Lately I’ve been stuck on the idea of the “Phoenix version” things. For instance, my sucky couch could reach its Phoenix potential if someone fixed the broken arm and seat, added extra fluff, and gave it a new, unstained covering that was NOT removable. The couch would still be mediocre, but it would be the best couch that it could possibly be. I think all this Phoenix business started when we watched X3 not too long ago. Jean Gray as her alter-ego Dark Phoenix exudes bad ass. And she obliterates people with her mind.
Dark Phoenix is terrifying. The things I day-dream about aren’t so menacing. Like how could my apartment reach the Phoenix version of itself? Could I make it happen? Probably not. I’d need a professional organizer/decorator and they’d more than likely throw away most of my stuff. Trading Spaces style. The Phoenix version of my apartment would be worthy of day time television.
Then of course, there’s the Phoenix version of myself. Who is that person and how could I accomplish it? Would she be thinner? Smarter? Would so be able to maneuver simple stair cases without making an ass of herself? Yes. She would be all of these things. She would be the best at all her endeavors. She would be taller. Her hair would have an unnatural sheen that caused traffic accidents. Eh, wait a second. This doesn’t sound like healthy day dreaming any more. Because it’s not.
I’m not sure I would have come to this realization on my own, so I’d like to give credit where it is due. I follow an eating disorders blog written by Karen Koenig. Her posts are extremely insightful, and I can usually relate to exactly what she’s writing about. (Her blog is also on my blogroll for future reference). Her most recent post entitled “Fantasy versus Reality” discussed the ways in which day dreams can actually hurt one’s progress toward achieving mental health. The fantasy itself becomes a source of pleasure and comfort rather than acting as a true motivator. It can be hard to tell the difference between what’s healthy and what’s not. In my day dreams, I need to ask myself: am I visualizing a real future self and working toward that goal, or am I taking comfort in the fantasy of a future self that I won’t actually achieve?
In all honesty, I’ve been slacking on my health lately. Too lazy to exercise, too lazy to make a healthy lunch. My mind’s been dreaming of the Phoenix, but my mouth has been savoring Mac ‘n cheese. There’s a disconnect there that’s not going to help me accomplish my goals.
The Phoenix thing needs to end. It’s been fun envisioning my desk rising from the ashes as the best-kept, most well-organized desk of all time, but for my personal health, trying to come up with the Phoenix version of Brittney is not only absurd but counter-productive. That aside, even if one did “peak,” there’s nowhere to go but down. Focusing on realistic goals and continuing to set new goals to improve both body and mind is a healthier way to approach things. I’ll leave the Phoenix to Jean.