Friday, January 23, 2015

The Day I Turned My Back on the Needy

It's not what you think. 

I'm not a cold and callous woman who looked the other way when someone needed a meal, or a coat or a home (although I may have). I'm talking about my "Needies"...more specifically, the "Need To" family.

The other day, the Hubster had an evening meeting and would not be home for dinner! I felt like I had a "Get Out of Jail Free!" card. I raced right home. Why, I don't know.

As I was driving home, I was thinking of all the things I "should" do; the things I "need" to do. Like work out. Ugh. I hate doing that. But I had been slothful all week. I really "should" do it. And write. Well, yes, I wrote my blog, but that book is never going to get written if I don't make some time to do it. And really, how hard is the proposal letter? It's simply a matter of starting it! Oh, and the dog never gets walked. I see other people walking their dogs, even though it's cold, and I feel guilty. I "should" do that.

These are the two things I struggle with all the time. Exercising and writing. One I love and one I hate. I'll let you guess which is which. If you have trouble, you can get a clue by reading my post, Friend or Faux?

When I got home, I didn't want to do any of the above. 

I wanted an ice cream cone.

I had this inner battle of what I "should" be doing, what I "need" to do, and what I really wanted to do. 

And then I thought of what I'd just written on my blog---about The House at Pooh Corner and how, as Kenny Loggins puts it, "I've wandered much further today than I should, and I can't seem to find my way back to the wood."

Well, I didn't want to wander further from the wood. Having an ice cream cone just might help me find my way back to being carefree.

Whoever said I had to write? Me.
Whoever said I had to exercise? Well, actually my doctor. But today? Me.
Whoever said I shouldn't have the ice cream cone? Me.

So what did I do?

I put the dog in the car and I went to get ice cream. 

I gave myself permission to be carefree. I turned my back on the "needy." Sometimes, you just have to do that.

I did not feel at all guilty while I ate my ice cream. I savored the chocolate, the coffee, the brownie pieces, the fudge throughout.

And you can see that Lucy was fine with not taking a walk.

And here's the funny part of all this. When I got home, I was cold, and the first thing I thought was, "Huh, I kind of feel like working out just to warm up."

 My daughter had given me this whole Zumba package, complete with "Zumba Sticks" (which, by the way, the dog thought were tennis balls for her to play with. But when she investigated further she wanted nothing to do with them either).

After going through the 500 steps to switching from the TV to a video, I started out marching, thinking, "Okay, I've done Zumba before. So far, so good. Marching is good. I can do this."

Can I just say that the instructors were no more than 30 years old with perfectly sculpted, spray-tanned bodies to kill for (mine never looked like that even when I was skinny)? They were able to move their bodies in ways I couldn't even figure out. It was sort of like twerking while standing up. And I felt like I was watching a dance competition or something. 

The "Shoulds" crept back in. 

"I should be able to do this. Why doesn't my body do that?" (BTW, it never did, even at 20).

Twerk Instructor was sweating profusely and I wasn't even breaking a sweat. Because I was pretty much still marching. I should be sweating.

Finally, I just did what I felt like doing. I was in my living room, for heaven's sake! Of course, the blinds were closed so no one could watch my spastic erect twerking attempts. I'm pretty sure that if I'd had a mirrored wall, I would have seen my mother.

Then, I just got tired of feeling like I was watching a performance and turned it off. I did a Pseudo-Zumba workout for awhile, but I started feeling like I "should" keep going, even though I was getting more annoyed at Fake Latina Barbie with her hip-hop outfit (really, one pant leg up and one down? The recovering OCD Mary was having a hard time with the imbalance of it all). It was time to say, "Enough." (She had to be fake: she blurted out, "Arroz con leche!"...Rice with milk?)

Leslie Sansone was my friend last week with her "Walk Away the Pounds" DVD. That's more my speed. And she's more my age. And she doesn't try to make me shake my booty. My booty shakes just fine on its own, thank you.

And here I now sit, in front of my computer...writing. Okay, so it's a blog, and not that book proposal. But I'm writing.

