There are days I get out of bed feeling like I could conquer the world. It doesn’t take long for my mind and body to start wearing me down. The thoughts of you’re not good enough or strong enough or worthy enough sneak through the crack of the back door. My body then starts whispering you can’t do this, you will fail, why even try?
I’ve learned so much about myself in yoga class. I’ve discovered that there are days I am a badass and others I cannot even come close to bending over and touching my toes. I’ve learned to be patient and to have a sense of humor when I realize the part of me that wants to achieve something is not always the part of me in control. I have learned to accept my limitations but at the same time not allow them to permanently hold me back. I’ve learned that some days I can and other days I can’t and at the end of the day not to beat myself up because tomorrow’s another day.
Last week my yoga class practiced an arm balance. I got into position but then sat down on my mat. My back hurt and I couldn’t get my leg where it needed to be so I gave up before I started and didn’t even try. Last night I did some yoga outside and during my workout I found that amazing place in between my body and mind. That place where anything is possible and nothing is holding me back. Then it happened without thought or need for effort. That pose I couldn’t even attempt a few days earlier came easily to me as I smiled quietly to myself. That voice that says no you can’t was replaced with oh yes you can. That body that once felt weak and shaky was solid and strong. You can learn so much about yourself if you have the courage to keep trying without fear and judgement. It’s okay to rock today and crawl through tomorrow. There will be good days and bad days but it’s imperative to love and accept yourself through both. The world is your stage. You just have to have the courage to show up.
I decided to take a small break as I got down on my belly on my paddleboard today. I just rested there for a moment, eye level with the water as it danced and sparkled from the reflection of the sun. I was at total peace as that board slid effortlessly across the water. It occurred to me how different I might feel if I was submerged in the water and swimming along. In life we have a choice to fight the circumstances placed in front of us or to just go with the flow. I’ve spent years fighting and battling things I would never be able to change. It was exhausting and discouraging and sent me into a depression I’ll never forget. When we learn to breathe and relax something magical happens. When we trust that we are safely on the board untouchable by what lies beneath, we find the balance we need to glide on through. Resistance is a tough thing. The more we try and fight it the more resistance we create.
Today try and float. No struggle. No resistance. Just flow.
Sometimes life feels a little boring and I have to stimulate myself a bit to prevent sleep walking through the days instead of living through them. That feeling of being totally alive is a feeling that I crave. I felt it at the Grand Canyon and as I caught a glimpse of Santorini for the first time. I felt it when my daughter swam her goal time at high school states last year. The everyday tasks take over sometimes and before I know it, I am smothering underneath the routine. This month I am challenging myself weekly to do something outside the norm to keep it interesting. Today I ironed. I know it sounds crazy but it is something that I rarely do except in cases of extreme emergency. Now when my daughter comes down looking like a million bucks instead of like a wrinkled mess, I will high five myself and carry on. What do you do to keep life interesting?
I went to see Bad Moms this afternoon. I started thinking about the facade some work so hard to put on to impress the people in their lives. I cannot recall the exact day that I admitted to myself I was not perfect and allowed that to be okay. I gave myself permission to just be me and own it all. I have good qualities, bad qualities, strengths and weaknesses, I make mistakes and I don’t try and cover them up. Often times I use those mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow. I forgive myself for my bad days, inadequacy and continue to do the best I can. The amount of freedom I experienced once I started to admit and bring attention to my own flaws allowed me to find a new sense of calm and confidence that I believe to be unshakable. There is no such thing as perfection and at the end of the day, who really cares about what anyone else thinks? When I stopped explaining myself and started owning who I was I found a happiness that I never knew existed. I live for me and by my own standards and I don’t ever try and measure who I am by someone else’s opinion of me. Do I care what other people think? Of course I do but at the same time I am not defined by anyone else. Truth is, sometimes I feel like a bad wife, a crappy daughter and probably the worst mother in the world but guess what? There are times I feel pretty fantastic too so I must forgive the bad days and look ahead to new days. Tomorrow always offers another chance to get it right so I will keep on trying.
With all the attention over athletes not putting their hand on their heart during the playing of our National Anthem at the Olympics this year, I realized something simple we may have overlooked. The lesson came in the form of an innocent text from my 14 year old son. He snapped a picture of directions explaining how to set up a password for a school account. It explained to use initials+birthday(month, day, year). Example: oh022016. It seems like a no brainier right yet he actually needed help. Apparently, I never taught him the month of January was month 1. It seemed so obvious to me so I assumed he must have known. I wonder if the athletes were in a similar position. Maybe they were never taught what was proper form and the whole idea of them being purposely disrespectful was not the truthful narrative at all. To be honest, I did not know putting my hand on my heart was required and maybe, just maybe, our athletes didn’t know either. I really believed standing at attention was enough until I googled the US Code National Anthem that clearly describes what is appropriate and what is not. Sometimes we have to give people the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes it’s necessary to lead by educating those who do not know instead of embarrassing and humiliating them. What do you think?
I am overly ecstatic this morning. It’s no surprise I have had a horrible experience with middle school but last night I went to meet my sons teachers at the high school. The two schools could not have been more different. The first teacher expressed that she is not a fan of busy work or homework. The geometry teacher said there would be 5 problems of homework a night compared to 25-30 a night last year in algebra. If you follow my blog you know that my son, along with myself, would sit at the kitchen table doing work from the time he got home to the time he went to bed. It sounds like this year we may just find the balance we’ve been looking for all along. I am beyond excited for this new year to get going and I am ready to put the past few years out of my mind forever finally move forward. It is really all about balance and when everyone is on that page and you can rest comfortably in that sweet spot, life can be really wonderful.
I do. Those are the words I spoke when I stood on the alter 18 years ago on this very day. I was 27 years old then and I had no idea what I was agreeing to. As time went by, the silly notion I had of marriage was replaced by the reality of what that kind of commitment really means.
I do meant saying less and doing more. It meant holding my tongue in moments of anger and learning patience in the midst of frustration. It meant learning to overlook the piles left on the sink, the counter and around every corner. It meant losing myself as I raised small children and getting up early on days when what I really needed to do was sleep. It was learning to clean up throw up and everything else that was left on the floor. It was watching my babies go off to school and lying awake crying at night because of the struggles they were going through. It meant watching the smile on my daughters face as she passed her drivers test and feeling my heart sink the first time she drove away. It meant long hours of school work helping Chase at the kitchen table and years of fight with schools to get him the help he really needs. It meant waking up on Christmas morning and thanking God for the family that was gathered around me. It meant recommitting to our relationship and fighting hard to get it back after we let it go astray. It meant traveling to wonderful places and making memories that still put a smile on my face. It meant fighting through depression on the days I didn’t want to get out of bed. It meant loving people on days I felt I didn’t have an ounce of love to give and finding the right words on days I didn’t want to speak. It meant being faithful and trusting the man I chose on this journey of life was the right man for me. It meant respecting him and loving him and building a friendship with him that was like no other. It meant allowing him to know my heart, my fears, my dreams and trusting he would still love me at the end of the day.
I had no idea then but I know more now. Life is hard. It is amazing but there are times that will test and rip you apart and those are the days you have to softly repeat, I do, I can, I will. It’s reminding myself on a daily basis that we are in the same boat and it is up to us to row or watch it sink. It is choosing to be on the same team even when it feels like we are playing different games.
Happy anniversary to my husband who I love and appreciate more every year. I pray we will celebrate many more.