Stubborn Is as Stubborn Does

I never used to think of myself as stubborn. I was an easy going, laid back kid who most of the time never had to have her way. I was usually happy to do whatever my friends wanted to do. It wasn’t until I had Taylor that I realized “stubborn” comes in all shapes and sizes.

When we took him for swimming lessons around the age of four or so he wouldn’t do what he was told to do. There was no amount of cajoling or sweet talking or even harsh words to get him to put his head in the water, even if he did think the instructor was pretty. He was, and is, laid back and easy going. He doesn’t have to have his way all the time. But I can guarantee he’s not going to do something he doesn’t want to do.

Yesterday morning I asked Todd if I was stubborn. Without a moment’s hesitation he answered in the affirmative. I was shocked. I think I probably sputtered. At the very least I imagined he would have waged a war in his head before speaking.

Do I tell her the truth and risk her wrath? Or do I lie to appease her and make her happy?

With no thought to the safety of his person he just blurted out, “Yes.” A pretty brave, if not stupid move, if you ask me. He did go on to explain the difference between being stubborn and being spoiled. I’ll give him props for saying I’m not spoiled. (Though, truth be told, I AM spoiled, only because he’s made me that way.) But he said I’m stubborn because if I don’t get my way everybody knows about it.

EXCUSE ME??? I told him he has no idea how many times I don’t push the issue of what I want or how I think things should be. And frankly, when I do make an issue of something it’s usually because I think people are being selfish.

So then I asked if he thought he was stubborn. Instead of answering he said, “Wait a minute. This is supposed to be about you and not me.” O contraire, Mon frère. I was the interrogator and already had my list of questions prepared.

This time he responded in the negative. Again, I sputtered. He justified his answer by saying he can be stubborn at work, but not usually where the family is concerned. More sputtering and waiting for him to smile and say, “Just kidding.”

What I came up with is we’re both stubborn in our own way. I’d love to say he’s way more stubborn than I am, but I’ll concede that we’re each just as stubborn as the other.

There. In light of the fact this is my blog and I can say anything I want to, I believe that was very magnanimous of me.

Moving along…

Taylor may look like a blond version of his dad, but he acts like me in a lot of ways. His penchant for rationalization, for instance.

It’s called home work. Work you do at home. The teacher never said we had to hand it in.

If I wait another three days there will be more grass to mow, making it more worth my time.

Why do I have to watch the dog? I told you before we got her I would like a dog, but I was too lazy to be responsible.

Totally exasperating, and yet I get it. I rationalize everything. You’ve probably figured that out if you’ve read my blog for any length of time. I am the Queen of Rationalization. Not something I’m proud of, though it is a skill.

Yesterday morning I curled up in the big green chair with a cup of coffee and told Todd I was going to whine for a bit. I was just going to get it out and then be done with it. He was very gracious about the whole thing, wonderful (but stubborn) man that he is. My “bullet list” went something like this:

* I’m tired of my back hurting every morning when I wake up, making me sometimes get out of bed before I’m really ready to.

* I’m tired of the stiffness and walking like my grandmother when I get up after sitting for just a short while. Actually I never saw my grandmother walk like me.

* I’m tired of my feet hurting before I’ve even stood on them for the day.

* I hate that I need to be more diligent about taking calcium and getting exercise for my bones. My oncologist told me I WILL get osteoporosis before my time because of the medications I’ve been on and the lack of estrogen.

* I hate that I love good food as much as I do.

* I hate that I don’t like exercise like I did when I was younger.

What I hate the most is how stubborn I am about all this. I’m sure you all are getting tired of reading this recurring theme, but as I stated above – it’s my blog. I have carte blanche with what I write. And trust me. If you only knew the posts I’ve written in my head and chose to keep there you’d welcome my consistent complaining.

It’s like I have scales in front of me. In one tray I put “backaches”, “stiffness”, “joint pain”, “sore feet”, “osteoporosis”, “discomfort” and “overall health” and in the other tray I put “yummy food” and “inactivity”. The first tray far outweighs (pardon the pun) the other and I didn’t even put in the vanity phrases such as “fat clothes” and “depressing photos”.

I just don’t get it. Why am I so stubborn? Or maybe I’m just spiteful. I know I would be so much better off if I would eat better and exercise. And it’s even more important with my history. A better diet and activity could prevent or head off so many problems and it can also alleviate so many other issues. I’ve been through enough, thank you very much.

So why don’t I just get over myself and do what I know I have to do? It’s about so much more than what size I’m wearing or a number on the scale. It’s all about being the healthiest me I can possibly be and being around long enough to watch my grandchildren become parents.

Of course I’m spewing all this out only five days before our vacation. If you think I’m going to take all this to heart while I’m in Hawaii you are daft, man! Am I rationalizing? Probably. I’m okay with that, though.

It’s all about changing the way I think. And getting rid of my spiteful, stubborn self. I’ll think a lot about that while I’m lying on the beach. Maybe I’ll be inspired there and when I get home BAM! I’ll start training for the Iron Man. It could happen.

