Let me set the scene for you. I have been a little cranky recently. I am trying to chose joy… But there has been an internal battle waging inside of me. Why… You might ask. Well… Because I just turned 34. Big deal? Well it kinda was… And let me tell you why. But first I have to show you what I did to mourn not being 33 any more… I mean… celebrate turning 34.
This was the view…
that was my course. So fun!
Celebrating. Tonya-style. On my birthday eve I ran 6.24 miles (my birthday is 6/24/81) get it?!? Okay. So as the sun set (literally as I was running, the sun was setting, it was beautiful and symbolic) on my last day being 33 I was working through some of the reasons why this birthday seemed to be bothering me so much.
I think I figured it out: first of all, both of my parents claimed they would always be 33. Was both of their favorite ages. So 33 always seemed like an “old” age to me. Like that’s how old parents are, and parents are old. I don’t want to be old. I also figured that I would sort of have life figured out by now. A house. A family. A dream job. A car that doesn’t need work done. As I look around it seems everyone is living the things I had been dreaming about, the life I thought I should have… And thought I wanted to have by 33. Not only that but I started thinking about Jesus. It is believe that Jesus lived to be about 33. He did so much… And inspired so many. Made such a difference in his time on earth. What have I done? Who have I inspired? How have I made a difference. These are the things I was pondering for 6.24 miles. As the sun was setting on 33.
Let me tell you this. The crankiness of the recent days… Melted away after a few miles. And by the end I felt a thousand times better. Here is the conclusion I came to. I don’t have it all figured out and… That’s okay!!! I don’t have the family that imagined (husband, twins and cute dog) but I do have a family that I love more than anything in the world. As far as kids go… I’ve got the greatest niece and adorable nephews ever! I don’t have the job I dreamed of when I was growing up… But have a pretty great job that is making me into a better person… And allowing me to live a pretty great life. I believe I’m not where I totally should be… But I’m having a pretty great time. There are people in my life that I love and that love me. I’m healthy and overall pretty freaking happy. I try to make a difference in people lives (hopefully positive) that I am around. I can’t be Jesus… But I can work with what I have been given. I believe we all have a purpose.. Even me. And I’m okay with not quite knowing what that is at 34. The plan as I embark on 34?!? Be awesome. Keep being me (cuz everyone else is taken). Continue to figure out who “me” really is. And have a fantastic time doing it. Not going to compare my life to the life I thought it would be (or someone else’s life) And be excited about what my life is.
Life is too short to be cranky (sometimes I forget). Let’s live life to the fullest…. Live your life. Possibly Make a difference in someone’s life. K?!?
So. I had to have a little talk with myself again. I basically had a wake up moment and I needed to tell myself to shut up. They say you are your own worst critic and I believe that. I must admit I am way hard on myself. For not being where I think I should be. For my thighs that are not as small as I want them to be. For my muffin top that is too squishy (more accurately a cupcake top in my case). I beat myself up for not working out as hard as I could. I sometimes freak out about making good food choices… And get disappointed in myself when I choose unwise choices. Are any of those things helpful?!?! Nope! Not at all! How would it make me feel to lift myself up instead? To be happy with how far I’ve come?! To be proud of how freaking strong I’ve become? You know there was one point in life, oh about 77 lbs or so ago that I would haven’t given just about anything to look/ feel/ be able to do what this body can do. Speaking of which. Check this out:
Both of those are me. I really am not the same girl as the top photo. Lacking self confidence. Even super shy (which I know those of you that know me now don’t believe)! I was not comfortable in my own skin really. So many things are different!
Thinking maybe, just maybe I should be a little nicer to…me. What do you say? Will you join me? Make it a daily goal to just be a little better than the person we were yesterday… And if (and by if I mean when.. Let’s be real) we mess up… We be kind to our selfs. K?!? Let’s do this!
Confession. I have been struggling recently. The basic struggle is the feeling that I am not where I should be. Not where I want to be. Thinking I should be closer to my goals than I am. Not so much struggling to the point of wanting to quit. Just frustrated. This got me thinking… (Scary right?!?) Then I realize that there are choices involved. I choose to push through the struggle and come out on the other side stronger… Or choose a different struggle. 77 pounds ago A LOT of things were a struggle. Physically, mentally, emotionally. It was just a different struggle. This whole journey is all about choices. Choosing to lace up my tennis shoes and go for a run.
Choosing to make good food choices. … Sometimes.
I did say No to the doughnuts! We won’t talk about the French fries I had later…
Choosing not let the *couch of awesomeness* win the couch vs gym battle.
Choosing the stairs.
Everything is a choice.
Today I volunteered at the extreme inflatable 5k. Below is my favorite photo from the run.
Our obstacle (wrecking ball) was about half way through the 3 mile course. That’s Niki!
It was halfway up the third hill of tourture the runners were facing. Talk about a struggle!
This is looking down the hill… The runners were going to come up… And looking up the hill they were facing after our obstacle.
I heard lots of “I quit” “this sucks” “who’s idea was this?!?”. The saddest thing I heard was “I’m too fat for this” I quickly encouraged her and told her she was doing awesome! She was struggling but she was out there doing it! So inspiring. But it got me thinking. I never want to say that again. I have been there!!! I hated it! So I am choosing this struggle. The healthy eating (with out deprivation). Active. Feeling better. Still not where I quite wanna be… But definitely not where I once was. Struggle. What will you choose?!?
So this month there has been a reoccurring theme in my life. And this is the message: DREAM BIG. Apparently I am not dreaming big enough. Apparently I need to have bigger goals than getting a new pair of running shoes 😉 so it’s really got me thinking. What are my dreams? What do I want to do with my life?!? Who do I want to be?
You know…. we ask kids all the time when they are growing up what they want to be when they grow up. Kids have big dreams! I had big dreams when I was a kid! Like I tell people all the time…. I NEVER dreamt of being a bill collector… That’s for sure! When do we stop dreaming and become satisfied with how things are? Since when is it okay to live in the comfort zone?
I don’t know what my future holds and I’m not sure what my goals, dreams and aspirations really even are at this point… But I am inspired to start thinking about them. Dreaming. And dreaming big! My challenge is for you to do the same! It’s not to late.
I feel like I can’t post a blog without some photos…. So here are some pictures from today’s run. Enjoy! Be blessed!