My mom once told me that practicing self-discipline was like working out a muscle. Starting is the hardest part, but the more you work it out, the stronger it becomes until it’s just instinctual and natural and easy. She was saying if you just start disciplining yourself in one way, the next way will be a little easier and so on. Like how people say they eat better when they work out, would be an example of this.
This isn’t about working out at all, although I am terrible at doing that too. It’s about the things that I know make me happy and are good for my spirit and how sometimes I’m the worst at actually doing those things. This couldn’t be more of a first world problem and frankly I’m grateful to have no one to blame but myself because that means it’s totally in my control. But I think it’s just so silly sometimes that I don’t push myself to do the things that make me happier. That’s not to say I’m not happy. I’m super happy but a) there is totally potential for a duper in there and b) I can’t help but feel sometimes like I’m my own worst enemy.
I’m a self-indulgent 22-year-old who has the wherewithal to put my own happiness at my number one priority and spend a considerable amount of my time and energy thinking about how to cultivate it and how I sometimes suck at it. Which is probably partly human and normal and partly annoying and awful. I say that like those things are mutually exclusive when they so aren’t.
Even though I’m turning 23 in 6 weeks and read facebook statuses more often than I’d like about one peer or another tooooootally going through a quarter-life crisis (I hate us) I’m actually not even talking about this on like a big-picture existential level at all. I’m talking about like, reading an incredible book before bed instead of playing an iPhone game back and forth against my boyfriend for an hour (I’m down 66 points and terrible but I’m thinking it’s a tortoise and hare sitch and will prevail). And I’m talking about like, getting fresh air and just eating some fucking grapes and looking at the clouds instead of watching 3 episodes of Game of Thrones and spilling cracker crumbs on my couch. Or going for an easy run because running makes me a happier more energetic person instead of sleeping in unnecessarily (and I don’t even like sleeping in). Or just BEING SUPER PRODUCTIVE AND CLEANING MY BATHROOM when I have a free Sunday instead of watching Steel Magnolias and eating take-out. Not hating on the latter of any of those example but c’mon…time and place.
K I’m the worst and this is sounding like I just need to get off my ass. Which is kind of true but not really my point. I wouldn’t say this is even a huge part of my personality? I hope not. I wouldn’t say it’s extraordinary, but I actually put a lot of energy into making myself happy and being productive when I want to be and all that. I kind of get off my ass. I do work hard at my job and I walk 60 minutes getting there and back every day (total…c’mon) and I go on picnics and to dinners and events and walk around new places and FOSTER FRIENDSHIPS AND BEAUTIFUL RELATIONSHIPS and all that normal human kind of stuff, but on like a bottom-line level, I just don’t think I am trying hard enough to be my best self. And that bothers me sometimes. Because my life is easy. Like it wouldn’t even be that hard to take that eeeextra little something and accelerate a bit.
I just don’t flex my discipline muscle enough. Is it silly to discipline myself to do something that I know makes me happy like read a book and get up early and move my body and eat more fruit and take more pictures and draw more and lounge less? Or I guess what I’m asking is why do I feel like that stuff requires discipline? It shouldn’t at all. And there is literally nothing stopping me from doing pretty much all of that except myself. That notion alone is so incredibly silly to me. I am constantly facing choices every day and too often I just straight-up choose the easier one even if I know I’ll be happier if I choose the harder one.
I thought about turning this into some hold-myself-accountable promise about how I’m going to start flexing that muscle a little more. And how I’m going to “start tomorrow” and honestly I kind of hope I do. But that’s just too easy and I don’t think I even deserve to temporarily and arbitrarily appease myself like that right now. I just want to acknowledge how ridiculous it is that this is a thing. Like seriously. This is a thing right now. A problem I kind of have that is barely a problem and 100% self-induced and honestly not with much consequence. I’m just cheating myself of that potential duper. I just want to live my best possible life simply because I can. I’m so tremendously lucky that the only thing holding me back from that is myself and that it’s totally insanely reachable. Like literally I could reach for my book right now. RIGHT AFTER THIS LAST MOVE AGAINST AUSTIN.
I wish this came to a better conclusion since I’m posting it instead of just saving it to my hard drive, but I’m just gonna dump it here because I can. If you (READER!) made it here, thanks a bunch and you’re a champ. You’re either super sweet, my boyfriend, my best friend, my mom, or having that moment where you’re like “oh shit did I just read that whole thing what did I even just read.”
I just typed this all on my iPhone which is dumb and just so typical. Nighty night.