I am so silly. Sometimes I get so focused on trying to make things the way I want them to be that I lose all of my creativity and flexibility.
A couple of months ago, I decided that I was going to change my life by changing one habit. I chose running and I began to run every morning on the treadmill in my basement. I started with five minutes and was slowly working my way toward longer time periods. I was doing great and feeling wonderful – physically and emotionally. I never missed a day, until the morning I stepped off the bottom basement step into water.
I am not talking about a little puddle of water on the floor. My foot was soaked to above the ankle as it sloshed into inches of water in my basement. I weighed my options and (since it was pouring outside) decided to take one day off from running. Later, we soaked up the water, had the problem repaired, and scrubbed everything in the basement with a sanitizing bleach/water mixture. The treadmill did not survive the flood. Days passed, and I kept trying the treadmill, hoping against hope that it would magically begin working again.
This is why I say that I am silly. Faced with this flaw in my plan, I gave up. Even though I had been feeling great during my few weeks of running, I could not come up with an alternate plan. All I could think about was that my treadmill was broken and I didn’t want to replace it in case the basement was not fixed and flooded again. I knew I could find ten minutes to run in my basement, but I could never make the time to get to the Y. I was able to run inside but couldn’t work up the nerve to go outside and run around the block. I didn’t want to consider another form of exercise, because the running had given me a great feeling of being pumped up and I wanted that exact feeling. So, I did nothing.
Looking back, I wonder how I could have been so single-minded and inflexible. There are lots of ways to exercise and I could have come up with one if I hadn’t allowed myself to become so overwhelmed by the disappointment of a broken treadmill. For heaven’s sake! As if people were unable to exercise before treadmills were invented.
This all seems obvious to me now, but I have to admit that the realization did not come easily. It actually took me a few weeks to realize that I could choose a different habit to change. Just because the habit of running every morning didn’t work, the world didn’t have to come to a screeching halt. I have plenty of habits from which to choose. It was not until I began thinking about New Year’s Resolutions that it hit me that I don’t have to allow myself to be so stuck. So, I picked a new habit and started over. My new habit is to make healthier food choices. Specifically, I will be intentional about eating more fruits and veggies.
I’m not as thrilled with my new habit as I was with running. I don’t feel the same rush of adrenalin after eating a salad or snacking on an orange that I did after running for a few minutes. Still, I feel happy that I am back on track with changing one habit at a time. I am focusing on a habit that will really make me healthier in the long run. And I am happy that I can laugh at my own silliness for getting so stubbornly stuck in the idea that I had to choose one habit and do it one way or give up on the idea of changing entirely.