Is the New Year full of broken promises and/or failed resolve already?
I had the feeling that mine would be before I actually tried, for my mind-set was in chaos. Sometimes we are so eager to change our bad habits or start a new regime, that we rush into it, thinking we can tackle it all at once.
I am sure some people can do this. It probably comes under the heading of ‘multi-tasking’ but the majority of us simply cannot handle too much change (or excitement) all at once. I know I can’t, having already landed face down in despair after running at it with all the enthusiasm I could muster.
Here we are, five days into 2015 and I might now have an idea of how I can make changing my life actually work. It has to be one thing at a time.
I made yet another to-do list, and at the top was the state of my health. At 70 years old I am overweight, pre-diabetic, hypertensive and in pain for one reason or another. My joints scream every time I move and even short walks reduce me to a gasping heap.
Since my heart attacks three years ago, I have been forced to make quite a few radical changes to my life. Cigarette smoking had to stop and this I managed instantaneously. (The fear of dropping dead works every time!) And I have had a long and irrational battle with all the medication they think you need, only to realise that most of them cause more harm than the original heart attack. At least they did for me.
Following doctors’ orders, I have endured severe muscle cramps, kidney problems, chronic itching, headaches and insomnia, only to discover that as an asthmatic I shouldn’t have been taking the medication in the first place! Now that I have a better handle on that side of my health, it is time to make the rest of me toe the line.
The most important change on my list has to be my weight. If I could lose a substantial amount, my blood pressure would stabilise and the pre-diabetes would recede, taking all the itching and other problems with it. My joints would be happier and I could take more walks and enjoy them.
At first, I tried to change too much, still not grasping the idea that any discipline has to be learned. You cannot just decide that you will achieve this or that just by thought alone. I thought will power had something to do with it, but I was wrong. Along with everything else in life, will power has to be learned too.
Thinking back, it was the same for writing. I have always loved to read and write, but it was always a relaxed hobby, no deadlines or ambition. Something you would always get around to when you had the time. But starting this blog began to change all that. I did the research and learned that to be successful at any level, you have to be dedicated and determined, posting at least once a week.
In the beginning, I found this incredibly hard. Still do sometimes, whenever life insists on getting in the way. A blank page can be the most terrifying thing, but gradually, I have gotten into the habit, and nowadays I am hardly ever without a pen in my hand and have discovered along the way, the perfect cure for depression.
If we are honest, I think most of us resent the word ’discipline’. It does have an unpleasant connotation, doesn’t it? We hear the word and mentally cringe, with thoughts of pain, punishment and hard labour. No wonder disciplined is the last thing we want to be.
But learning anything is called a discipline. Just think of all the things we have learned along the way. Some of them were very hard, but we did it. Which must mean we are capable of anything… with a little bit of discipline…
This is Jaye, signing off and bless you all…