The Moments That Define Us

Unfortunately, I have to be a little cryptic today.  Sorry for that.

Today, I’m really appreciating the person, a person who I love very much, who was pretty rotten to me this weekend.  The words you said were ill-informed, judgmental, and mean-spirited.  I was initially very hurt and mad.  However, you gave me something to think about and in doing that I realized that I have a lot to be proud of.  The last 4 years of my life have not been perfect.  There has been struggle, but there has also been a lot of personal growth and accomplishment.  Never before in my life have I been able to list out load things that I am proud of.  But I can now.  Never before have I felt as though I could do anything.  Now, I know I can.

I’m sorry, if you are unable to look past the imperfect things about my life and focus on the good.

I’m sorry that I am not successful to your standards.  Fortunately, through this incident, I realize that your approval doesn’t matter one whit.  Your inability to be happy for me and excited for my future, it turns out, does not diminish my joy or my drive to better myself.

There have been 2 people in my life who have ever said they were proud of me.  I remember the exact moments it was said and why it was said.  The nice thing about the pride and confidence that I have found is that I can choose which moments to be defined by.

This is a moment that will define me, not because of the hurt, but because I’ve grown so much as a person, a woman, a mother, a human… that the tears, although welled behind my eyelids, did not fall.

Wherein I Issue a Challenge

I’ve never felt my age, despite the fact that I was forced to grow up a little faster than most.  Because I was forced to mature before I was ready, I made a lot of mistakes.  I didn’t always live up to my responsibilities or take advantage of the opportunities that were put in front of me.

After moving away from home, having my daughter, getting married, getting divorced, purchasing a home, and having my son, I’m finally at a point where I can confidently say that I am a responsible adult.  I still don’t feel my age, but now I think that’s a good thing.  I take good care of my kids, I pay my bills (as best I can), I’m a law-abiding citizen, and I work hard every day.  I’m finally getting comfortable with my “adult” status.

Despite being responsible and fairly successful in nearly every area of my life, there is one I have almost failed in.  Me.  I certainly am old enough to know what I need and what I want.  I know what is best for me and, in most cases, I know how to get and/or do it.  My willingness, however, is just not always there.  It’s the age old tale of mind over matter I suppose.

Take this example:  I know that if I get out of bed when my alarm goes off, I will have time to brew a pot of coffee, put away dry dishes, start a load of laundry, and then sit in silence with a cup of coffee for about 15-20 minutes.  I’m confident that most moms can tell you how heavenly that sounds.

I also know that I can turn that alarm off and just lay back down in bed.  If I do that, I can have another 30 minutes of barely-asleep sleep, which doesn’t even sounds as good!  But, you can guess which I choose more often than not.  Despite the fact that getting up with my alarm would be more beneficial for me in myriad ways, I usually don’t.

I’ve been kicking this post around in my head for a couple days, and then today I came across this post, which speaks directly to my point.  Why do we consistently choose the option that will not make us happiest?  Is it simply a case of not having enough mental fortitude?  I don’t think it is.  I’ve done things I though were impossible for the sake of my children and family.  I can do it for me too.

I’m going to make a concerted effort to make the choices that are better for me, and I challenge you to do the same.

Summer Fun

I’ve been making an effort to live up to my resolution of getting in better shape this year.  I’ve been taking a Zumba class once a week and am also taking a gym glass 2 nights a week (a requirement for my degree.)  The other days of the week I try to take the dogs for long walks or do yard work.  Basically, I’m trying to get physical activity in every day, which is a huge change from my previously sedentary lifestyle.  All in all, I feel great.  I’m definitely sore and am feeling muscles I haven’t used in years, but I also have a lot more energy,

For the first time in a long time, I’m looking forward to summer.  I’m excited to do things with my kids.  Already this year we have been getting out more.  We walk to the local ice cream shop.

We’ve been to visit our friends the chickens at the local farmers market.

We’re testing boundaries on the playground set.

And, we spent time splashing around in the creek.

