In my current drive to be an individual, a character, and not just a sheep (or even worse, a mouse), I find myself striving to do things my way, and sometimes for no other reason than to simply declare my independence from that which is “normal” despite what commonsense tells me.
For example, I was/am trying to lose weight. For nigh onto a year, the dreaded pipsqueak voice on the wii told me, as soon as I stepped on, “That’s overweight.” Grrrrr. Like I didn’t know? A month or so ago, I stepped on (after a long hiatus from wii training), and it said, “That’s normal.” Suddenly, without warning, that little voice inside my head whispered, “Who wants to be normal?”–and the ice cream fell victim to my independence.
This morning, I logged onto my daily challenge (www.meyouhealth.com). For weeks now, I’ve been getting encouraging emails trying to get me to participate more, to earn more points by smiling at posts, completing simple challenges, replying with encouragement to the woes and tribulations of those in need. In each email, there was a counter that kept track. “Kathy C. earned the most points this week of all those in your group.” “Wanda R. smiled at the most points.” Wow, I thought, they must really be active. I should do better.” Finally, at long last, this week “Ann B. earned the most points.” Sheesh, I thought, you need to get a life.” Where was that envy I felt earlier, the feeling that all would be right in my world if only I had more…more points, more weight loss, more (God forbid) smiley faces?
And what is wrong with me that as soon as I get what I want, I no longer want it?
Thankfully, I came to my senses with the hot tub. “I want a hot tub,” I’ve said since we moved down here. “I miss my hot tub.” Whine, whine, whine. My 60th birthday popped up (as if it were unexpected) and Elliott started investigating hot tubs. We walked the porch, the back deck, everywhere to see where we could envision one. The back deck looked perfect. But there’s this problem…I’d have to walk out on the back deck in my altogether to get into it, and there’s this one corner where my next door neighbors–if they were sitting in a specific spot–could see me. OK, I could put on a swimsuit–but I’m lazy. I wouldn’t. Hot tubbing is too sensual to waste on a swimsuit. And spend that much money and still know it wasn’t the best it could be? Wouldn’t work. Starkers, or nothing. So one day at about 10:30 a.m. I told myself that if I couldn’t walk out on that deck right that minute, naked as the day I was born, then purchasing a hot tub would be a big mistake. And I couldn’t do it. I’m still not sure why. I’m not normally THAT modest or THAT embarrassed about my body. But I couldn’t do it. At night, maybe. But in the broad daylight, in front of God and everybody? Nope. And there went the dream of the hot tub.
So I ask you, is it just me who doesn’t want something as soon as she (almost) gets it? Is this normal? Or am I trying to hard to be “different”? “Not normal?” (no, I didn’t say “abnormal…”) Normal has come to equate with “mediocre” rather than “sane, healthy.” The “normal” person reads at a sixth-grade level, we hear. So I definitely don’t want to be normal. When did normal become something bad?
Maybe if I had the courage to get out on the back deck in a mouselike manner and eat a tub of ice cream while refusing to send smiley faces I’d figure it out. (And thanks, Elliott, for all your patience with me while I flip-flop on issues of import that rank right up there with national security, world hunger, and global poverty.)