I just finished cleaning my bathroom floor. While that may be a task that is tiresome and uncomplicated, it wasn’t for me.
If you’ve been following, you’ll know I recently met a goal of significant weight loss. Along with this comes new adventures long lost. I get to wear shorts and feel comfortable in them. However, my legs are almost neon white. So I got a little spray on self tanner to help out. It had a bronzer in it and when I sprayed it on my shins it looked fantastic. So, I kept going. A little spray here, then even out this part there. I ended up spraying my whole body, even my back. I used the entire spray can. (I just want to add it looked great.) I let my skin dry and went to bed.
I woke up and looked in the mirror. I thought I still looked great. Then I went into the bathroom to shower. My white tile floor was a rusty brown color. It didn’t look nearly as great as I thought my legs did. Here I was tonight, cleaning up the bronzer off the floor. It came up fairly easily, but I had to mop three times and to the point where I did part of it on my hands and knees. As I was cleaning, I thought that perhaps I was the only person who would’ve done this. This is not my first episode of cleaning up something or putting it right after I’ve gone a little overboard.
I pondered why I continue to do things like this. As I was cleaning, it became a little housework therapy. I was not exactly pleased with what my end conclusion was. I have Bipolar Disorder. I have experienced life in the extremes. Just like the mood swings between depression or mania, so have other things been in my life.
I view things black or white. There is no gray for me. In fact, that gray area makes me uncomfortable. The middle road is often unfamiliar to me and feels like a vast wilderness with no direction. I know I can deal with things when they are super powered and to the extreme. I’ve had to do it and in a way I welcome the challenge. I can focus all my energy and thoughts on that one issue or thing. The problem with that is that the rest of my life suffers.
I like to look at my life in a positive way. Even if something is unpleasant, I re-frame it in my mind so that it something good will come of it. For example, losing a job can be horrific, but it may be God opening up a new chapter in your life or helping you grow personally. I categorize life’s areas into degrees of good.
There is a saying that a little bit of a good thing goes a long ways. I couldn’t help thinking today that a little bit of bronzer certainly went longer and further than I could have imagined.
One cup of coffee is so nice, but too much and you’re jittery and have diarrhea. One piece of chocolate is delightful, but a whole bag of candy makes you feel sick, you stuff your emotions and you gain weight. Forty hours of work a week pays the bills, but seventy-six hours a week and you have no social life and you wear yourself out. One glass of wine is tasty and a social event, four glasses and you can get a DUI. One date with your new significant other is so fun, but fifty in a row can ruin the relationship. Sex feels great, but too much and you lose the emotional intimacy and it becomes commonplace. Even the good things in your life can turn and bite you back.
The problem with always having something good is that you want more. You want to top that “good” and make it excellent. I don’t think we should settle. I just think that we have to balance out our focus on the good things so other areas don’t fall into decay.
I tried to think of something that was good that you could never get enough of. Prayer came into my mind. Certainly we can never pray enough. But God never intended us to only pray and perhaps isolate. He does want to commune with us, but He never meant for us to be alone. You have to be with the Body of Christ and go out and touch people’s lives.
Life has to be balanced out. I realize my brain works a little differently than others. Perhaps I have allowed it to color my view on reality. Sometimes life has been very hard for me, so I do allow myself to have and do good things without feeling guilty. I give myself a break from the cruelty that can be life.
I know that if I keep things maintained in other areas, just a little bit, my whole life runs smoother. I think this concept comes naturally to some. However, you don’t have to have a mental illness to live life in the extreme areas.
The middle of gray can be downright boring. Instead of going with gusto at your current passion, you have to think first. That’s no fun. If you can stop and think for a second, your goal can be reached faster and you can go further.
When you travel in the black and white areas, you miss out on the calm serenity of the gray. You can be blinded by the white so you don’t see things you need to do. The blackness can cause you to stumble and get caught in the weeds.
Slow and steady can win the race. One day at a time…
I’m not really someone to go slow and taking one day at a time seems fruitless. I want to take ninety days. If I can stop and smell the roses, I will appreciate where the gray road takes me even more. That one piece of chocolate will be enough to satisfy me. I won’t dread work, because it isn’t consuming my life. I just need to take a moment and breath. Do things for the experience and not for the end result.
If over spraying self-tanner can get me to think about this and change my life for the better, than I am one lucky person. I might just buy another can, but spray with moderation in mind.