Rooted in change…then and now

Transformation, alteration, renewal, metamorphosis….constant change is a certainty of this human experience.  Stubborn resistance may root us in place.  Still, the very change that surrounds will also change us.  Why resist?  We are forever becoming.

I was playing a little game with a friend, we were giving each other a number, and we had to share the photo from our phones that matched that number.  He asked to see the 10th picture of only me.

The 10th picture of only me sent me spinning with shame and embarrassment.  I could not show him this one.  However, I promised…no cheating.  Before sending the photo, I let him know that this was taken at one of the worst times of my life.  My ex-husband had just told me he no longer loved me and wanted a divorce; my precious daddy was dying after a 12 year battle with Alzheimer’s.  The picture (which is here for all the world to see) was a clear image of a lady who had no love for herself and her eyes held a deep sadness, despite the smile on her face. The only reason I share it is because I am trying to practice what I preach…vulnerability and transparency. In this moment, I also share in hopes of diminishing the pier of shame this photo holds.

This precious friend heard my shame and replied with, ‘it’s just a selfie, look at your smile’.  Then he made me laugh with a gentle joke about chipmunk cheeks.  I never thought I’d giggle looking at that picture, but I did, and it was genuine.  However, I have obsessed over that picture since.  It’s not just that I hadn’t realized how much I changed, it brought back a rush of painful memories.

I remember the day the man who was the only love I’d ever known told me he was leaving.  I was inundated with feelings of unworthiness, disposability and fear.  For some reason, I made a little video on my phone to myself.  I guess to commemorate the day.  I very clearly stated (to myself) that I wanted to learn to love myself, no matter who else loved or didn’t love me.  That my friends, is the journey of transformation I have been and am still on.

My timehop today reminded me that at this time last year, I had lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers.  I then stopped Weight Watchers, and started doing my own thing.  It’s called the ‘keto’ish but not all the way because life is too short to not enjoy ice cream” diet.  Clean eating pretty much, low carb, very low sugar and almost no processed foods.  In doing this, I have lost another 28 pounds.  This makes 48 pounds gone!  I should be so proud.

Rather, my first reaction was “wow!, but I have so long to go.”  I began a laundry list of all the men who would like me better if I had a better body, and of how life would be different if my ass matched my sass!  (Borrowed from a favorite meme).  Somehow, I stopped myself in the middle of my negative recitation.  I wondered to myself, “what will it take for me to be good enough?”

I asked myself what I wanted.  Easy.  I want to love myself.  As is.  I want to believe I am enough and honor that deeply, no matter where I am on my journey.  I want to be excited about the work I am doing for ME while enjoying who I am right in this moment.

I want to practice gratitude, for I have so much to be grateful for.  I am here, breathing.  I am a miracle, just as we all are.  Life is the celebration!  I have two legs that are strong and lovely, and they get me where I want to go.  The gift of walking was taken away from me in 2009 and I had to relearn that skill at the age of 35.  How dare I fuss that I am not enough?  My heart is strong; it is full of love, life and laughter.  I can easily exercise on the elliptical for 35 minutes without rest.  I might not be the most graceful, but I am me and I am a masterpiece.  There is no one like me, ever, anywhere.  I am blessed in every way, I want to remember this every second of every moment of every day.

I want to realize that when someone asks me out on a date, they are every bit as lucky to have time with me as I am to have time with them.  It is not settling to be with me, it is a gift, for I am pretty damn cool.  I want to stand in this truth.  It changes my choices, it changes everything.

I want to show my kiddos who I am at my core and that we are ALL capable and worthy of beautiful, positive, transformation…their Momma included.

There is so much joy in the transformation these days…one day the pain will be nothing but a motivator for better.

 

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Determined

My Stella is a glorious, wise 14 year old. Being her momma is an honor, and she makes life more fun.

She and I were on the bikes at the gym this morning. It was the last 1/2 of my workout and my mind started it’s little “I don’t wanna” conversation. My legs are burning, I can’t, this is too hard, etc.

I looked over at Stella and she is peddling hard. Her expression was sheer determination. She caught my eye, took out one earbud and said, “mom, your ride is almost finished, you need to dig in and push through to beat yesterday’s mileage!

And all of a sudden, I forgot about my negative inner dialogue, dug in, pedaled hard and pushed through.

That Stella is a tough coach but a natural motivator. I was thankful for her encouragement (a little scared too!).

Tonight I’m laying in bed making a mental list of all the things I have or have not pushed through. I can’t think of one thing that didn’t have more value as a result of my pushing through the temporary discomfort or pain to get to the other side.

Just a little encouragement…remember the pain or discomfort can act to propel us to a higher level and help us learn so much.

