Getting fit and staying fit really didn’t become a huge priority for me until my late twenties. It was after I had both my kids, after I figured out that my body wasn’t just going to snap back into shape without some effort, that I started going to the gym. I’ve always been pretty good at watching what I’m eating and only splurging a little bit/keeping away from temptations, but exercise? Not so much. Then one day I joined the gym (because they had free daycare, duh), and took some classes, and saw how strong I could be. I learned that I could push myself really far, do so much more than I ever thought possible, and be that girl in the gym who could lift crazy weights and run fast and be AWESOME. And you know what? That feels really good. It’s something that I do for ME. I like to push myself and KNOW that I can do it. I like being able to stay fit and realize that it is attainable to have kids and still kick butt in the gym. I wasn’t always like this (I’ve always been an indoor, no sports kinda girl), so finding out later on that I actually enjoy getting sweaty and working out hard is pretty surprising. It makes me feel powerful and strong and invincible. Who wouldn’t want that?
Another achievement that came on later for me was realizing that I didn’t really care what other people thought of me. This sounds sort of selfish and weird, but I think woman especially work way too hard worrying about what other’s think of us. We care about boys and everything that comes from that (and man, that’s another post topic for another day!), to how our friends perceive us, to parents/coworkers/kids/etc. Now don’t get me wrong, I obviously DO care what my friends and family think of me, but I try not let the opinions of others cloud how I want to love my life. I like to dress a certain way, so I do. I like to do a zillion and one things that are particular to just me, and I refuse to apologize or change myself. Does it make me happy? Does it hurt anyone? Do my actions directly affect anyone in a negative way? No? Then hey, I am going to rock my life the way I want, because it is MINE. It all comes down to trust. I trust my own opinion, and I trust that my decisions are best for myself and my family. All other opinions are just noise, and don’t really count.
My last two, kind of work together in a way that makes my life so very enjoyable. They are fostering friendships over decades and through different states (and countries!), and being close to my family. These relationships, they sustain me in a way that is different than my husband and children. The span from the second I was born (mom!), partying through college and pledging sororities, to suffering through deployments and living this crazy military life. These people, and you know who you are, are my lifeline to survival and sanity. Sustaining the intricate web of family ties, and creating new ties with those that we choose to love is a gift, and I don’t take it for granted, ever.
Tell me, what are your favorite life achievements?