Why is it so hard to just be content?
As a chronic, prototypical overachiever wannabe, I think it has something to do with that constant voice in our heads telling us that we must be ever striving, ever climbing upwards. The constant motion around us does nothing to help us in that regard.
Last year, before we left San Antonio (Texas), we went to this great place–a nature reserve in Cibolo about an hours drive from our house.
Lots of trees, a creek, grassy meadows. The kinda place where quiet means birds tweeting, & crickets chirping. No technology, no traffic, none of the constant reminders that you must be doing, doing, doing.
Joseph & I & the kids spent the afternoon hiking around & playing in the river.
It was one of those memories that pans in & out of mind, & reminds me what I love most in life.
I went to the doctor a few weeks ago.
Just a follow-up from last month’s lab work.
The benefit of being in the military & experiencing the blessing & curse of military socialized medicine is that doctors don’t hesitate to run tests. If they want to, they do. I don’t pay anything out of pocket & neither do they. So she had me tested & checked for everything.
The day I went in for the follow-up the doctor sat me down to go over the results.
As I mentioned in last post, I had gone in initially, post-miscarriage & post-gestational diabetic pregnancy (Tyndale), just to make sure everything was okay. That I wasn’t insulin resistant. To check iron, vitamin D, vitamin B-12 levels as well as a plethora of other things including thyroid function.
I was a little nervous as well as anxious. Who wouldn’t be?
As the doctor ran through the list, the weight on my shoulders that I didn’t even realize was there, gradually lifted with each item she reviewed.
The prior 3 months average glucose readings were completely normal (not insulin resistant, not pre-diabetic). Vitamin b-12 & iron levels looked fabulous (if I do say so myself).
Cholesterol well within the healthy range. Vitamin D levels good, but on the lower side. She recommended taking a vitamin-D/calcium supplement as such, but I’m going to forgo that & opt for a little more sunshine (I live on a sub-tropical island after all!) now that the weather is warming up. Thyroid function good.
In short, I’m fit as a fiddle.
Which means, no more excuses.
Nothing, not any health issues or health problems are holding me back.
I talked about my recent struggle with losing weight, & in hindsight, so much of it was just dealing with the reality that I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I guess a part of me wanted to think there was some health issue preventing me from losing weight, but really it was just my own issues.
This isn’t what I had planned. I would have been nearly 5 months pregnant by now.
At the time I was heartbroken, of course.
But as time has passed, I see this as tender mercy. A time for me to get my act together as well as give my mind & body some breathing room. To focus on being content, & finding the joy in this particular pause.
I love being a mom.
I dare say that being a mother is a pinnacle defining characteristic for me. It’s kinda my world, especially in this particular season of my life.
But, & this is a big but, I’m also a person. I have needs too.
In January Joseph suggested that I really get back into fitness, like I used to be. I used to work out a few hours a day–running, teaching yoga & aerobics classes, swimming & biking. I really loved it. And Joseph knows this. He knows how happy I am when I push myself physically.
When he suggested it, I immediately said, “Nah, it takes too much time.”
(You know I’ve always been active, but we’re talking taking things up a notch.)
But the more I thought about it, I realized it was just an excuse.
Before, my thinking was, I’m about to get pregnant or I am pregnant, I need to exercise but not push myself too much.
In hindsight, I think it was just easier to think this way, no matter that the reality was I could still commit to a regular yoga practice, running, & more intense workouts.
Sure, I have to use my time more wisely & schedule time to do, & it requires some sacrifice, but it’s not like I’m climbing Mt. Everest!
I decided I wanted to really start running again (I have been walking almost daily since we moved to the island), doing yoga or Pilates 5 x’s a week, recommitting to cross-training (strength training, interval training, biking).
For the past 3 weeks, I’ve been doing it.
It does take more time, but you know what?
I feel better. I have more energy. I love being in my body.
It feels amazing to feel & see yourself getting stronger. To push yourself & see changes as a result of consistent efforts.
Last week I went on a 5 mile run.
Don’t kid yourself. I’m not fast.
I run a fast 11 minute mile & on long distances it’s closer to a 13 minute mile if it’s a good day.
(At this point, I don’t care about my slowness. I am thrilled that I am moving beyond speed walking.)
I ran along the seawall, & through the cozy island streets of my neighborhood, & with each mile, I feel lighter, more alive.
So I weaned Tyndale last month. I’m not pregnant (& we’re holding off on that front for a bit).
I’m just me.
I think I’ve forgotten what that feels like–to be in body & not having to worry about growing a baby whether in or out of the womb.
Back in Texas, there was this place along the creek where when it was not quite dusk, the sun came through the trees, making everything sparkly.
I remember, standing in the creek, water up to my knees, holding Tyndale, watching the girls splash around, & rays of light glistening on their bent over figures.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on how I was feeling in that moment, but it felt like light & water, laughter & warmth.
In other words, it felt like…contentment.
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