In April of 2008, I had a hormonally perverse distortion of my functioning skills and a brand-spanking new front-loader washing machine. Front-loading washing machines were all the rage back then.
Everyone was jumping on the front-loading washing machine bandwagon, myself included. A front loader was SUCH a fabulous idea until I realized how much bending over I had to do ~ an activity that I try to minimize by picking things up with my feet.
I had to BEND OVER to pick the clothes up and put them into the washing machine.
I had to BEND OVER to take the clothes out of the washing machine to transfer them into the dryer.
And finally, I had to BEND OVER to retrieve the clean, wet clothes that had tumbled out of the washing machine into a puddle at my feet when I opened the front-loading door.
(And as I bent over, I would get a good whiff of a rotten, mildewy stench coming from my front loading washing machine. And if I bent over far enough and poked my head inside, I could see the science experiment from hell growing inside the drum and around the seal. This might have greatly disturbed me at one time, and I might have gathered my cleaning agents and tried to scrub away the mini greenhouse growing rampant in my front loading washing machine. I might have scrubbed, scrubbed for a while, as I BENT OVER, and realized that that black shit was never coming off. My family is SURELY breathing spores of something unholy that could potentially kill them. Ah, but I digress.)
So, with my brand new washing machine and my brand new baby, I had a hormonally induced idea to use cloth diapers.
Anyone who knows me probably would agree that this wasn't the best idea I have ever had. And predictably, it didn't last for very long.
The cloth diapers would be sold on Ebay to some other new mom who had a skewed sense of efficiency.
And the child would quickly grow up to be delightful, a princess, and now, a kindergartner.
Yet the washing machine is still here, mostly unchanged... until a few days ago when the "door ajar" alarm sensor alarm ~ and it is a God-awful alarm ~ broke.
Thankfully, the washing machine is in a laundry ROOM. Room. As in, with a door. A door that can be shut to partially mask the screaming "door ajar" alarm. I put up with this all, because a.) we are so close to Christmas and I don't want to pay to get it fixed right now, and b.) the washing machine still technically washes clothes. It still WORKS.
I said all of this because in some sort of rabbit-hole way, it reminded me of a couple of interesting things that I have heard in the past day or so.
The first occurred this evening, via my husband, who was reading his course work in Officer Training School for the US Army.
In a crude nutshell, he told me that he read that "death is not a good enough motivating factor" for unhealthy people to get off their fat asses and help themselves become healthy.
Not a good enough motivator to get up and exercise to maintain to a healthy weight. Not a good enough motivator to make themselves a salad. Not even good enough motivator to get up, waddle over to the medicine cabinet, and pop a tiny pill every day.
When looking at the cold, hard percentages and health statistics, humans are big, fat failures.
Which is entirely incomprehensible to someone like to my husband. Because he is disciplined, rational and ~I'm pretty certain about this ~ is not befuddled by a million different voices inside his head (one, which shrieks at approximately 11pm to FEEDMESOMEFREAKINGNACHOSORIWILLCLAWYOURFACEOFFYOUWEAKBI#%&!).
Another epiphany occurred while listening to my favorite podcast, Radiolab*. It was a broadcast from 2011, titled "Help."
"You want to DO something, badly," says Robert Krulwich, Radiolab host. "But then another part of you says 'No, I DON'T want to do that.' When it's you against you, what do you do?"
I'll say that again, because in my simplicity, this was astoundingly profound: "When it's you against you, what do you do?"
And this pretty much sums up my life.
Because somewhere, deep down, I have an addiction to immediacy.
I want it now.
And I KNOW I'm not alone there: my entire generation WANTS IT NOW.
But in my case, 99% of the time what I want now is not good for me. It will make me fat. Or it will put me in debt. Or it will cost more than researching it online and finding it somewhere else much cheaper.
Getting something right now is addicting, it's thrilling. I open my computer and my internet is RIGHT THERE! I don't even have to wait for the computer modem to dial the online service anymore ("You've got mail!" Anyone?).
What I also want, is months (or years) away. It is difficult for me to envision. I get distracted and have no imagination.
My washing machine works. It's jacked up, dirty, smells and makes a horrible, loud noise. But it works. It's limping along and I'm PROBABLY not going to fix it.
My body works. Technically, however, it's slightly fleshier than I want it to be at this moment...but it is working okay. My last pregnancy jacked it up a bit, but I take a few pills every day.
The finances work, despite our mucking things up. We muddle through. We are not fiscal rock stars.
Why is it so difficult to be "all in." Not just with diet and exercise, but with ALL ASPECTS of our lives? Is it not broken ENOUGH?
When will I be broken enough to fix everything?
I don't have the answers; I'm a work in progress.
As I listen to the horrible buzzing of the washing machine "door-ajar" alarm, however, it seems that the front-loader washer will be fixed before I am.