Plain and simple, I don’t understand how I could go through surgery and chemotherapy to be healthy and yet I can’t make myself stay away from fattening, sugary foods for any length of time. I allowed people to pump poison through my veins and yet I can’t make myself walk for 30 minutes every day. Eating right and being active is so much easier than going through treatment. So what’s my deal??

To round out this post, my deal is that I’m stubborn and I rationalize everything! Guess I know what character flaws I need to start working on.

I don’t think I like this self-realization stuff.


  1. Katybug on July 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    HEY! Who said you could have my title of “Queen of Rationalization”?? You and I are too much alike, and for that, I apologize. The one thing that kept going thru my head as I read your post? To all that good stuff I know I should do: I DON’T WANNA!!!

  2. Cheryl Wray on July 7, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    Just look at it this way…you’re not stubborn, you’re just strong-willed. Which means you are strong and independent and that’s all good, right? :-)I don’t think you should ever hate yourself for loving good food. That’s one of my life’s great joys! 🙂 (As I sit here and eat some homemade ice cream I just made. lol)Have a great night!

  3. His Girl on July 8, 2008 at 12:35 am

    oh, I have been so mad at myself too lately. what is up with knowing consequences and not avoiding them? I have been very disciplined in my life- why not now?hmmm. I think I need to talk to God a little bit about that.

  4. CindyS on July 8, 2008 at 5:25 am

    This will probably come out wrong but THANK YOU!! Your post on negative self talk (Hi, I’m your Queen and it’s mandatory that you adore me) and now this one just go to show we are all struggling with so many of the same thoughts and issues.I don’t hate people who have all their stuff together. I don’t hate skinny people (unless it’s natural, then I’m not a happy camper), or those who love, love, love to exercise. I figure there is some demon (or doubt) driving the behaviour which is again, Bad Cindy.My hubby’s best friend is married to a woman who is all about natural and healthy eating. In the end, his best friend feels the need to lecture us on the way we eat and how we treat our bodies. Meanwhile, he can’t see that the number of beers he drinks in a day is also a problem. And I’m not saying this to be mean to his wife because I just love her but I noticed two scars on her temples recently and my hubby thinks she’s had a boob job. Not that we’d ever hear about that, just that we don’t eat right.So I think everyone has some inner turmoil that makes them like you and me (rationalizers – I deserve that large order of fries). While others are fighting a battle you and I don’t understand. My best bud is organized, neat and perfect (people who have lived with her tell her she’s too hard to please) and believe it or not, she struggles with those impulses that tell her she *must* clean that sink right this very moment. I guess in the end, there is less ability to be spontaneous when you are like this.Okay, now that I’ve stolen your blog i’ll give it back 😉 Just know that I love your posts and I’m usually nodding along going yep, yep, yep.And when you get to Hawaii, you put your swimsuit on and rock it! I’m much bigger than you are, I have a pool and you bet people wish they never had to see me in a swimsuit. Too bad. I’m having fun and living life to the fullest.Have fun and live life to the fullest Jenster!!CindyS

  5. lahdeedah on July 8, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Man, do I relate to this post. I’ve got to squeegee myself into a swimsuit this summer, too, and would kill to lose 8 pounds by August 9. But am I killing myself to do it? Sort of. This constant, daily pressure to be something I once was is a slow, agonizing death 🙂 I’m with your friend: Rock that swimsuit in Hawaii, and don’t spend a minute making your trip less fun by thinking about what you could be instead of what you are, which is smart, funny and stunningly beautiful.

  6. Jenster on July 8, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Have I told you ladies how much I adore you lately?? Because I do. I really, really do!

  7. Lynilu on July 8, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    You said it well when you said stubborn comes in different disguises! Stubborn can be falling down, kicking feet, wailing fits of stubbornness or it can be refusing to put one foot after the other for 30 minutes. You and I fall into this last category …. with occasional slips into the former for me!! LOL! Self-realization is only good when we like the outcome. Yep.:D

  8. Becky on July 8, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do”?I’m right there with ya! Dern sin nature. Always a battle…uphill. Ugh. The good news is that the Lord can give us the strength to fight victoriously in these areas if only we’d talk to Him about it.I know this only because I’m struggling with some of the same things. Mostly annoyance with myself that I have to go back and RElearn things that I used to know and do well (discipline in exercise and eating right, for instance). And I’m pretty stubborn about backtracking.Hey, do your feet hurt mostly in the mornings or after you’ve been sitting for a while? To the point where you have to hobble around?

  9. radioactive girl on July 9, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    I sometimes think that because we are “supposed to” exercise, I want to less. I am stubborn and can rationalize just as well as you. In addition, I am not good at doing what people tell me to do. I am rebellious like a little kid and often find that when my doctor says I “should” do something, I don’t want to. Even if it was something I wanted to do in the first place. I’m not saying this is you too, just throwing out another thought on why it is so difficult sometimes.

  10. susan on July 9, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    It’s scary how much of myself I recognize in your post. Why is it that we can’t just harness all that stubborn energy towards something good? You are SO going to rock in Hawaii!

  11. The Daily "B" on July 11, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    I am so behind, as usual. Stubborn is as stubborn does! I am the MOST stubborn person I know. Check this out…”Time has a way of demonstrating that the most stubborn are the most intelligent”I can believe that! Or I can try to fix this… hmmm lol

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