I’ve decided, in the deluded spirit of making resolutions in the new year, to try and change an aspect of my lifestyle; I’m going to dip my toe in the water of an attempt to be kind to myself. My problem is I can’t tell when I’m being nice to myself and when am I just being a lazy pig, so I never stop with the self-flagellation to keep going. If I thought about what’s the greatest thing I could do for myself, I’d tell you it was ‘to never have to get out of bed’. I’m my happiest when I have a virus and have an excuse to lie there without the nagging mother in my brain screaming, “Get your ass up and out”. I go from high turbo to lethargy with hardly any inbetween (except on holiday and in the aforementioned virus situation). To me, it’s cruel to just take one or two bites of Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt (I’ve convinced myself that dark chocolate is good for me) and I should therefore give myself the whole slab. I don’t know where I cross the line; when does doing something enjoyable end and the obsessions start? I feel good clearing up the house… next thing I know is I’m using the tip of my tongue on the floor to clean up the crumbs. When is enough is enough?
I tried out my ‘being nice’ experiment yesterday. I went with friends to walk up a mountain. (I’m on holiday where there are mountains – I didn’t hallucinate that). I imagined that in the early part I’d be thinking, “This is nice Ruby, you’re making yourself healthy.” It turns out two hours later I’m still climbing but now hoisting myself up with chains and grapples on a sheer rock face with an inch of ledge for a toehold before lifting my other foot another crotch-ripping metre up to get to the next mini ledge.
Where did nice stop and torture begin? Why didn’t I ‘be kind’ and just go back down? No, I went into turbo like the Terminator to get to the top. When I got to the top, I thought “that’s nice, you’ve stopped climbing and the view is ok but could also be seen from a plane”…
Today, I can’t walk. Where was the point that I left kindness behind? If I was really nice to myself why would I bother to do sit ups or mindfulness or even write books?
So, that ‘s my dilemma. When are you being nice, and when does the fun stop and life get hard? I’m working on it and will get back to you. I’m sure it’s a theme they discuss at AA meetings; it’s nice that you want to give yourself a little tipple but then the next minute you’re lying under a bus. How do you know when to stop? What’s your tipping point? Right now, I’m being kind by allowing myself to lie here doing this blog but very soon this will become not so nice when I start getting obsessed with the spelling and pushing myself to say something more interesting. In the name of this experiment, I’ll just stop when I feel I’m not being kind and go get some sea salt chocolate, which is now.