Friday, June 28, 2013

My body is awesome!

My body is awesome. No really, it is! It produced two healthy, intelligent human beings, it gets me through each and everyday, it can jog 4 or 5 miles in extreme heat (southern or western), and while I can't wake up and decide to climb a mountain with no training, I *can* do most moderate exercise and activities without giving it a second thought.

Do you know it took me until AFTER college to feel comfortable in my own skin. And I didn't make peace with my body until I was 34. That's right, 34! It wasn't until my husband moved out of town for work and I became a temporary single mother and something HAD to go that I decided I wasn't going to worry about the number on the scale because my awesome body was getting me through the physical and mental challenges I faced each day.

I *know* 3/4 of the women who read this are saying, "Easy for you to say with a slim body like that." And the other 1/4 of you are saying, "Well thank goodness, I am thinner than you!" THAT STOPS NOW. We cannot keep comparing ourselves to each other AND especially to what we see in magazines. I am never going to be on the cover of a magazine for my body, and I am fine with that. What I am going to do is put my energy into being the kind of wife, mom and friend you all want to know and be friends with. My life is more than a what shows up in the mirror and the number on the scale.

I want each of you to stop reading and think of 3 things you like about your body. Now think of 3 things you like about your mind. And 3 things you like about your personality.

I know several young women who think its okay to tell me their exact calorie count each day as well as their exact amount of exercise. THIS IS NOT OKAY. If you want to have a conversation about being healthy or strong, I'm there for you. But no longer will I listen to talk about altering what is in the mirror or on the scale. I will comment on any post or tweet or saying you make putting your body down, because you are not only putting yourself down, but all women. and we all deserve better.

Everyone reading this is smarter and stronger than they know. Do not let  anyone make you feel inferior based on your looks or your intellect. You are perfect right now. And I want you to keep striving to be the best possible version of yourself. But please don't base that on a magazine cover. Base it on the qualities you want to see in other friends and families. We owe this to each other and to those who come after us. No one should wait until they are 34  to be comforable in the body they were born in.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Everyday sweetness

Remember when you got done with work and the whole evening stretched out before you?

Yep, before kids. A lifetime ago. Or in my case, two lifetimes ago.

Now when I get done with work there is: picking the kids up, letting them "relax" while I clean the kitchen & do laundry, help with homework, make dinner, eat dinner (sometimes a huge feat with a picky eater), clean up after dinner, catch up on bill paying/cleaning the rest of the house/preparing for tomorrow, get the kids in the shower, get them dressed and teeth brushed, read bedtime stories, lights out, spend some time with my husband, our lights out.

Our current bedtime reading selection
Still, there are moments when time seems to stand still, suspended in cotton candy like sweetness: Reading bedtime stories is one of my favorite times of the day.
Saying prayers and I hear the best part of the day was "bike riding with mom," or "when mom took me to the park."
My 10 year old still asking for a kiss or hug at bedtime.
Hearing my children read aloud.
The made-up songs rising above the shower.
Whispered plans for an imagined kingdom.

Even at the most tiring, monotonous moments I think my heart will burst from the sweetness of it all. Then I am called to referee the most recent fight and snap out of it. Until then though, I will keep the sweet moments as a buttress to the negatives that threaten to pull me down and be reminded of how good life really is.