As you may know, I’ve been visiting with a counselor pretty regularly for the last few years, and that coupled with a lot of reflection and prayer has helped me attune more to myself. I’m doing a better job of being curious when I experience an emotion or have a thought, and by investigating those, I can understand myself better and find areas where I need to do more work and heal.
A couple of months ago, I had the startling realization that my relationship with food was really unhealthy. I have always known that I seek comfort in food, but I accepted that about myself because I didn’t feel like I needed comforted all that often, or that my times of needing comfort would be limited. Sure, I might have a stressful few months and gain a few pounds, but then that time would pass and I could shed those pounds and no big deal.
Though with the pandemic and having a baby and now having another baby (our third!) and getting a new job and leaving our church, really the last couple of years have been pretty stressful…
…and I also realized last month that I don’t just go to food when I’m stressed, I also go to it when I’m celebrating.
That was the startling realization: if I’m going to food both when times are bad and when they’re good, that’s all the time.
Since I’m still sick (and in case you didn’t know, April and I caught terrible colds right after Christmas and have been sick ever since), I decided to take yesterday evening off from sermon prep and plant myself on the couch to watch TV and rest. I had been coughing all day and was exhausted from it, so I made a hot toddy and some soup and continued in season 2 of West Wing.
I’ve been enjoying West Wing a lot, partially because of how optimistic it is. Compared with House of Cards, it’s very positive and everyone in the show just wants to do a good job and serve the country well. That’s refreshing, and it gives me a bit of hope.
But the show is definitely getting darker. In season 1, something would happen and the staff would take care of it. By the end of the episode, things were mostly wrapped up in their favour. Each show had a pleasant catharsis and everyone was generally happy. Here at the end of season 2, that is no longer the case. Things happen that are not the fault of the White House, and often fall outside the staff’s control, but they have to react to it and spin it and fix it. They’re being blamed for things they had nothing to do with, but have to fix, even though they aren’t really equipped to fix them.
And as the evening progressed, I became more and more stressed, and more and more anxious. I finally had to turn it off. West Wing was reminding me too much of my own job.
I woke about an hour ago from a dream in which I was playing basketball. We were at the new fitness center on the Missouri State University campus and it started as a friendly game between me and some co-workers and student workers. There were only 4-5 people per team, and we were playing on a full-sized court (rather than just half a court), so we had lots of room.
But then other people kept wanting to join. This was fine at first, but I started getting annoyed because people were right up in my face while I was still holding the ball on the sideline and looking to pass in. In friendly games, I prefer people stand a bit further off for the initial pass, and really I prefer the defense always maintain a half court press and stay on their side of the court.
More people kept joining the game, almost all of them ex-student workers. They kept just walking onto the court, walking up to me, and standing right in front of me. Everyone thought it was ludicrous that I wanted them to back off a bit, to at least go halfway to the free throw line, and when I looked behind me to back up a bit I discovered that another 20 people had filled in that space and were standing behind the hoop.
Remember all that business with my truck being totaled but it being OK because I had insurance? The catastrophes didn’t end there. They didn’t even end at three.