Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thankful Thoughts . . .

What moved me this week?

One of my most defining moments as a young mother was when my youngest entered first grade. I remember that morning very well. At that time I had been a mother of preschoolers for 16 years. (I have 7 children -- my eldest was 10 years old when my youngest was born.)  As I thought about this moment ahead of time, I was so excited to enter this new phase of my life. I knew I would have more time to myself than I ever had as a mother and, frankly, I was looking forward to it.

I remember walking into my daughter's 1st grade classroom {her warm little hand in mine} and her teacher looking up at me with knowing eyes and a warm smile. I was well-known in the school at that time. Six other children had passed through first grade by then and "we" had had this particular teacher before. Jillian's teacher bent down and greeted her, then stood up, looked me in the eye and said, "And how are you doing Mom?" I couldn't utter a syllable. The realization that my youngest was entering school full time and I would no longer have a little buddy at home to keep me company during the day had hit me the moment I stepped foot in the room. I was close to tears for a full day. The next day I pulled myself together and realized how fabulous it was not to have to plan my daily schedule around nap times and feedings, and I contentedly went forward. 

This week that same daughter came home to roost. She and her husband are moving back east for law school in the fall, but in the meantime we get to enjoy them for the summer. She'll be birthing her own little one in June, so it will be a full summer. I was moved this week when I realized that things have gone full circle. I have my little buddy back home full time to keep me company during the day. I'm so grateful it moves me.

What inspired me this week?

I turned the corner this week ... or picked myself up from the bottom of the barrel ... or hit bottom. However you want to describe it, I decided to do something about my overall health this week. Since Christmas I've been half-heartedly working out several times a week at the rec center in our hometown. Without going into unsolicited details -- my body has changed the last couple of years and I've put on some unwanted weight and inches in the wrong spots, so a change was in order. These last few months I'd go to the rec center and work out for an hour, then stuff my face with diet pop and peanut M&Ms between meals. Oddly enough, I wasn't loosing weight like I'd hoped. {Go figure.} 

I've always thought that when I die I'd rather go out doing a face plant in a hot fudge sundae than slouched over an elliptical. This week I came to the realization that if I wanted to live a long and healthy life, the elliptical needed to become my friend and I'd need to make some overall changes. I cut out the diet pop cold turkey. {Please pass the pain medication.} I committed to substantially limiting my sugar intake. White flour will come next. And I promised myself to exercise on a more regular schedule. Who inspired me to make these changes? Family members and friends who take great care of their bodies and their health are my inspiration!