Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thoughts on Self-Medication

Today was Day Three of my getting up at 5:30 am and hauling keister over to the YMCA for a morning workout. I'm impatiently waiting for that healthy, endorphin-based clarity and energy to kick in after my body gets used to daily workouts; for now, I hobble about trying not to whine too much over aching quads and burning shins.

Shortly after I had Paloma, Cliff and I did the Body for Life challenge ( It's not a gimmick, it really works, but it is really hard work. Despite the fact that I was up all night nursing a 4-month old night owl, I somehow managed to drag my puffy self to the Y each morning at 5 am, so that I could get my workout in before Paloma's 6:30 am feeding and Cliff's departure for the office. Even on the mornings when I just did not want to get up, my desire for an hour of quiet time where no one was asking anything of me was enough motivation to get me going, even in -10 weather.

Cliff won some I-pod MP-somethun-or-other, and now he downloads podcasts onto it for my morning workout. They're good, but now I discovered that you can download audio books onto this gadget, and so tonight he's downloading (or is it uploading?)--he's loading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. His stock phrase "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants," has been running through my brain for several months now, and I've given up on trying to get the book onto my nightstand list. Might as well use my Y time to motivate/educate this mind.

So today, through my own bumbling about the house while not fully awake, I left for the Y without the I-Pod thingy and had time to think, uninterrupted. I realize that I have forgotten to post a Compact update lately, namely the one in which I confess that I have broken the Compact. Even worse, I broke it at WalMart, a store which a true Compact-er would probably never set foot in. We came across these 2 shirts, thought of our boys in Haiti, and next thing you know the shirts are hung up nicely in their closet, waiting to be worn.

Anyway, what the Compact has brought me to realize is that I am a self-medicating shopper. I feel sad, lonely, frustrated, depressed, whatever it is I'm feeling about the boys, or anything, really, and I want to shop. Which is exactly how these shirts ended up in my closet.

I have never been a big shopper, so this humbling realization caught me off-guard. But the ugly truth is there, and these two t-shirts are certainly evident of this. It took me nearly 3 months of the Compact to realize it, but there it is. I shop to feel better.

Since the Compact took away the ability to self-medicate through shopping (with the exception of the aforementioned purchase), I realize now that in lieu of shopping, I will find and start projects as a means to feel better. Knitting, reading, homeschool research, scrapbooking, sewing, cooking, baking, reorganizing--I began all sorts of craft projects since the Compact.

I became hooked on the idea of scrapbooking a Life Book for each boy. I gathered all my photos, scrounged through our scrapbooking stuff (Hattie has received umpteen scrap kits over the years as presents), etc. I checked out books on it from the library, browsed countless websites. This upcoming weekend I was invited to a scrapbooking overnight retreat. Perfect timing, one would think, as I'm ready to begin and have the stuff all set to go. But one problem remains, and it has now fully sunk in.

I hate scrapbooking.

Sorry for the harshness of that statement, but it's exactly how I feel. For one, I can't stand to cut my photos. It gives me the heebie jeebies. For you knitters out there, you know how you feel when you even think about having to steek a sweater? This is how I feel about having to cut my photos. Plus the thought of having to trace around and cut out photos, find layouts, and the perfect little slogany stickers, aaack. It gives me angina.

I have since come to full terms with this realization, and I am nicely committed to the idea of creating a lifebook through an online printing company once the boys are home and I have more complete background information.

I really don't know where I'm going with this train of thought right now, as I'm so fresh into these realizations, I need time to sort it out and figure out where to go from here. I can't say enough about the Compact, though, and I highly encourage everyone to do it. Not only has it improved our checking account, it is a sort of free psychotherapy as well.

1 comment:

This Mama said...

Man we must be riding the same wavelength because I just bought my first scrapbook over the weekend as well (I am also not a scrapbooker). I also broke our three month don't buy anything pledge ~sigh~

"In defence of food" looks interesting!