Monday, January 3, 2011

Cleaning Out

A couple of years ago I decided to stop making New Years' resolutions.  They were made half-heartedly and tended to be vague.  At about 11:58 (back when I could actually stay up until midnight) I'd think to myself "OK, yeah, I'll lose weight, I'll be nicer, blah blah blah."  (Well, the "blah blah blah" was implied.)
Needless to say, nothing much ever became of those resolutions.
I eventually came to realize that I was only making them because, well, that's what one does.  Along with signing up for a brand-new gym membership, going every day for 3 months, then letting that membership card gather lint in one's wallet.
Although when I joined a gym, it was usually because I'd moved away from my old one.  Getting motivated to work out has never been an issue for me.  I'm one of those infomercial-watching suckers; I LOVE fitness infomercials!  I even watch the P90X ones, even though I tried it multiple times, it didn't work for me, and I ended up selling it, I will STILL watch the infomercial!  And "The Firm" ads? Forget it!  They may as well be "Citizen Cane" as far as I'm concerned. And, yes, I have tried many of those as well, and don't particularly like them (seriously, some of those ladies REALLY need to work on their cueing!)
But I love the idea of them. I guess I bought into (sometimes literally) the promise that THIS program is THE ONE!  It will make me thin and strong, give me unending energy, allow me to leap tall buildings in a single bound, make me a perfect mom, and will even do the dishes!
Yeah, not so much.
See, I need variety.  I need to shake up my routine.  I just can't say "I'm gonna do 3 days of Bikram yoga, 2 days of Pilates, and throw in a power walk or 3 this week."  Well, I mean, I can SAY it, but I'm not gonna DO it!
Because I wake up in the morning and feel like doing something else.  Maybe a kickboxing interval workout appeals to me today, or maybe I didn't get much sleep and am feeling anxious, so I'll do some tai chi.
IE folks call it "Intuitive Exercising:" listening to your body and giving it not only the food it needs, but the type of movement and rest, as well.
Back when I was having anxiety attacks, I would force myself to do intense, punishing workouts, even if it was exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do.  Now, sometimes this can work; aggressive exercise can be good for exorcising demons.  But sometimes I just made it worse.  My mind and body needed to slow down, and I wouldn't let them.  I was very much out of touch with my needs.
As I become more in tune with myself, I start to realize what needs to change.  Hubby and I have both decided that we need to get rid of a lot of our stuff.  We have so much STUFF in our house, it's hard to think!  So that's our big project.  Not a New Year's resolution per say, but it does conveniently come at the start of a new year.  (And at the end of a VERY difficult year!)
But I'm also cleaning out, well, ahem, ME.  My insides.  If you get my drift.  Getting more regular, so to speak.  On a new 2-week regimen that is supposed to help with all that AND give me energy.
Cleaner food, cleaner house, cleaner intestinal tract.  Those are 3 of my goals. (Along with a clearer mind [or what's left of my mind], a smaller carbon footprint, and more love and patience for myself, so that I may be more loving and patient with others.  Especially when they start shrieking and pulling my hair. Or coloring in my books or on photos of their sister!)

I am also looking into going back to school to become a drama therapist.  I know, I know; ME, a therapist?!?!?! Isn't that kinda like Lindsey Lohan working at a rehab facility?
But I think I have some skills in that area.  I'm a huge believer in the power of therapy, and also in the power of art to heal.  I'm a good listener, I have a lot of empathy, and I've been through a whole lotta crap, so I can understand where clients are coming from!  Plus, it gives me something useful to do with those degrees I have. As much as I love teaching acting and drama, I feel I can do more.
This is something that has been in the back of my mind for about 16 years now.  The seed was planted at the Shakespeare company I used to work at; one of our directors also directed at a mental health facility in the area, and they LOVED him!  He would say things like "OK, good rehearsal.  That's it for tonight.  Oh, and try not to kill yourselves tonight; I don't want to have to re-cast your role!"  They loved it because they were in so much pain, and having someone willing to joke with them was rare.  They also knew that underneath the gallows humor was a man who cared deeply about them and would do just about anything for them.  When we were rehearsing for our tours, we'd always go perform for them first.  Their feedback was invaluable, and they were wonderful!
Acting came into my life at a time when I desperately needed something. My son draws and sings to express himself.  My daughter can't speak, but she loves music and dancing.  Sometimes the only way a person can express their deepest selves is through some kind of art.  I understand that, and I want to facilitate that.
So, we'll see how it goes.
In the meantime, I have another teaching interview next week, for a Shakespeare festival near Berkeley.  I reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyREALLY want this job, and hope I can work out childcare and scheduling so I can do it.
I also have to remind myself that if it's meant to be, it will happen.

And ain't that true for just about everything?


Geosomin said...

Those are great goals. Real ones. Achievable ones. Cool. :)

I've found that real goals that matter to me. Ones I can break down and do and that wil lreally make a difference for me are the ones I seem to meet. I hope it's a very good thing for you to do...

I like the idea of drama therapy. I never really understood that sort of thing until my friend's wife went to school to become an art therapist. I have seen the incredible things she has been able to do for and with people by allowing them to work out their emotions and deal with some incredibly harsh things through art. I think that is a fantastic idea...

azusmom said...

Thanks! I'm kinda excited about it!

The Merry said...

I think that's intelligent. I read so many blogs where the person says "Oh, I don't do resolutions; I do goals." But they still make them, ignore them, and then beat themselves up at the end of each year for ignoring the goal. Sheesh!

I want to steal the phrase "intuitive exercising." :)