It’s been so long since I’ve felt excited to get out and do things and not be worried about whether I’ll have the energy or if I’ll be worn out after 2 hours.  Every smile from my kids is incentive to continue to get healthier.

Thoughtful Thursday {2}

It’s Thursday and again I’d like to take a  minute to point out a post that I have recently read that touched me or that I found thought provoking in some way.

Today I came across this post (which was linked up through the Just Write exercise) by Jenny over at Super Mama to the Rescue!

I’m linking to it today mainly because I feel like I could have written it myself, and I KNOW there are so many moms that feel this way.  It’s so important to remember that when we look at others peoples’ lives from the outside, we’re not seeing the whole picture.  No one’s life is perfect.  We are all doing the best we can.  And that is good enough.

Here’s to the Supermom in us all.

Just Write – The Club

I’m taking a physical education class for my degree program.  Since I’m very bad at names, and because I’m relatively shy and have a hard time getting to know people past first impressions, I tend to remember people by their role.  This class has been chock full of characters.

Of course we have the Token Gay Guy.  He is as gay as the day is long.  He’s hilarious and very entertaining.  At least once every class I will hear him exclaim “I can’t do that!  I’ll die!”  I know it’s not funny if I say (or type) it, so go find the nearest gay man and have them do it.

College Sophomore Barbie is taking the class while home from her “real college” for the summer.  May be it’s my own insecurities, but I feel like she thinks she’s lowering herself to take the class.  She even went out of her way to point out in our “Hello, my name is” openings that she is taking the class to transfer back to her college.  She comes complete with a nose piercing, sorority rush t-shirt and turned-up nose.  See?  I just don’t like girls.  Oh, and she’s not even cute.

The Class Clown is a guy in his mid-20s.  He is totally annoying in a really cute way and I have to admit he brings some levity to an otherwise trying class.  So far he has done all the standard jokes:  flirted with the teacher, fake farted during planks (I hope it was fake any way), and is forever the over-exuberant “isn’t gym class fun!” cheerleader.

Then there is the Lovable Oaf.  He’s the one who strolls in 10 minutes late to class, with his book in a plastic grocery store bag and has to borrow a pen from the teacher because he has no writing utensil.  But we forgive him, because he’s just so lovable.  See:  Lovable Oaf.

There’s always at least one Mysterious One in every group of people.  In this case it’s a girl, probably in her early 20s.  I haven’t heard her say a word.  She shows up for every class in sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt and never takes the hood down.  I don’t know why she wears a sweat suit.  She doesn’t need to lose weight and she’s obviously very fit as she has no problem with any exercise we do.  Hmmm, mysterious.

Even in college you have the Teacher’s Pet, alternatively named, “Hi Over Here Please Pay Attention to Me!”  This is the girl who prolongs class by asking questions no one needs the answer to.  For example, we have a paper due the last day of class.  She of course needed to ask if she could just do it right away and hand it in early… why?  Right?  Why?  This is also the girl who always seems to have on a shirt that (oops!) doesn’t fit quite right for a gym class and omg it keeps just slipping down my shoulder and look at my stomach that keeps showing because of my inappropriate attire.  ugh, puke.

Luckily the girl who sits next to me was outgoing enough to strike up conversation with me during one of our warm-up walks.  She doesn’t have a role because I actually bothered to learn her name.  She is a single, independent, nursing student.  I like her so much I am trying to hook her up with my brother-in-law.

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This is an entry for the 37th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing.  

Thoughtful Thursday

One of the current discussions/trends I’ve noticed on Twitter these days is the topic of commenting on blogs and the general movement away from longer posts and stories on blogs.  Given the ease of Twitter and Facebook, this is of course understandable.  But it’s not okay.  Isn’t the point of blogging to tell your story?  In hopefully more than 120 characters?

I’d like to take time on my little blog here to point out posts that I have read that touched me or that I found thought provoking in some way.

This week I read this post by Leese over at God has no Problems… Only Plans.  

While, I don’t normally read religious or faith based blogs, I happened upon this one through the Just Write exercise.  I think it’s a sweet story and a reminder to all of us, faithful or not, to do our best to be a saint to others.