Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The Seriously Ugly Truth
So this is me. No make-up, hair not even dried, nothing. I am smiling, which made this picture not quite so bad....but it is certainly not flattering. If I was really bold I would put up a picture of me in a bathing suit....but, thankfully, I am not that courageous.
I celebrated my 32nd birthday 2 days ago. I have never been bothered by birthdays, not even the big three-oh. I just figure it is one more year living my life, and so far those years have been pretty darn amazing. But this year something was different when I woke up. I don't know what changed overnight, but something sure crept inside my insane-in-the-membrane head and tried to ruin my day. We went out Saturday night for dinner with some friends and had a great time. Lots of good food, drinks, and plenty of laughs. I fell asleep feeling pretty good. But come Sunday I was a totally different person. I woke up and cried. I cried in the bathroom, I cried making breakfast, I cried in my coffee, in the shower, while getting dressed. I cried off and on all day. I held it together for a bit, while my family came to visit, but I cried again after they left. I felt like I was back in the weeks after I had my babies, when I could bawl at every little thing. God bless Alex...he just gave me plenty of hugs all day and kept his thoughts of my lunacy to himself.
By Monday I was feeling much better. I had some tears when Alex left, mostly because Georgia had a breakdown when he was getting in his car. But overall, I was in a much better state of mind. So I have been trying to figure out where all the sadness and tears came from. I am an emotional person, but usually I can figure out where the emotions are coming from and what to do with them. So here is what I can come up with, and forgive me if I start to ramble.
I think I am mainly upset over how I take care of myself, or rather, how I really don't take care of myself. Now I am a mom of three young children. I know that with that job title comes a lot of self-sacrifice. All moms do it. We make sure our children nap and get to sleep by the right time, but we go to bed after midnight and get up with the sun. And most nights we have been woken up at least once during that 5-6 hour stretch. We give our kids healthy, balanced meals, and our own dinner consists of a diet Coke, a string cheese, and some peanut butter on a spoon. We make sure our kids are involved in activities they enjoy and have playdates with friends. But we are lucky if we are able to read a few pages out of a book every day, let alone meet up with a friend for coffee. I get it. It is what moms do for their families. We give of ourselves all day long in order to create caring, intelligent, happy little beings that will, hopefully, take care of us one day.
I am just like every other mom out there, who really doesn't put herself first, or even 14th, on the priority list. But I think that on Sunday I figured out just how upset I am with myself. I really need to put myself back on the to-do list, and pretty high up on it. I need to eat better, exercise, lose weight, go to bed earlier, go to the doctor, read more books (of the non-parenting variety), and just do more things because I enjoy them, not because I have to. I need to set a better example for my kids about how to live a healthy life. I have never been a very thin person, and I don't think I ever will be. I have no delusions of becoming a size 2 and prancing down the beach in a bikini. But I used to be strong. I was healthy. I felt good when I woke up in the morning and was proud of what my body and its strength could do. I want that feeling back. I am so vigilant about taking my kids to the doctor for all of their appointments, yet I have not had a physical in over 4 years! I don't even have a primary care doctor. I make sure my kids go to gymnastics, swimming, music, etc. but I have a hard time setting aside 30 minutes for me to read a good book.
I think all of this hit me like a freakin' 40-ton brick wall when I woke up on Sunday. I am 32, and I have no idea how to take care of myself. I have been so busy trying to do the best I can for the rest of my family that I have forgotten that I am a part of that family, and a pretty damn important one at that. How can I help my daughter grow up feeling good about herself, if I don't feel that way myself?
So today I have decided that I am going to make some changes. I am going to eat healthier. I am going to move my body more. I am going to get my butt to the doctor to make sure that I know what I need to know about my health, and can change my lifestyle accordingly. I am going to set aside time for myself everyday. Time without TV, the computer, the phone. Time to just relax, have a cup of tea, take a walk, something.
I have a long life ahead of me. I have a lot of people who depend on me. I want to show them what an amazing, self-confident, happy me looks like. Cause my kids won't remember if my make-up was on and my hair was perfectly styled when I dropped them off at school. But they will remember whether I had enough energy to go to the playground, or if I half-assed my way through life. I want my kids to see a mom that they are proud of, not because of what size pants I wear, but because I care enough about myself to make sure I am going to be around for a long, long time.
Here's to birthdays.....and hoping this year only gets better.