There was a time when if I had music on, chances were good it was a John Mayer playlist. These days, it’s most likely to be Ed Sheeran.
(I like charming men who play the guitar and who can hold a melody against my inevitable harmony. Anyone who knew Jonathan will recognize that I was lost with his first chord.)
Like every other human on the planet, I go through phases… and I evolve.
Not “evolve” like “My god – she can breathe underwater!” (although wouldn’t that be cool?). I mean that time and experience teach us things. If you have a dog, you learn to put your shoes away and not leave them out, a target for gnawing slobber. That’s not a fad; you evolve to make a permanent change. If you have a car, you keep an eye on the fuel tank and fill up before you hit dead empty – maybe even filling up before you’re terribly low because the weather’s going to turn nasty and it’s nicer to stand outside waiting at the pump when the wind isn’t stripping heat from your bones.
But sometimes it’s tough at first to distinguish the difference between a fad and an evolution. Maybe the only difference is time.
I’m thinking (of course) of fitness. I’ve gone through exercising fads, and far more dieting fads. I’ve held to them with rigid determination… until I failed in the plan, in which case – hey, that Ed Sheeran’s music is GOOD. I’m putting John Mayer aside for the moment.
(Translation: No more exercise. No more diet.)
My fads are characterized by intensity – by the aforementioned rigid determination. I focus all my will on the effort, and it’s hard to divert me. Until, that is, something succeeds in diverting me. At which point, game over. No second life.
But in an evolution, failure is just part of the process. Sometimes the dog DOES steal my shoe. Sometimes I find I’m gassing the car in the middle of a blizzard. Yet neither of those things is permission to stop correcting that behavior.
(I’m working this out as I type.)
So here’s my quandary. Is my current determination to improve and maintain my health a fad? Or an evolution? Do I trust it will continue?
In more practical terms – do I throw out the size 22 pants?
Day-to-day events weigh on the side of evolution. I’ve missed fitness sessions at Body Dynamics; I’ve skipped the Home Exercise Program; I’ve eaten entire containers of ice cream AND KEPT WORKING ON FITNESS.
But my sense of self shies away from that. I’ve always been fat; I’ve always hated exercise. I have a supermodel brain and a hausfrau body. To even THINK that my progress could be – sheesh, I can’t even write the word “permanent” without looking for wood to bang on or something to fork the evil eye at. We don’t tempt fate that way. Don’t say that out loud. As Al Swearingen said in “Deadwood”, “Announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh.”
I hope I’m evolving to better health. But John Mayer thinks it’s a fad.