Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Writer's Block Wednesday: Stop Forcing It!

So generally, I'm a pretty happy and upbeat person. I just am. My relationship isn't flawless, my job is pretty much just a job, my weight fluctuates and I'm sometimes not okay with it, I don't love my big feet or my short torso or the fact that once in a while I still get zits. (At 30 fucking years old. Come on, who decided that was fair?)

Still, I do my best to be a nice person. A good person. Whatever.

But sometimes I have to put my foot down.  Sometimes I'm tired of I Corinthians 13 and pictures of food tagged with "#paleo" and fake Marilyn Monroe 'quotes' (of which there are several that continually make the rounds on every social media site known to man).

Sometimes, I have to call bullshit.

And this is me calling bullshit on every article that says "do this and you will find your soul mate and never ever lose him or her". On every diet that proclaims "eat and drink exactly as I say and you will live forever". On every (usually misquoted, often wrongly attributed, and almost always bad) inspirational quote that shows up on my Facebook newsfeed. Blah blah blah, etc. etc. etc.

Listen, my life isn't perfect. I'll be the first person to admit that I've made some really bad decisions in the past, and that I still make mistakes. Just because I'm really good at joking about how amazing I am (heh) doesn't mean that I think I'm infallible (okay, maybe a little bit) or better than anyone else (welllll....)

Seriously, though, that was me being sarcastic.

I'm going to be blunt here, but at least that's no different from how I usually am. I can't promise that any of my advice will lead to a marriage (or even a relationship). I can't promise that it will make you skinny or get you a job (or even a raise/promotion). Shit, I can't even promise that it will make you happy - but it sure as hell worked to help me generally enjoy life a lot more.

Health. Or sometimes, the exact opposite.

- Get off your ass. No seriously, get off your ass. I suggest yoga for stress and running for just about everything, but sure, some people physically can't do one or the other of those, and I understand that. However, I can't think of many situations in which one literally can't be active at all.

- But come on, know when enough is enough. Sure, some people love running 10 miles a day, but don't force yourself to do more than you're comfortable with or, even more importantly, more than you're capable of. It's one thing to challenge oneself and another to push yourself over the edge.

- Indulge once in a while. Add some extra cheese. Double up on some Double-Stuf Oreos. Fry that chicken instead of baking it. Eat some fucking red meat - unless you literally physically cannot eat red meat, in which case don't. But there is honestly not much out there that is better than a quality cut of steak cooked to perfection (in my opinion, medium rare).

This is a cheeseburger served on a glazed donut, and it is amazing. If you've never had one, you're missing out. Unless you don't like cheeseburgers or glazed donuts, in which case, I am sad for you.

- On that note, stop thinking that "low fat" and "no fat" are always better options. For instance - read the ingredients on that carton of coffee creamer you usually buy...and then put it down and purchase some fucking half and half instead.

- For the sake of all that is holy, quit it with the fad diets. South Beach, Atkins, Paleo, or whatever else. JUST STOP.

- That's right: STOP. Stop forcing it. Believing things like "eating paleo is the ONLY way" is forcing it. "I've already run three miles but if I run two more despite the fact that I have horrible shinsplints I will lose one more pound" is forcing it. "I really really love a good steak but OMG eating it once in a great while increases my chance of a heart attack by .0001%* and OMG STATISTICS AND SCIENCE" is forcing it. STOP FORCING IT.

*this is an entirely made up statistic so don't come around shoving the real ones in my face, thankyouverymuch

Wealth. Or just getting by.

- Keep a budget. Because you should keep track of your own money - no one else is going to do it for you. (Banks don't count as any one.)

- Don't have a bunch of credit cards. If you can't handle them at all, don't have any, but really, there's no reason to have more than one. NO REASON.

- When you can, save a little extra. Even if it's just a very little extra. I'm not talking about saving for retirement or for an emergency. I'm talking about tucking some money away here and there on top of all that so that some day you can fulfill what may be just a minor dream but is at least a rewarding goal for you to work towards.

- If you need to work, and you physically can work, then for the love of all that is holy, WORK. I personally can't stand hearing that a job is below someone when it's clear that person needs to work somewhere, somehow, to just live and pay bills. I can say this because at times I've had to work some really really shitty jobs in order to just get by.

- Stop forcing it. Stop trying to "keep up with the Joneses". But on the other hand, make sure you're having a bit of fun if you have the money to do so. Don't force yourself to keep up when you can't (and shouldn't have to) but also don't force (or allow) yourself to be a stingy bastard.

[Speaking of] Yourself.

- Get involved in shit you enjoy. Don't be a bystander in your own life.

-  Be selfish sometimes. Seriously, try spending an extended period of time bowing to the wills of others and never making the choices that would please you the most, and then tell me you feel fulfilled, that you are truly enjoying yourself. You know you wouldn't be able to. I've been there, so *I* know you wouldn't be able to.

- Be honest. With others, but with yourself as well. Tell people how you feel - preferably in a tactful manner - whether you think they want to hear it or not. If they do want to hear it, then you win. If they don't, then you won't end up wasting your time on the wrong people.

- Don't lose yourself in relationships, and don't let your relationships define you. Trust me, I've been there, and it never, ever ends well.

- Learn to be okay with who you are. Your bad qualities as well as your good ones. Your body shape/type/weight. Shit, I don't care if getting to this point means you really want plastic surgery - but you know, don't go too far with that.

THIS IS TOO MUCH PLASTIC SURGERY, PEOPLE. She went too far. Be mindful of that.

- Speaking of those bad qualities - because everyone has them - the important thing, outside of knowing what they are, is to fucking take responsibility for your actions and words. Make yourself accountable. Don't be a dick.

- Understand that you will never, ever be perfect, and that's okay. Stop thinking it's possible, stop trying to be, stop forcing it.

[...and I would be remiss if I left out] Everyone Else.

- I'm counting pets here, because I'm all "pets are people too" and stuff. If you can have pets, ADOPT, dammit. If you can't have pets, don't fucking take in a pet. And you know I don't just mean "physically can't" here. I mean don't take on a huge responsibility that you're not ready for. If you adopt a pet that you can handle, you'll be rewarded for a long time to come. If you take on a pet that you can't handle, it will fuck up your life and the life of that poor helpless animal, and that doesn't bring enjoyment to anyone. Oh yeah, I guess the same goes for children. I don't have any of those (thankfully) so I don't feel bad lumping them in here. (My pets are my children, and all that.)

- I'm not a big purveyor of treating others as you want to be treated - because no two people are the same. Get to know people - and just be a good, kind person yourself in the process - and then find out how they want to be treated. Some people want to be hugged, some don't. Some people want you to offer advice when they're going through a rough time, others just want you to listen. Some will appreciate your sense of humor, some won't, and if you care about that person and your relationship with them, tone it the fuck down. Know when going too far is going too far. Know the people you care about, and above all, know the people who care about you. There won't be as many of them as you think or hope, so when you're sure of a person, do the best you can by them. (Without, of course, ignoring yourself and your own needs - see above.)

- Invite others to tell you about themselves, to tell you how they're doing, to vent to you if they are having a rough time or to gush to you if they are doing great. But don't press people to say or admit or explain anything more than they're able and willing to.

- Continuing on that note - you can't force people to be your friends. You can't force closeness, and you sure as hell can't force love. SO DON'T TRY. How many times do I have to say it? Just. Stop. Forcing. It.

Shit, I doubt I've even said everything that I want or need to, here. Regardless, take what I've just said with a grain of salt. I'm just speaking my mind, not trying to force all of this down your throats.

HA! See what I did there? ;) Pin It

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