or at least the annoying commitments. (You want me to learn lines and choreography for a stage play? Yes! You want me to write a paper with references on a historical figure? Not so much…)
So here is this thing that I have to do: Be separated from my husband. And I will do it. But I can only do it with any grace because I have tools. Tools I got from putting boundaries around my eating. Things like remembering that all things are temporary, and this too shall pass. Things like doing one thing at a time and resting when I need to. Things like making set plans and creating structures for myself so we can talk and FaceTime while we’re apart. Or whatever I need to make it through with peace and good humor.
But one of the most important tools I have is the ability to feel whatever I am feeling, and not have that get in the way of what I am doing. I didn’t know how to get any kind of delayed gratification when I was eating compulsively. I didn’t know how to not do what felt pretty good now, so I could feel amazing later instead. Working out certainly sucks in the moment, but feeling strong and capable and not getting winded when I run up stairs is pretty spectacular. Not to mention feeling like I am aging gracefully because I am relatively fit. An old friend who passed away not too long ago used to say “discipline is just remembering what you want.” (Though admittedly, the rewards here are money and my husband still having a great job, which is not as motivating to someone like me as, say, figuring out a design aspect of a new crochet project, but as long as he’s happy…)
Today I will cook my meals for tomorrow and the next day, and pack up my little car. And tomorrow I will get up early in the morning (actual morning!) and go meet with the leasing office to pick up my keys and start the move into our new place. I’m going to put on my big girl panties and take care of business. Even though I don’t want to.