The other night my husband and I went out with friends. We danced and laughed as though we hadn’t a worry in the world. It was like old times, before life became serious. At one point my husband grinned at me and said, “Lisa’s back!” I knew exactly what he meant.
The poor guy thought he was marrying Good Time Gloria. What he didn’t bargain for was my alter ego, Doomsday Doris. That girl can fret like nobody’s business.
Of course, we have legitimate worries; every parent does. We also have very specific, real, concerns related to our daughter’s genetic disorder. But by advocating for her and taking charge of her medical care and development, I’m able to be more warrior, less worrier.
That sense of control, doing something instead of standing idly by, is the best way I’ve found to keep Doris in check.
Lately however, that worry wart has been ruling the roost. Worries about money, about health concerns in our family, and about stupid petty things have given her power. I miss Gloria. She’s fun. She ignores silly worries and makes chicken nachos instead. Doris, on the other hand, throws out suspect poultry (even though it’s probably fine) and then worries about the fact that she’s just wasted perfectly good chicken. Doris is a wing nut.
The perfect woman would be a combination of both Gloria and Doris. Glorias. She lives in the moment, but is conscious about making smart/healthy choices for the future. (Also, she likes watching sports and doesn’t wear fuzzy socks to bed).
So that’s my goal. To be Glorias. Healthy, happy and in control.
My main worry right now is about my family’s health. We’re not eating as well as we should. And exercise? Not happening. Stress? I feel it every day. Chronic worry can trigger serious health problems. Unless I make changes for the better now, my health will be at risk.
It can be overwhelming trying to change everything at once, but I've picked three areas to really work on:
Exercise. My husband and I used to be very active. Sporty even. There’s no reason why we can’t be again, so I’m planning activities for us to do together—go for a hike, play some indoor tennis, work out in our home gym (aka barbells in the basement). The time together will make our relationship AND our muscles, stronger.
Healthy Eating. Stress and worrying provoke some people...ahem...to buy and eat unhealthy foods. I do the grocery shopping, so it’s my duty to keep the junk food out of the house. Making a weekly menu, generating a shopping list from it, and sticking to it is essential.
Sleep. When I’m tired I avoid exercise and I’m drawn to unhealthy foods. A tired Lisa is a fat, lazy Lisa with chip crumbs in her hair. So getting to bed at a reasonable time is now a priority.
I can’t control everything, though I try. But, I CAN control the aspects of my life related to living healthy. By being proactive instead of a whining worrier, I am in control. And it feels good.
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