I’ve let a lot of things slide lately – my health, my friends and family, my blog. When I’m working 70+ hours a week – multiple weeks in a row – sometimes it feels like I can never be caught up with everything else. I work so hard because I know that it’ll help me get where I’m going financially faster. Sometimes I find myself questioning at what cost? Am I scarificing myself in the short term to get where I want to be long term? Is there a way to balance everything?
Here’s the thing though – I’ll figure it out. I’ll figure out how to keep my health on track even when I know I can’t make it to the gym. I’ll figure out a way to stay in better contact with my friends and family, even if it’s just a quick message to let them know I’m thinking of them. I’m continue to write in this blog because it’s one of the things in life that has always helped me clear my head. When you love something, you hang onto it. You hang onto your friends and family because of that love. You have to hang onto your health too – hang onto where you want to go and what you want to be and who you want to become. It’s able figuring out how to be the best you there is.
Sometimes learning to love my body is about figuring out how to accomplish everything in a day and not feeling guilty over making sacrifices in order to get to where I want to be. It’s about not having guilt about going to the gym or missing a day at the gym. It’s about understanding that taking care of my body is one of the single most important things I can do. It’s about figuring it out – how to balance jobs and gym and dogs and family and friends. It’s about the choices I make when I’m not at the gym and realizing they’re just as important as the choices I make when I’m at the gym. Learning to love my body is about figuring it out – no matter how many times I stumble and fall. It’s about getting back up every single time. It’s about taking care of myself every single day.
There’s an entire playlist in iTunes devoted to ‘love’ on her phone, yet she’s never been in love.
Pinterest is filled with love quotes and engagement rings and wedding inspiration and ideas for the children she longs to have, yet she keeps this a secret.
Her favorite shows rarely have to do with the actual show and instead involve the love story that is often secondary.
A list of kids names in hidden in her phone and she wonders if she’ll ever get to use even one of them, if the children she longs to have will be named from the list she’s kept for years.
She puts up a happy face for all the world to see, claiming she’s too busy to find time to settle down.
Still, she wonders if the problem is her – perhaps she’s so uncomfortable in her own skin, that it makes everything else impossible.
Her only goal is to live a happy life – learning to be comfortable with herself, however, she still longs for more.
My dad gave me a lot of advice when I was growing up, advice I still find myself clinging to some days. The earliest piece of advice I remember was to “always laugh at funerals.” Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions like I did when he spoke those words to me, let me explain the reasoning. My dad told me that funerals are supposed to be a happy time because your loved one has met Jesus and that’s pretty cool. Funerals are sad for those of us left on Earth, but they’re a joyful time for your loved one because they have finally met God. He made me promise to not cry when he died, but instead, to laugh and be happy for him.
I remember when my dad died – a memory forever ingrained in my brain. I remember thinking of my promise to him – to laugh instead of cry. I must have cried a million tears since that fateful day my world turned upside down. However, I didn’t cry during his memorial service – partly because I was too exhausted to cry anymore tears and partly because I wanted to uphold my promise to him.
Fast forward a few years and I was recently faced with one of the hardest funerals imaginable – a baby funeral. I went to support the friends who are family. Like so many times before, my dad’s words played in my head.
I didn’t laugh this time. Not that I’ve ever actually laughed at a funeral, but usually my dad’s words help me keep my emotions in check. However, as I sat there looking at that tiny coffin, thinking to myself that I didn’t even know coffins were made so small, tears started to well in my eyes. And when I watched the baby’s father lean over to kiss the coffin, I couldn’t hold back anymore. My heart was absolutely breaking for the pain of this wonderful family who lost their baby way too soon.
I don’t think my dad ever meant that you should actually laugh at funerals – that’s rude – it was his way of trying to help me deal with the numerous funerals we attended when I was a child. He often told me how when he died he wanted to be sitting up in his coffin with a camera so that as people walked up, he could tell them what he thought of them – and I would laugh every time. My dad had a sense of humor about everything – even life altering things like death. He was so firm in his belief in God, that death didn’t scare him – and if it did, he never let it show. Even so, as an adult, his words still ring in my head, and although I know it’s okay to show my emotions, remembering that my dad told me to laugh helps me to stay strong and support those around me when they need it most.