I always thought it would be Benjamin.
That on a chilly Saturday morning in August, that felt more like autumn than the heart of summer, he would wake up twice. First from his dream. And then from a two decade old haze of working too hard and another weekend of work ahead of him. Instead of taking time off, like he had promised himself.
He would suddenly feel every aspect in which his professional life was taking its toll.
Maybe it was because I was creative, followed my passion, and had my dream business. And he was a businessman. Maybe that’s why I thought he would be the one with the sudden change of heart that he had been all wrong and was going to do things differently. But whatever it was, I had not seen it coming.
How could I have?
For the past eight years I had been occupied with publishing my books. Or by not publishing them. Every finished manuscript seemed to be doomed to get stuck in some phase of editing or making it to paper.
I wrote. I published. I failed. For eight damn years.
Until summer 2017 it was done and I woke up with ten books published, two stone heavier, a non-existent yoga practice – other than teaching my classes – and from a night that had been disturbed by a racing heart beat, anxiety attacks or whatever they call it when you re peacefully falling asleep and then your heart starts racing. God knows what my blood pressure is.
I ve always said getting those books out was my priority and that I would do so in this lifetime. But now that it is done, I want my old body back.
It’s not that I don’t like my figure. I do. If I watch my yoga videos and notice my pot belly and perky butt, I love the way it looks and feels. Every time I talk about my weight, I automatically start caressing my curves, fondly looking at myself. Like I’m a little sex Goddess, equipped to take a pounding.
So the main reason is not vanity.
Just like not finishing my books made me feel lousy, not having a say over the entire midsection of my body, is tearing down my self-esteem. So far I ve been holding up, but only because I rationalized the weight. I was putting first things first and prioritized my books. But now that those are done, I’m making my weight a priority.
Instead of looking like the Goddess of Love who lies in bed all day eating grapes and inviting her lover in every hole her luscious body has to offer, I want to look powerful, and lean. Like an amazon warrior. Independent and strong. And move my career forward.
Too bad work only seems to come in the form of an addiction.
I had a good first day but only because I severely culled my way too ambitious list of resulutions to the bear minimum and boldly created public accountability. But let me start at the beginning of why I m a work addict and why I decided my life needs a reboot. Because those extra fourteen kilos are the least of my worries. If I don’t change my ways I can see myself dying of a heart attack within a year.
When publishing and editing my diaries, I could see how my work addiction came into being. Where it was sparked, when it grew, and when it started taking over my life. Because the diaries had not just documented my own life; they gave the entire bio of my work addiction.
It was conceived by two forces; the egg of creativity and the semen of the internet.
At first the egg of creativity lay dormant since all my writing was offline. But in 2010 I created my own blog and joined Twitter and Facebook. That’s when Creativity and Internet conceived their child; a rapidly developing work addiction.
By the time I was on my fourth book, an online diary called LS Diary, the work addiction – then still in its adolescent form of merely writing – had become a demanding entity. Any untold story would cause so much anxiety, that the quickest and only way to deal with it was to sit down and get it out. Even if that meant getting behind my desk after class and work past midnight.
But when it matured, the addiction doubled itself in size and colonized on my yoga business. I didn’t have a minute’s rest if I knew my website had to be changed. Which was often. I could blast the whole weekend away redesigning my website to meet my latest marketing strategy.
Just like drinking or drugs, binge working started out as a recreational thing. It didn’t happen every weekend, or even every month. But now I can honestly say I haven’t had a quiet week in a year. A year! August 2016 till now; all work, little play, and zero of doing nothing and watching the clouds go by.
No wonder my heart races at night, the moment I start falling asleep. It has forgotten what rest even is.
So I broke down my goal to more fun, less work, more body, less mind.
Firstly I want to work less on my websites, publishing, writing or posting blogs. Last week was already crazy and then to top it off I redid an entire book for a completely new self-publisher, on Friday at six. A pre-weekend work outburst, just in case my books wouldn’t meet distribution requirements from my already-being-difficult publisher. He seemed to be torturing me with non-functioning discount codes, minimum of ten days delivery time and charging more on postage than the whole order combined. As if we were having a dysfunctional relationship, and I needed to figure out my options, before I could log off for the weekend. Needless to say I worked the entire weekend as well. I created a new group program and a membership site for my yoga.
My second goal is to have a daily yoga practice. It was sparked by a Facebook update from this cute guy, a senior consultant who has as little to do with man buns, green smoothies or even downtime as you can possibly imagine, and he confessed that he was suffering from a yoga addiction.
I got so jealous!
