One of the joys of getting older is making peace with aspects of your personality.

Introversion is a significant one for me – learning I’m an introvert and embracing this part of myself has brought me self-acceptance, freedom, deeper relationships, happier work, and the ability to truly enjoy simple pleasures.

But there are other things about myself I’ve always fought, things I’m only slowly coming to terms with.

Like certain mind-body resolutions I keep trying to make…

Rueful Celery

Recently while in the throes of a brief I’m-gonna-eat-healthier hallucination I bought celery. Almost immediately I regretted it.

For one thing, it didn’t fit in my crisper, instead needing an entire shelf that rightfully belonged to leftover pizza boxes.

For another, I knew even as I placed it in my basket that I was never ever never gonna eat it. I knew it, the other items in my basket knew it, the check-out lady who gave me a look as she placed it in my bag with the Tim Tams and the Cheese Twisties knew it.

Sure enough, their sad sludgy little carcasses eventually had to be retrieved from the fridge, their celery destiny mournfully unfulfilled.

There’s no failure like celery failure.

Serenity Now

Another mind-body resolution I periodically torture myself with is the idea that I’m going to develop greater mindfulness.

Mindfulness. The name itself is a turn-off for people like me, whose minds are already so full as to be the cerebral version of a Hoarders episode: Serial Killer Edition.

Still, I’ve tried, even downloading meditation exercises and audiobooks. They didn’t work for me though. The narrators spoke so slowly that I had to play everything at triple speed, and to be honest that made me feel even more keyed up.

Also chipmunk voices can be quite detrimental to achieving a peaceful mental state.

Resolutions
Slowly relax, while I nibble on this leafy snack. Mmmm… yummy.

Noga

Then there’s yoga. Every couple of years I become convinced I’m going to take up this ancient practice.

I study the timetable at my gym. I select classes that fit my schedule.

I purchase yoga pants (this is apparently the correct term for those nifty 90%-chance-of-overeating leggings). Sometimes I make pious announcements on Facebook about my impending yoga-fication.

But I never ever never go.

When hot yoga became all the rage a while ago I really believed this, finally, would be my way in to the elusive world of Downward Dogs and Half Lord of the Fishes.

But then I had a crisis of confidence – was it only the instructor who was hot, or were participants also expected to exhibit a certain level of allure?

Terrified at the prospect of a bouncer at the door, lifting the red rope only for those who met stringent hotness criteria, I decided it was better to stay home and google pictures of Christy Turlington wearing cute yoga outfits in various asanas while I snacked on peanut M&Ms.

The Zen Of Mind-Body Failure

All my failed mind-body resolutions begin in the same way: There’s a frenetic phase of purchasing accoutrements, scheduling classes, downloading apps. There is stress, and expectation, and fervent attachment to hoped-for results.

And then, very simply, I fail to turn up. I consume nil celery stalks and activate zero almonds. I quietly delete the class times from my calendar and uninstall the relaxation apps from my phone.

The yoga pants are wordlessly relocated from my gymwear drawer to the lounging-around-watching-Netflix drawer. Yeah okay drawers. My body and I enter a tacit agreement to not speak the Y word or enter the fruit & veg aisle again for at least another year. A peaceful, nirvanic silence descends.

almonds not activating
What is the sound of no almonds activating? Ahh! Enlightenment.

You, astute reader that you are, may notice that the process of accepting my essential non-yoga-ness, non-celery-ness, non-mindful-ness has a distinct Zen quality to it. It’s like an out-breath, a gentle release, a letting go.

This, dear friends, is the miracle I’ve discovered.

For it is in making peace with the essential truth of my tragicness, in accepting my inner hopelessness, that I have transcended life’s existential despair and entered a state of peace.

That is, at least until the next resolution.


NOTE: An earlier version of this post originally appeared at MicheleConnolly.com

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