Thus far, 2013 has been better than good. I’ve been sticking to my veganism more strictly than before; cooking lots of delicious, healthy meals. I’ve been setting aside more time to do yoga, stretch, and meditate. I’ve been actively seeking out opportunities to meet people and explore the city. I’ve been reading and researching and creating things in my free time. I’ve been keeping spaces organized and clean. Let’s be honest, I’ve been practically perfect, and I feel great!
Unfortunately perfection is very difficult to maintain. Thus, by day ten, I was completely exhausted. I spent the morning pouring over articles about various career paths (stopping occasionally to send the random copy or fax as necessitated by my job), lunchtime squeezing in a walk and some phone calls, the afternoon nodding off at my desk, the early evening tutoring a child that could care less about dividing fractions (me too, Kenny, me too), and by the time I finally got home, the only thing I wanted to do was eat crap and stare into space. And so began an evening of worthless self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage: those acts or processes in which a person tries to hurt or hamper themselves (primarily their success), consciously and deliberately.
This is not at all something to be taken lightly, and can be a very serious problem. Self-sabotage can be the fuel behind harmful addictions, eating disorders, depression, and pretty much everything else bad. This is obviously not the level of self-sabotage I’m writing about, but rather its mild cousin, which I like to call:
Doing-stupid-things-that-make-me-happy-or-entertained-for-the-moment-but-will-ultimately-be-harmful-to-my-long-term-goals. This can include:
- Drinking too much and calling or texting an ex.
- Staying up all night finishing a book or a season of a random tv show even though I have important things to do the next day, for which being well-rested is likely imperative.
- Eating exorbitant amounts of unhealthy foods during late hours of the night.
- Drinking multiple cups of coffee very late in the afternoon.
But also sometimes includes not-doing-smart-things-that-I-know-I-should-do-which-would-make-my-life-a-lot-easier, such as:
- Getting my prescriptions filled ahead of time.
- Taking the GRE right after graduating instead of waiting a year to realize that graduate school is inevitable.
- Reading the care-for labels on my clothes before throwing them all in the wash together.
- Packing my gym clothes when I go to work so I can’t make excuses about not wanting to go back out in the cold.
Oftentimes, one act of minor self-sabotage fans the flame of another and another, resulting in a ginormous snowball of bad decisions. Don’t let this happen. But also don’t beat yourself up if it does happen. I’ve realized if I let myself make small-scale horrible decisions on a regular basis, I am way less likely to engage in a full-on dumbfest. So last night, I was like okay, whatever, I guess now I’m gonna stay up til 2 am recording this song and adding harmony loops for absolutely no reason while eating leftover sweet potato gnocchi and other less healthy crap. Fortunately for you, this self-sabotage session ended with a few dark chocolate Dove promises – which, as any chocolate fan should know, had some italicized, crinkly-foil-clad things to say:
Dove: Daydreaming is free
Sarah: As opposed to night dreaming, which is only free if you’re on the tooth fairy’s good side. WTF, Dove?
Dove: Dazzle your sense of flavor
Sarah: With another piece? Alright, you convinced me, just this once.
Dove: Renew your sense of discovery
Sarah: Okay… that was decent. What can I do to make myself more open to new discoveries? I should definitely go geocaching. That’s what this is about, for sure. Dove knows that I’ve been on their email list for two years and never actually gone…
Dove: Do all things with love.
Sarah: Whoah. That was deep. Maybe I should blog about this. Maybe I should blog about how ironic it is that Dove is telling me to do all things with love, when the very act of staying up until 2 am eating chocolate is like anti-love to my body. It’s actually like self-sabotage. I should love myself more, you know – do things that make me happier, healthier. I should go to sleep and stop eating chocolate. Thanks, Dove!