Friday, March 29, 2013

Things I Learn from a 10 Year Old


Yesterday my daughter was snubbed a little by some of her friends.   They were busy doing “middle schooler” things and she wasn’t included and it hurt her feelings a little.   I saw her sitting outside on the driveway by herself, and IMMEDIATELY my stomach tied itself in knots and I felt like crying.   I was certain she was miserable, and that her pain must be excrutiating.

I called her inside and talked to her about what was going on, and she responded calmly that she knew they were her friends, and that sometimes it isn’t cool to hang out with younger kids, but she was fine.   She knew they’d be back together soon.

I was dumbfounded. 

Seriously kid?   Isn’t your heart breaking?   Isn’t your world ending?    Don’t you feel like crying?   I’M HERE FOR YOU!

She was okay.    A little hurt, but not broken.   Not devastated. 

I sat and stared at her.   A little amazed.   And then it hit me.   I was projecting my own feelings onto her situation.   

When I saw her being “left out” I immediately remembered my own hurts from childhood and expected her to have the same response.  And what I saw, wasn’t the little girl who thought she wasn’t good enough who took the rejection and relived it over and over in her head.   Instead, I saw a little girl who recognized that she hurt a little, who didn’t necessarily “like” it, but was confident enough to know that it didn’t change her relationship with her friends.    She was able to understand that it was one moment in a lifetime, and it didn’t even occur to her to define herself by it.

Wow.  

I’ve done something right.  I’m raising a strong little person.   And I think it might not hurt to note, that I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t take a page from her book, and just let things go.   

Life lessons from a 10 year old.   There you go.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Changing Story...


If you read my last blog, you know that there have been some things in my life that I “wished” would change, and one somewhat insignificant one was that I wished I wouldn’t sweat so much when I was at the gym.   I know….weird, but as a girl who has always had a tendency to “pit out” it’s something I have worried about for a long time.

Anyway….I was talking about it with some ladies at the gym, and we were laughing a bit, and then one gal who is relatively new to our group said something to me that I can’t get out of my head.   She said, and I’m paraphrasing here…

            “You need to go back in your memory and find the moment when you started telling yourself the story that this is a BAD thing and see why you’ve carried it with you for so long.”

Now this struck me, and I actually looked her up on Facebook to message her a thank you for inspiring me to think differently.   It had very little to do with me sweating, and everything to do with me looking at my past and realizing that I have created some of my own self fulfilling prophecies. 

I’ve put a lot of thought into this over the past several days.   It’s challenged me to look at some stuff, and I have a few things to say.

I have uncovered some very personal things this past few days, and perhaps I’ll be up for writing about them soon, but what I want to say is this….

I take responsibility for my life.   I accept it.   I own it.   I love it.

I know that things have happened to me, and I have had hard experiences that have shaped who I am, but I think I needed to be reminded that this life is MINE.   I need to remember that I can control what influences I choose to believe or not to believe.   I am a grown up, and I am a logical thinker, and I am tired of believing some of the bullshit I have repeated over and over in my head for years.  

I want to change my story.

So…today I am going to begin a conscious effort to rethink how I talk to myself.   This one statement by a near stranger helped me realize that not only had I wasted a lot of energy over the past 40-ish years worrying about something as insignificant as sweat, but that this negativity was a pattern.  Some things are out of my control, I get that, but THIS one thing….how I want my story to go from here…..THAT I can control.  

 I don’t believe in fairy tales.   I know there are going to be times that I will start to listen to the old negative mantras.   But I also finally believe that I am deserving of a little positivity from myself.  

So next time you see me walking out of the gym all sweaty, just know that I’m owning it, I have earned it, and I’m okay.  That’s how this story is going to go from now on.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wishing vs. Hope....Does Change Lie in a Word?


 I wish I could wake up in the morning and not obsess about how I was going to face my day with exercise and food.

I wish that I loved my body the way that it was, so that when change happened I could look at it and go “huh, that’s new” instead of “it’s about time!”

I wish that exercise was always joyful, and that I never had to haul my ass to the gym when I didn’t feel like it.

I wish I didn’t always leave my workout looking like a sweaty mess.

I wish that I had found the strength when I was younger to tell all the people who fed my issues to go to he**, and leave me alone.