When I gave myself permission not to do what I thought I "should" do, what I "need" to do, and instead did what I wanted to do, I discovered that I ended up wanting to do what I "should" and "need" to do after all. 

I wonder why that is.

Could it be that once we take the restrictions away from ourselves and grant freedom to ourselves, we stop rebelling?

I don't know. And of course, it doesn't always happen this way. Sometimes I do what I want and remain slothful. Sometimes I do what I want and shirk my responsibilities, and then suffer the consequences. 

But sometimes, sometimes, you just have to find your way back to the wood and let yourself be carefree. 

Evict the "needy!"

What about you? 
What have you repeatedly told yourself you "should" or "need to" do?
What would happen if you just did something that you want to do (within reason/not sinful/in moderation), and turned your back on the "needy?"
Do something fun today! Give yourself a break!

Blessings Along the Path,

sharing this post with Arabah Joy at Grace and Truth,, Laura at Faith Filled Friday, Barbie with The Weekend Brew, Janis with Sunday Stillness, Deb at Blessing Counters, Laura at Playdates With God,  Terri at Good Morning Monday, Holly with Testimony Tuesday, and Kelly with #RaRa Cheerleading


  1. Oh, Mary! I have started watching belly dancing for beginners this week and my back just hurt every time I follow the "simple" basic steps. Why are these Arabian women still smiling and why are their movements flawless while I'm right here struggling to "feel the flow" of my arms? Haha. As far as I can remember, my ortho told me to go swimming and biking but she never mentioned belly dancing so I guess that answers the pain on my back.

    I think I need to turn my back on the needy so it will happen to me to---wanting what I should do. I guess that's how it usually works. We crave for something we feel like we can't have. :)

    1. Belly dancing! Oh, that's not something I'll rush to do. Yes, the smiling drove me crazy too! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thanks for making me smile! I need to evict the needy. So blessed you licked at CMB. Enjoy a wonderful weekend Mary!

    1. I love making people smile...and laugh. And I got a chuckle from...what I hope was...your typo...I think you meant to say linked!

  3. "Could it be that once we take the restrictions away from ourselves and grant freedom to ourselves, we stop rebelling?" Oh my, that is the story of my life! :)

    Nice post, and I'm with you--Leslie is a much nicer workout partner. If you're going to do something as loathsome as exercise, it should be with someone you can relate to, yes? :)

    1. Thanks for stopping in, Rebeca. And I'm so glad someone else finds exercise loathsome!

  4. Dear Mary! I am finding that I am really terrible at time management. It's time to write. Um...well...maybe I should eat something first. (ice cream!) Maybe I should do blog stuff first. Maybe I should exercise.
    I feel the pull and the push of writing, that's for sure. Maybe giving myself a break and doing something else that I want to do will help. It sure helped you. I'll have to give it a try!
    (My friend LOVES Leslie Sansone!)
    Happy Weekend,

    1. so glad that I'm not crazy when I feel the "push and pull" as you call it. And happy that others know and love Leslie! Since walking is what I typically do outside, it makes sense for me to continue it inside. I don't typically go outside and try to twerk. Someone might call an ambulance thinking that "this neighbor woman is having some sort of attack." thanks for stopping by, Ceil.

  5. There is so much about this post that made me smile and had me shaking my head in agreement. Yes, Leslie Samson is more my speed because my body also shakes without help and yes I love to write and would want to choose that over exercise. But the lesson is allowing God to lead us to Him and to shine for Him and in order to do this being healthy is important and spending time with Him is important. Love this and your Pooh post! :)

    1. Thanks, Mary. I really enjoyed your latest post (about darkness). Thanks for taking the time to read my posts.

    2. Thanks, Mary. I really enjoyed your latest post (about darkness). Thanks for taking the time to read my posts.

  6. ugh yes, you're hit my sore spot. We did this 21 day junk food fast in which I cheated approximately 22 days or thereabouts. Sigh. I struggle in this area of my life. I do get what your'e saying though. It's almost this "don't tell me what I can't do." kind of attitude. Just let me "choose" to not have it. But then I don't ever choose to NOT have it except for maybe one day. Double UGH!!!!

  7. I love this, thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays, keep on writing :-), Blessings