Yesterday my sister said to me, “All or nothing is better than nothing at all.” She’s right. I was coming down hard on myself for skipping Ashtanga class for two weeks, even though I’ve only just begun my practice.
I was talking about it with my sis, and I said, “I am so all or nothing.” She explained that she’s exactly like that too. Maybe it’s in our genetic makeup. Maybe some people are just like that, and it’s ok.
I had to remind myself that it’s ok yesterday, after making it back to class and realizing that skipping for two weeks wasn’t going to get me further into the primary series. I was mad at myself. Why am I all or nothing? I go big or go home. Then I sit at home and get into a whole other mode of — I don’t want to call it laziness — but just doing things other than getting up at dawn for yoga.
The thing is, I used to be all, all, all — all of the time. I was so rigid with my routine that anything coming up in life preventing me from my daily four-mile run would stress me out to the point of giving me a stomachache. I was classic OCD. The kind of person who would wash my dinner dishes before eating my dinner, letting my plate get cold on the table so I could at least sort-of enjoy it knowing the sink wasn’t full of pots and pans.
I’ve grown a lot since those days, and I have to remind myself I should be PROUD I’m not like that anymore. I can let things slide off my back. I can leave the dishes in the sink. I can skip Ashtanga for two weeks and know I’m still physically strong, doing other things to maintain my good health.
Maybe I’m not “all or nothing.” Maybe I’m just … normal. I think there will always be that OCD devil sitting on my shoulder saying, “Damn you, Rebecca, you slept in instead of going to class AGAIN!” But hopefully more often than not I can crank my neck and blow really hard to get rid of that jerk of a voice whispering in my ear.
There’s no reason to be mad at myself. No one is perfect. Even the old me, who vacuumed the bathroom floor every Friday morning before work so I could come home at begin the weekend without having any more chores to do.