Life vs. goals and expectations

This morning was my weighing and measuring day. Yes, the dreaded ‘take measurements of various parts of your body and suffer the consequences’ was upon me. After the way I have eaten over the last week I didn’t hold out much hope for today’s statistics, especially since yesterday in particular was a 3D ode to chocolate chip muffins and jam doughnuts. The surprise? Today I am a pound lighter than yesterday and an inch thinner than last week. This makes me happy.

What makes me even happier is that I had all but given up on this slimming effort because I can’t work out. Or rather I can, but I have to readjust my ideas regarding what actually comprises “working out”. It used to be, go to the gym, lift weights, run. Maybe do some swimming if I went with a friend one evening (other working out happened in the morning before work, ALWAYS).

I can’t do that now. I’m not even in a fit state to drive to the gym and I feel like a complete wazzock taking a taxi for a ten minute journey when my car sits right outside my block. I can probably do some weights, but I doubt I’d be able to do much of anything once I got to all the equipment. A gym ball in my flat is pointless – I can’t sit and I don’t have enough strength in my lower back to do anything else with a gym ball.

But it’s not all bad news, as evinced by the happy measurements mentioned above. I found that walking briskly for half an hour is now a bit like hard work, since I have done almost nothing for so long. My legs were rubber when I climbed the stairs to my flat the other day.

Relevance to writing? Sometimes, life just gets in the way. You work out a nice neat schedule and then so-and-so arrives unexpectedly for dinner and X is having a going-away-somewhere-hot party. Your husband/boyfriend is suddenly rather amorous and who would pass up that kind of opportunity? (I’m single, indulge me. I like to think you’re all enjoying the couple-y life :D) Or they want feeding and you realise you do too. Work promotes you and your eight hour days morph into twelve hour days overnight. Or someone goes sick, or you go sick…

It is amazing how creative the powers that be can be (as it were) when throwing obstacles in your path, especially obstacles that can’t be ignored. I’m not saying all the examples above can’t be ignored, but some of them are certainly harder to get round than others. I have often found that nothing messes up a relaxed, organised, routine life than making a plan which requires that level of relaxed, organised routine.

Of course, none of this stops us from writing, but often you find yourself tearing your hair out because you had such great goals and expectations of yourself and now you find you are unable to fulfill even the tiniest one. That’s ok. Keep writing. Adjust your goals. Give yourself a break, because life won’t. And isn’t that where we get our inspiration from? Would the idea of a plot twist ever have arisen if no one’s life ever got derailed by the unexpected?

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About Mhairi Simpson

Writer, dreamer. Magic, dragons, pink mice, cake. Come say hi!
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6 Responses to Life vs. goals and expectations

  1. Michael says:

    You didn’t even have to relate this to writing for me to understand. I’ve struggled with weight all my life. I’d love to have a workout partner like you…someone with common interests and also the desire to eat healthy. I woulda slapped that chocolate treat out of your hand sister (and expect to do the same). But yeah…I know what you mean. We slip up and have to tame the beast that craves good tasting stuff. This was a great entry. Best of luck to you on all of your goals.

  2. Angela Scott says:

    Oh, life!!! How it gets in the way of the best laid plans!

    BUT, that’s what life does, and we have to work around it, adjust our goals, and set realistic expectations for ourselves–whether it be writing or weight loss. If we decide to write from the hours of 10-12, and then a phone call from a distant relative sucks an hour of that time away, we readjust. If we can’t walk for miles or lift a weight ball, we climb the stairs to our flat, eat only one chocolate muffin instead of two. Little baby steps.

    AND when life settles down, we take bigger and bigger steps to complete our goals. Sometimes we move forward, sometimes we move backwards, but as long as we have our eye on the goal, how can we possibly go wrong? ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~Angela

  3. knittingknots says:

    Oh, that pesky RL…like having to have shoulder surgery….or various other stuffs…yep. Learning how to write something or the other in spite of RL has been this year’s goal for me. It often means not writing on my larger projects…but long as I’m faithful to the writing kami (or gods or spirits or however you want to refer to them), I feel like I can cling to the moniker of writer. I’m about due for some smexy flashfic, myself….LOL.

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