Self improvement is really hard. It doesn’t matter what it is. Losing weight. Getting more fit. Kicking the cursing to the curb. Drinking more water. Not interrupting when someone is taking FOREVER to make their point. More veggies. Less coffee/wine/diet pepsi. Being more disciplined. Growing my hair out. Fewer gossip blogs. More classic literature. For god’s sake finishing something once it is started. Consistent use of night cream. Stop making plans I know I will flake on.
I’m reasonably good at recognizing my flaws. I’m also pretty good at pretending they don’t exist, or that they don’t bother me. I must be really good at this second part because there are lots of ‘helpful’ people in my life who like to point them out to me. Nothing nicer than those people who remind you you are supposed to be dieting. Or continually ask you when you’re going to finish your thesis. But really, I can’t go through my life with everything that is wrong with me staring me in the face – I would just cease to exist. I would melt into a puddle of self hate and wallow in my flaws. So, I cover up what I can – dark colours, and spell check help a lot and then I distract you from everything else with sarcasm and cake.
I’m ok at figuring out ways I can change to make myself better. I am always one to try a new diet. I read lots of books about being a better writer. I’m almost always working on a degree of some kind. I want to be better. Thinner, faster, wittier, more widely read, a better wife, a better mother. Who doesn’t? But I don’t want to work too hard. There is a line somewhere and as much as I think I would do anything, I won’t. Which leads to….
I’m pretty terrible at following through. The courting period is always really exciting. I get pumped up and am all gung-ho. The wedding is ok too. I can usually take some blows, some set backs. But when the honeymoon is over and I hit my first plateau, my resolve waivers and I’m gone. It hurts to get better. If knowing the problem is half the battle, the second half of the battle is WAY worse. New habits are hard, and they almost always involve something that I don’t really want to do. Then there is the struggle of wondering if you are doing it right, if you look silly, if everyone is judging you, if you should just go home and eat some Ben and Jerry? What if when I’m done I’m still not good enough? Isn’t easier to not try, than to fail?
It is just easier to be broken. I tell myself that my flaws are what make me interesting. They are what give me a voice. They are why you are here reading this. (But I should still eat more broccoli.)