Keep going.

A Heart Kind of Hip

this is a post I made last year and I think it’s worth a re-share.❤️

In honor of the heart kind of “hip”…..

I just read a well written, light hearted article from a local magazine that targets families…mostly moms and kids. It was chock full of wisdom from ‘hip’ mom’s who answered such questions as: Where do you shop? What are you favorite cosmetics/hair products? Do you follow a fitness regime? Final tips on how to be hip? It ended, appropriately, by summing up the real secret to being the beautiful, hip woman…self confidence, poise, sense of self and sense of humor.

What is ‘hip’ anyway? The (hip) Urban Dictionary defines it as, “Beyond all trends and conventional coolness, cooler than cool, a pinnacle of what ‘it’ is.” Hmmmm…. I try to consolidate the array of emotions and questions that are welling up in me after reading this. Am I hip? Am I defined by hip? Do I have hip friends? Is there a hip club and am I part of it? What better way to absolve my ponderings than to interview myself on the matter?

Where do I shop?

I have heard of most of the places mentioned but I am not in a place right now where I can shop there. I feel a little bit jealous. I can tell myself over and over that ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter but the truth is I really love pretty clothes. Why did nobody mention shopping in your Momma’s closet? Thankfully, I have a Momma who has great style and it’s a privilege to borrow from her. Oh yes, and sisters too, my personal fashion mentors.

What are my favorite cosmetics and hair products?

I love make up and I love skin care, perfumes and hair products? Currently, I am using the last of my Mary Kay Timewise skincare…unless I’m too hurried in the morning and when I have energy left at night. Morrocan Oil is my favorite hair product, and though I love fancy, delicious smelling shampoos, we are on a Suave budget in this season. Strawberry Suave reminds me of being a teenager and whipping my blonde locks strategically so the cute boy next to me would be held captive by my pheromones. The pink bottle of Chance by Chanel is scrumptious, and I’m savoring the last portion of mine. My most favorite products are the fabulous lotions and soaps I got from my sweet Kindergarten class at Christmas. One of the little angels in my class asked me, “Mrs. T., why do you always smell like that?” (I was a little fearful but asked anyway), “Why do I always smell like what?” He burrowed his little face into my shoulder, wrapped his arms around me and took a big whiff. He looked up at me with twinkling eyes and a smile and said, “when I do that you always smell so really dood (good). Winning.

Do I follow a certain fitness or health regime?

I laugh! Regime indicates some level of consistency, right? I walk for days in a row until I don’t. Then, at some point I start all over again. I drink hot lemon water each morning and my skin looks fantastic, then I run out of lemons. I journal furiously for my mental health and then I stop. On the upside, I laugh, cry and pray daily…those things are essential to the fitness of my heart and health.

Additional Tips?

Tips to myself….

1) Hip looks different in my world. While I agree that self confidence, poise, sense of self and sense of humor are indeed awesome assets, I know from personal experience that it’s quite possible to present these on the outside and not feel them on the inside. That pretense is exhausting. Hip in my world is authenticity, transparency, joy, grace, love, and being a safe place. Hip is living who you are on the inside, at your core, whether it is currently trendy or not, out loud!

2) I am where I am. You are where you are. Everyone in their own season. This reading has been a little prompt to remember that it’s okay to take care of me first, it’s essential if I want to keep my speed up. What does that look like? Tennis shoes by the bed so I actually remind myself to go walk. A little corner in the house to myself with a great pen, my journal, my Bible and whatever awesome book I’m reading…and a lovely candle with my favorite coffee cup. Grace. An overwhelming abundance of grace because I am human and that is sometimes very not hip to the untrained eye. Ah…but to those who see deeper there is deep understanding.

3) Remember always the truly heart hip women I know. Momma’s making their way through life and working hard to provide for their children. Momma’s living in the midst of horribly unhappy marriages but because the are afraid risking what that might look like in their social circles, they have become actors worthy of an Academy award. Women who struggle every single day just to get out of bed and keep breathing, everything within is a fight and every baby step is momentous. The precious Nana’s who are now caretakers for the loves of their lives and are letting their dreams of winter years die? The widows who all of a sudden have to make it without their mate? Momma’s chasing 4 little ones around 24 hours a day who are blessed to brush their teeth much less take a shower. A heartbroken Momma who has lost both of her grown children just years apart…both in car wrecks. A precious woman who deserves the best is coping with the worst prognosis.

These are just a handful of the women I know that are the pinnacle of what ‘it’ is. I know that the ‘hip’ the world sees can coexist with these…but given a choice I am going with the heart hip sister walking down the street. I recognize her. I see her. I see my reflection….and it is heartily hip.