Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guilt, and Nostalgia

Today I started exercising! For the first time in a while... I got out the wooden box and did some step-ups and 5 lb dumbbell exercises. Of course I listened to old hard rock CDs while I did my workouts, and realized how much I miss just being able to hit the workouts as hard as possible, look at my body in the mirror while I'm exercising, and not be disgusted at all the flab. I don't mind not being "sexy" at the moment... sure I miss being "sexy"... but right now what I miss is having actual muscle, agility, strength, endurance, energy... qualities I sorely missed while being pregnant and now I'm anxious to get them back! Again, right now all I want to do is get back into martial arts... to have the feeling that I'm preparing and strengthening my body for something that is essentially intense and worthwhile. I've never been able to motivate myself to exercise simply to "look good" or "feel good..." I need to TRAIN my body, not just burn calories... and maybe I will make my goal to be in shape enough to start martial arts again in a year or two, when my baby is old enough to be left with friends for a couple hours on a regular basis. I miss my "workout high" and I miss the social interaction, the intensity of the training, and the acquisition of badass skills.

I pretty much started my day by going out to milk the goats and feed animals, but when I got back inside I had a healthy (ha ha) helping of ice cream and chocolate chips, and sat around surfing the web and reading for a while... then T (my baby boy) fell asleep and I cuddled with him for a while, but couldn't drift off. This guilt kept nagging at me. I'm being lazy. I definitely didn't feel guilty for spending time with my boy... I felt guilty for sitting around on my ass.

Most people think of guilt as a bad thing. We are told we "shouldn't feel guilty" about this or that. And, usually, I don't. I find guilt to be a waste of my time, and usually don't bother with it. In fact, I believed it to be completely useless, (after all, if you are true to yourself and make choices you believe in, there's no use feeling guilty about it) until this morning, when I realized that guilt can actually be an effective motivator when it's healthy to do something that I have no wish to do. (Like exercise.) Is it possible that every human emotion or instinct or feeling has a purpose and can be beneficial? Or are there some feelings that are completely devoid of benefit altogether? I like the idea that every human emotion/instinct/feeling has a purpose, and it's the utilization of that purpose that makes the "feeling" beneficial or an obstacle... in other words, it's our choices, not our makeup, that determines what kind of benefit we get out of life. Still, there are some "feelings" that I can't see as having any real benefit, such as aversion to people different than oneself. It's a common human tendency to avoid "different" people and co-mingle (or think highly of) only people who are similar to oneself. However I can't think of a present-day situation when that tendency would be beneficial. (I.E. the upsides outweigh the downsides.)

This poses an interesting philosophical question that I will have to ponder in more detail before I formulate an opinion.

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