I wanted a yoga addiction!
And although I had some brief success following his good example, it died out. My work addiction could not be replaced by an addiction to a.m. mat work. Now I was jealous and frustrated.
I ve always believed the largest health benefit of yoga is not its solid cardio, or its vigorous sun salutations. It’s not its calming breath, the Madonna worthy shoulders, nor the increased flexibility.
The biggest health benefit of yoga is that you’re not doing something else.
You re not checking social media or email.
You re not building your sales page or publishing your books.
So when my carefully crafted path to get myself a yoga addiction failed, I had also pulled the door wide open for my work addiction to march right back in. There was way more at stake here than just yoga.
If I failed to get a daily practice the next twelve months would be just the same crazy, work filled, anxiety prone, rollercoaster ride as the last. And I was not going to let that happen.
That’s why I am committing to;
1. daily yoga, and making it accountable by recording it and sharing it on my membership program.
2. keeping this offline diary, Reboot, and stop, stay away from, or at the very least contain my online work addiction. At the risk of having my first heart attack if I don’t.
By the time this offline diary is turned into a book, my body will be a lean, sculpted warrior woman. A lady who’s currently buried under layers of comfortable padding.
Suffice to say; It didn’t work.
I’m over three weeks in, but I didn’t manage to get a yoga practice, had a variety of work addiction relapses, and I neglected this diary. And last weekend I was so frustrated from not writing online, that I totally binge wrote three posts in two days. I seem to be thinner than three weeks ago – probably due to an unexpected stroke of luck called visualization, more about that later – but my life’s nowhere near where I want it to be.
I really thought the accountability from my memberships program (by recording my practice) was the key to doing yoga. And that this offline diary was the key to stop being such a blog-and-post-it junky. I was certain of it! I could have, would have, was supposed to have, my old offline pre-2010 life, with complementary thin strong offline body.
There was no way this formula could fail.
Yet the yoga practice was erratic at best, this offline diary died within 48 hours and online writing worked its way back up effortlessly. As if it had never left.
But something else happened. I started to visualize. First just the body; the muscular size 8 body I had before Creativity and Internet bred their monstrous offspring. The vision disappeared, as I got invested in my work again, but it returned even stronger. My desire to change had moved even further back in time, all the way back to 1991, when I was not a size 8, but a petite size 6 who went to the gym four times a week. The vision drifted again, life took over, until suddenly- three and a half weeks from the day I started this Reboot challenge- it returned. The vision had grown to a magnitude that had nothing to do with its humble beginnings of me wanting my 2009 body back. I was still in 1991. I was a muscular size 6. But this time, not only could I see my imaginary size 6 thighs, I could also caress a porcelain blemish free skin, stroke my platinum blonde hair, and watch the world with large baby blue eyes. A brighter colour than I ever had. I could see every embellished body part, from teeth that had whitened and grew stronger, to scars and marks that had miraculously disappeared. Everything I had lost to aging or to trauma, was restored to its teenage state or even younger.
I could see myself do yoga every day, but also write every day.
Because together with the powerful new vision, came the realization that after three and a half week of struggle, writing just had to be a part of it. That I could not cut my online writing addiction from my life, any more than I could cut off my left arm. Daily yoga and daily writing; the two opposing energies were just going to have to coexist. Like yin and yang.
And I had a second dream. But this was not a vision, this was a real dream. About me and a writer about whom I have written in several books. Due to an unlikely turn of events the writer and me were located at the same building. Kind of a creative-urban-retreat thing that would last only for a few days. This was my chance to spend time with him, girlfriend free.
And I wasn’t the only one looking forward to that.
Soon enough we were more engaged in each other, than with our next novel. Our make out sessions were absolutely wonderful, and I couldn’t wait to take things further. But there was a problem. I hadn’t waxed my legs. I had a few super thin hairs, scattered sparsely over my legs. So it wasn’t like I was growing legwarmers or anything, but it was a deal breaker nonetheless. I wasn’t going to get intimate with someone dramatically close to my dream man, with anything less than a perfectly groomed body.
I woke up with a strong desire to wax my legs and to check his calendar. To my delight I saw that he will be here in a few months, visiting a local venue. I started counting the days, and there are eighty. It’s not too late!
After fucking up the first part of this project, relapsing, slacking, and forgetting every intention I had for myself, I now have eighty days to kick my ass into gear and to manifest that youthful atomic blonde vision I have for myself.
With a sweet reward awaiting me at the end.
And like hell I ll wax my legs.
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living
After trying to be a good girl and contain my writing, I m now committing to daily blogposts instead.
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