My alarm went off far too early for my liking this morning, as last night I optimistically set it to wake me up in time yoga. As in, before work yoga. As in, wake up, get ready, go to an hour long yoga class, come home, shower, all before work yoga. I got out of bed, stretched, and debated going. I crawled back into bed and debated some more (as you do). And then I decided, nah, not today.
I waited for the guilt to set in. I waited for the “you’re going to regret this!!!” I used to feel every time I skipped a workout, every time I chose sleep over sweat. But here’s the thing: it never came.
I used to go to yoga twice a week out of guilt. I would guilt myself to going because I pay an expensive membership. I would guilt myself to going because it is good for me. Mostly, I would guilt myself to going because I’m a woman who has been trained to hate my body, and extra hate my body the days I don’t work out.
But, slowly, I learned to go to yoga out of love. I love the peace of mind that comes after a class. I love feeling my body get stronger (not skinnier). I love how I feel when I’m caring for my body. I love how I feel when I’m taking time for myself. But there was still that underlying guilt when I didn’t go: If you love it – why aren’t you going?? You aren’t really caring for you body today, are you? Why are you sleeping in, why aren’t you loving yourself better??
And today especially, loudest of all: your engagement pictures are this weekend. Don’t you think a workout will do you good? Hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge.
(The nudge was right in my gut, where I’m carrying the most holiday weight, of course.)
Here’s the thing about 2020: I’m just trying to survive. Nothing against people with their big resolutions or big decade-highlight-reel or whatever you saw going on in your timeline (after all the Spotify recaps, because we are all obsessed with ourselves). I’m trying to focus on one day at a time. My only real goal is mainly a survival one: stay more hydrated. (RJ picked the same goal, unknowingly, and keeps stealing my water bottle. So maybe it will turn into more of a survival of the fittest…)
In years past I’ve picked words for the year. I’ve set things to start and stop. I’ve made lists to accomplish, lists to avoid, lists to try. I’m not quite sure if it’s exhaustion or maturity (are they the same thing??) – but I’m over the big picture. I’m over the big flashy statements. I don’t have the energy, to be frank. I’m focusing on today, right now. What do I need? What do I want? I’ve heard it’s the little moments that, at the end of the day, make up our lives – so I guess I’m trying to be more intentional with those.
So in 2020, I’m focussing on the small moments and I’m focussing on what I need. Or, even scarier – want. This morning, it was sleep & reading over yoga.
Tomorrow it might be a high intensity workout. Or a nap. It could be a book or a Netflix binge, a homemade meal or McDonalds. I think caring for your body is important. But caring for you body in a loving way is most important.
The shame culture is real. Of our bodies. Our time. Our goals. Our new years and new decades. Everyone was posting these decade recaps of their last ten years, and I realized most people in my generation had HUGE 2010s. We became legal adults. We became legal drinking adults. We graduated (sometimes 3 times!!). We got married (most of my friends, at least). We got first jobs and then first actual-career jobs. We traveled to exciting places and we learned what credit card debt is and we struggled with big life decisions. To look back on who I was on the last day of 2009 compared to the last of 2019 feels legitimately, in every way possible, bonkers. And it should: I was a teenager in high school. Now I’m a lady.
I think a lot of us are staring at the 2020s with our mouths hanging open. How can we possibly improve upon the last decade? How can life get more exciting? How can we top it??
And I think that’s guilt talking. And shame. And expectations of a social media driven society and consumeristic world who always whispers (or rather, yells) more more more MORE.
So I’m trying to be intentional about listening to the voices who matter. The voices of friends who know me and remind me of who I am, what I need, what I need to stop doing (usually? trying to control everything). The Voice that never speaks in shame or guilt or passive aggression. The voice of my body, the voice of my needs.
2020, for me, is about the little moments. Yes, I’m getting married. Yes, exciting things will happen (they always do!). But I’m not setting huge goals or expectations. I’m not mapping out the next 365 days. I’m just looking at this one: what are my goals today? My priorities today? What do I need in this moment?
Sometimes it’s a cup of coffee, a deep breath, or to get to back work.
Today, it wasn’t yoga. And my body is thankful.