Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Growing pains

There is a voice in my head that is three years old. She whines and cries when she doesn't get her way. She laughs and cuddles when every thing is right with her world. Let me tell you, 'right' is a very relative concept.

Sometimes she gets on my very last nerve.

She wants chocolate and cake and candy bars. No. No carrots. No broccoli. Maybe some grapes. Grapes are sweet. Yum. Ooooo, apples? Apples for pie? Apples for cake? And I try to be nice. I try to say, 'no no now Jessie' (don't any of you ever call me that. I'll cry). 'That will make your tummy hurt.' Or 'Sweetie if you eat that you'll be hungry again in ten minutes!' And more along those lines.

Sometimes it just gets outrageous. Three-year-old mental me lays down on the ground, tears streaming down her face, and pounds on that floor for all she's worth. She cries. Screams. Then she's screaming so long she can't remember what she's screaming about, but she knows she needs to keep on screaming. 'CAKE!' She howls. 'I want chocolate,' she cries.

Sometimes I break. Sometimes I walk to the kitchen and try to find something that will satisfy her. Before, that used to mean baking and eating an entire pan of monster cookies. My excuse? I'll bring them to work. Sometimes I walk away and let her cry. Let it all come out. Then, when she's calm and rational we'll go to the kitchen if we're still hungry and have a banana.

This is what is hard for me. I like immediate satisfaction. If I want something, I don't like to wait and save and be patient. In that respect I'm very much like a three-year-old. I want it now.

There are days when this constant battle wears on me. I hope for the day when sugar-filled treats don't call to me and I turn to them with reckless abandon. (You didn't know this was a romance novel, did you?) I want to be that so-called normal. But then it hits me. Normal does not mean eating an entire pan of cookies. Normal does not mean living my life satisfying my every craving and desire. Normal means growing up and living a productive life.

It's hard. Growing up sucks - at times. It hurts and things are accomplished through trial and error more than we care to admit, but in the end, every time I walk away from toddler mental me I feel better.  A small victory. Every time I cave, I still try to make it count. One piece of chocolate. One cookie. One mini candy bar. They aren't the best options, but they get me through the day with minimal damage, and they allow my mind to focus on my next run instead of my next fix of sugar.

How does the song go? "Growing up is hard to do." But so worth it.

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