So, a while back I wrote a post called The Push for Me talking about how I was going to start putting myself a little higher on my priority list. I’m still a classic people pleaser, but I have managed to carve out some important time for myself (and my family).
First, and most important, I no longer try to work off and on all. day. long. while trying to entertain a toddler in bursts. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out, but if I just work for the 2 1/2 hours that he naps each day I get WAY more done. So, welcome back sanity and peace of mind. I am throughly enjoying my mornings with Carter. I try to plan something each day that gets us out and into the world. At first it was a little tricky finding free things to do, but I’ve gotten the hang of it. I’m still not really sure about what to do on Monday afternoons while I clean the house. It’s a very trying time for the two of us. I’m cleaning and he’s doing all he can to wreck things to get my attention AWAY from cleaning. I understand what he’s doing, but the fact is that our house must be cleaned once a week. I don’t enjoy it, but it’s better than having no clean underwear and having my feet stick to the floor when I walk in the kitchen. I feel confident that one day I’ll be able to hire back our wonderful, wonderful housekeeper twice a month.
Then, I invested in some natural products for my skin and my hair. They are truly wonderful! (Thanks, Lauren, for lending me your smarts on this!) I never noticed what a difference all the “junk” in beauty products was making on my hair and face until I discovered something different. Now, I can actually feel crappy stuff on my face and skin when they’re there. I would take a picture with my laptop cam to show you the change, but I went to the gym this afternoon and I look like WHOA and you’d probably think “I can’t tell a difference.” so I won’t bother. I’m also firm on taking a multi-vitamin and 2 Omega-3’s each day.
This isn’t new, but when I made this lifestyle change (about 3 years ago) it really made a huge difference to the way I feel. I don’t eat junk. Now, I’m not saying that I eat salads and raw veggies 3 meals a day, but I stay away from processed, packaged, crapified food. I’ve learned to get a lot of pleasure out of shopping and cooking REAL food for my family. I think of it as preventative medicine for us all. Because we take the time and make the effort to take care of ourselves, we very, very rarely get sick and I believe that we’ll be in the minority when we’re older that’s not obese and not on some blood-pressure/cholesterol/heart medication that costs more than my car or house payment each month. (WARNING: HERE COMES MY UNCOMPASSIONATE SIDE — more on that later) While I am up high on this soapbox, let me just say that people who are constantly complaining about their size and fitness level but who do NOTHING ABOUT IT are really starting to get on my nerves. Either make the effort to get active and make better choices about what you put in your mouth or STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. “I don’t know how to cook” “I don’t have enough time” “I’m not organized enough” “I’m too far gone” Blah, freakin’ blah. Sorry. *slap on the wrist” Bad, Mandi. Bad, Mandi.
On a similar note, I got active. Not walk down the street and back active (though there’s certainly nothing wrong with that), but seriously butt-kicking active. Peak Fitness had (or has, not really sure) a special for $9.99/month with free childcare and free classes. I joined without really having a CLUE about how I’d find the time to get in there, but I am my mother’s child and I worked it out. 3 or 4 days a week (depending on what we have to do on Saturdays) I guard one hour for this workout time like a MAD DOG. This hour that I take for ME is spectacular. I have read 3 books while doing cardio so far and the time FLIES by. Carter has a great time playing and I’m changing right before my eyes. This week the LIGHT came through my legs and that was a big WIN for me. You people that have been skinny all your life don’t get this, but I hold weight in my hips, butt and thighs and with that curse comes legs that rub together when you walk. This era is coming to and end because I SEE THE LIGHT.
I really don’t even recognize my marriage today from what it was just 2 months ago. I made knowing, serving and trying to understand Jeff something like a job in my life and now, although I may not always agree with him, I feel like I know how to love him better. I’ve gone from wanting to trip him when he walks by and kick him in the butt on the way down to actually enjoying spending time TALKING to him again.
I don’t want to say that my life is perfect, because that’s a heavy word that means different things to different people, but my life is perfect for me. I am happy and content in all that I have, and though we’re still not sure how we’ll make that looming house payment each month, miracles continue to happen for us and we’re just fine. I still believe that the big miracle is still out there for Jeff’s level of business. He keeps telling me that he’s turning a corner and I believe him. I trust him to leave us each morning and use all the knowledge God’s given him to provide for our family. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am not worrying about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing something about it, but I’m not worried. I work as hard as I can each week to earn what I can for our family. I manage each dollar that comes in and spend them wisely. Two weeks ago I turned into a couponer (more on that later, too) and have cut our grocery budget nearly in half each week.
I turned 32 last week and on that day I had the hope that this year is going to be my best yet because of the blessings in my life and because of the hard work and good decisions I’ve made for myself and my family.