Saturday, April 29, 2006

Motivation vs. Motivated

At what point does something stop being "motivational" and actually "motivate" you to get off your fat ass and do something? When do I let something (a movie, a book, a song, a story) not just into my head, but into my heart? When do I take what I feel about something, and turn it into an action?

I just went to see the movie Stick It. It was one of those movies that makes you want to get up and do something. As Feather said "That girl makes me wanna' work out." I get that feeling from so many things I see and hear. I watch a movie about a girl who does gymnastics and it makes ME want to work out. I read a book about a family overcoming a tragedy and it makes me want to be a better mother to my kids. I watch a makeover show, and it makes me want to work on my appearance. I listen to a story of someone who has a near-death experience, and it makes me want to live my life to the fullest. But when do I actually start doing these things?

There are some people in life who have things happen to them that force them to consider their lives; where they are headed, where they really want to be going, and what needs to change to get them where they want to be. A near-fatal accident, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a divorce, anything life-changing. I've never had anything like this happen (well, there was a near-divorce, but that's another post). I've never had a huge event. Just small vicarious observations of others' lives. How do I use someone else's experiences to motivate myself? How do I internalize what I've learned and apply it to my life? How do I rewrite my story using bits of another's script?

There are so many things I want to do, have always wanted to do. Go to school for accounting, run a 5k, be a naturally happy person, go a whole day without yelling at my kids, learn how to put on makeup, grow my hair long and actually have it look good, dress like a woman instead of teenage tomboy, eat healthy, conquer my sugar addiction, exercise in some way every day, be eager to clean my house (or the house of my parents, whichever applies), love my family unconditionally, make friends with someone who doesn't share my DNA, drink more than 2 glasses of water a week, find a hobby I love and stick with it, be more consistent in my relationship with God, be thankful for what I have, live each day as if it's my last on earth, not take my life so seriously, have fun with my kids. Some small, some big, some realistic, some not. I just wish I could find in myself the switch to kick start all of this. I wish I could find whatever it is that's missing in my life, in my brain, in my heart that would fuel these sparks of desire into fires of reality (geez, the symbolism is this post is INCREDIBLE!). I don't know what it is that gets me going.

I'm going to make a confession here (and no, it's not about my hair). Sometimes I wish something bad would happen to me. Not to my husband or my kids. But to me. That I would get in a car accident, or get some serious illness. Not because I have a death wish. I just wish something would give me that push into greatness that I can't seem to give myself. I'm so tired of resolving every night to be better the next day, and then never changing. I'm tired of waking up every morning the same lazy, grumpy, unmotivated person that I was yesterday. No matter how much I WANT to change, I just can't seem to.

The Hubster hit the nail on the head just now. He walked into the room and asked what I was doing. I said I was writing a post about motivation. And he said "Or lack thereof?" YES! That's exactly it. Lack of motivation. And everyone can see it. And I hate that about myself. I hate that everyone knows the worst parts of me. That they see the laziness. They see the grumpiness. They see the lack of motivation. The lack of self-discipline. How do you reverse 26 years of your own bad impressions? Short of moving away and starting a new life under an assumed identity, I mean. And when you do start to change, how long until they notice? How long do they just assume that you are the same old Beth, and not someone new, someone better?

I don't even feel like trying anymore. I don't feel like improving myself, because everyone close to me still tells me I'm lazy, or that I'm a bitch. I know I should be doing it for myself. But have you ever tried to run a marathon with people on the sidelines asking why you're walking, telling you you're standing still, saying you'll never finish? There is something to be said for outside support. Now, I don't want you to read this and assume that I think I'm perfect. I'm as guilty of all this negativity as much as the next guy (or girl). I assume the worst of The Hubster. I often see the negative in situations with my sisters. I short-change my childrens' abilities. My family is pretty negative and critical by nature. It's how we grew up. But sometimes I feel like the negativity is aimed my way more often than at others. I don't know. Maybe it comes from being the youngest of five. Will I ever feel differently? I don't know. My guess is, I'll still feel this way even when everyone around me is being 100% supportive and positive. I'll always feel like people around me are talking about me behind their hands. I think that's the free toy in the Low Self-Esteem Happy Meal.

Anywho. How do I take all of this, the low self-esteem, the criticism, the absence of turning points, and flip it? Any suggestions? How do you deal with your hard luck and use it to your advantage? What things have you learned in your life that enable you to take that lack of motivation and turn it around?

Comments and suggestions are appreciated. But if you're just going to get on here and call me an ungrateful whiner, don't bother. This is my blog, after all, and I'll write whatever I want. Don't read it if you don't like it.


MrsWndr said...

I can totally understand where you're coming from, boo. Probably cuz we grew up in the same famn damily. I guess I'm a little disappointed in myself if I've made you feel this way lately. I've been trying extra hard to not hang on to the past preconceptions of you. I think you've been doing a great job. ANd if you ever want to run a marathon, I'll be on the side yelling, "Go Boo Go!" Cuz I know you can! My problem is I'll start from the motivation and but then I'll putter out a few weeks down the road. I guess the only thing you can do it pray that God will change your perception, that he'll motivate you. I'll put it on my prayer list. Love you! PS, I haven't thought of you as 'the bitch' in a long while.

kalisah said...

I too have had that car crash fantasy. Not enough to kill me, just enough to put me in the hospital for a while - have people take care of me, get good drugs, not have to worry about all my daily responsiblities for a little while. It'd be the next-best thing to a spa vacation, right?

sunshine scribe said...

That was so well written. Your list of things you wish you could do mirror mine almost exactly.

Having a fantasy of something pushing us into greatness is so me too. I always expect someone or something to happen so I can get to it. It never does. That is actually why I started a blog. So far so good.

Wishing you everything you hope will happen.