What do we expect of ourselves in terms of energy, healthiness, wellness, all that sort of thing? It’s part of the modern affliction to be obsessed with everything to do with our bodies, our emotions, our habits. Yet it’s an obsession without obvious scientific guidance. I know, I know, we call have friends who seem confident—”moderation, that’s all it takes” or “aging means aging gracefully” or “as long as I get in my steps, I reckon that’s enough”—but we know they’re bullshitting, that underneath the confidence lies anxiety and secret transgressions.
The point of all this is some reflection. Four or five years ago I was running 40 kilometers a week, I weighed 78 kilograms, and I rose at 5 AM, sometimes 6:00. Now I struggle to get in 15 kilometers a week, I weigh 85 and creeping up, and 7 AM is usual. I know I could be harsh and determined. I know because that’s what I’ve done, battened down the hatches in the past: fasting, alarms, willpower.
But here’s the thing … when I obsess over health, my emotional energy doesn’t seem to extend to the writing work. Right now, I might not fit my mental model of health but my focus is on the most important goal of all, finishing the book, and I’m satisfied.
I’m muddling along, truth be told, on fitness and health and energy, and I know the piper will need to be paid. But centering life on the work, while relaxing on bodily demands, seems optimal in June of 2021.
Perhaps there is a cycle. Perhaps in two months, something will shift in me. Perhaps?