I've completely fallen off of the health wagon for the past year or so. And by that, I mean I just haven't been exercising or eating particularly healthy. I've had bouts where I'll try to eat less, but I still eat bad food, and then I just decide to dive in and eat whatever I want and the cycle starts all over again. I've done a little walking here and there, but I haven't done any weight lifting or running or anything of that nature. I just find that I'm frequently tired due to stress at work, so I stress-eat bad food, which is just self-defeating, as it causes me to have even less energy.
I keep meaning to do things - like start walking outside a bit each morning, or pick up some healthier choices at the grocery store - but somehow the time doesn't ever seem right, or I'm not in the mood, or I'm too tried. Or I want to exercise, but I didn't plan a good routine, and I don't feel like planning a routine, so I may as well just not do it. After all, if I'm going to do it, I should do it right, right? And instead, I end up not doing it at all.
Well, today I decided to just skip to the exercise part of my Yoga book. I get it - Yoga is a lifestyle. Be gentle with yourself. Don't get wrapped up in ego. Relax, balance, focus, etc. But the fact is, I really want to increase my flexibility and overall health right now. And if I have to read through the additional 100 pages of philosophy before getting started, I know I'm going to continue to get bored and eventually forget about it and move on to something else.
So, I very gently dove into yoga this afternoon.
I selected some fairly basic, easy poses, most of which I've tried before in other fitness classes. I focused on my breathing and easing myself into each pose to where I felt comfortable. I took my time in adjusting my position until I felt like I was in each pose correctly, and tried to maintain my balance and focus in each one. And, afterwards, I felt pretty good!
I feel liberated, in a way. I didn't need to make sure everything was perfect. I just wanted to make sure I did something. I've always been one of those people who always has to have everything in order, list made, double-checked, plan in place, etc, before doing anything. Which is ridiculous, because being like that tends to stall me out mid-execution. It's tough being a detail-oriented planner-type with what I suspect is a mild case of ADD.
It's a good reminder for me, though. Not everything has to be perfect; in fact, it's pointless to try and make it perfect. Sometimes it's better to just start with what you have, and go from there. I need to remind myself of that when I'm editing. It's great to want to put the best novel out there that you can. But it's never going to be perfect. Not everyone is going to love it or agree with what you did. But taking that first step and putting it out there will mean a lot more than sitting on it indefinitely until "the right plan" is in place. It's OK to make some stuff up as you go. So maybe it's time to take a cue from yoga and be kinder to yourself and your writing.