I wish that the world wasn’t so focused on appearance, and was MORE focused on how we treat one another.

I wish candy and chips were free food in Weight Watchers instead of fruits and vegetables.

I wish….

But that’s not getting me anywhere, so here’s another approach.

I HOPE that tomorrow when I get up tomorrow I can be a little nicer to myself, and try to give myself a little compassion for where I am in the world at this moment.

I HOPE that in the near future, I will be able to see that even though my body isn’t necessarily at a weight that I love, that it is STRONGER than it has ever been, and that it can achieve so many wonderful things.

I HOPE that when I go to workout tomorrow, that even if I don’t WANT to be there, I will recognize the strength it took to just GO, and that I will find some joy in the fact that the ladies I’m working out with make me laugh a LOT!

I HOPE that when I leave the gym tomorrow all sweaty and gross, that people look at me and think, “Damn….That chick must work her ASS off.”   It’s my sweat, and I EARN it each time I work out.

I HOPE that from this day forward, I can stick up for myself and only allow people in my life who hold me up, rather than break me down.   I deserve that.

I HOPE that I can make a difference, however large or small, in the way that people around me view beauty.   I HOPE that I can help them recognize that beauty comes from being a good and caring person and not just from having a pretty face or model's physique.  

I HOPE…..well…..chips and candy vs. veggies and fruit?   I may not be able to achieve this one, but I HOPE that I can continue to do MY BEST with feeding my body what it needs, and not my negative thoughts with what they THINK they need.

We’ll see.   Hope vs. Wishing.  Maybe changing that one little word can help me move past where I’ve been sitting for a while.  I think I've had a lot of wishes in my life, and some have even come true, but I'm wondering what my prospects might be if I faced each day with a little more hope.   

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I'm Tossing the Map


Sometimes looking back on things makes you especially thankful for what you have.

Today is Jason and my anniversary, and over the years we have made it a tradition to watch our wedding video to remember that day.   We watched it with the kids tonight, and after that they begged us to watch more videos of them as babies.   It was a lot of laughs, and some very poignant tears as well.  We were glad to see the happiness, yet sad to see those faces of those who are no longer with us.

We wrapped it up and moved on with our night, but I have to say, I have been left with a feeling in my chest that is somehow a cross of sadness and extreme gratitude.   I know I have written about gratitude before, but tonight, it just feels like something I have to do.

I know that on that day 12 years ago, I had so many thoughts about where my life was heading.   Jason and I had mapped out so much of what we THOUGHT would happen, and believed that we would be able to share so much of our lives with the ones we loved.    We had a PLAN, or a map of sorts, and we were on our way to the life we had always dreamed of.

I know now, that living life with a predestined roadmap just gets you nowhere.   It wasn’t long into our marriage that we realized that our map was no longer readable.   We lost someone very close to us, had a baby, and I quit my job.   Nothing was happening the way we had plotted it.  

And through many challenges, from Andy’s health, to our own at times, from money, moving, job changes, and starting new, we have found our way.   We have found a path that although not mapped out, is comfortable and easy to follow.   We don’t always know what is around the bend, but we know that if we are facing it together…we’ll be fine.  So there’s the gratitude…

But I also said there was sadness. 

As I write this though, I think perhaps the more correct feeling is one of lingering nostalgia.   I have nothing in my past to feel sad about, but I think I hold a small amount of nostalgia for that time in my life when all was new and shiny, and when I still had the luxury of thinking I could control whatever life might bring my way.  

I do not regret one choice or one minute of my life.   There have been moments that I thought I would never survive, and moments of unimaginable joy, and all of these moments have come by walking the path of this life that I have chosen for myself.  I was lucky that day that I walked down the aisle.   I had a dream of a wonderful life ahead of me…..and although the life I have lead doesn’t resemble THAT dream in the least,  it has proven to be much more.   I am happy.   My family is healthy.   And we are blessed.  

I think tonight I may have finally tossed that original roadmap out the window.   Maybe seeing all those wonderful memories allowed me to see that this “road less traveled” has brought me to an even better destination and helped me to understand that as time passes (and it always does), dreams change.   So rather than try to map it out for myself from here, I'm going to trust in my instincts.   After all, they've brought me to this place.....and I'm happy to sit here for a while.