". . . Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. . . "
I’ve been reading a lot lately in the blogosphere about how my friends are struggling, losing their motivation, forgetting about their why, not able to shake the bingy feelings, enduring enormous stress. We have ALL been there. Its been said that we are either in a problem, heading out of one or heading into one!-Robert Fulghum
We sure don’t live on the mountain top, do we? Mostly life is made up of expectations that we must manage, relationships that we devote every nourishing cell in our body to, work that may or may not fulfill, and some joy, pleasure and pain along the way. And, sometimes life is just HARD.
How do you cope when things get tough?
In my younger years I was always active. In college I'd run a couple three miles most mornings, bang a tennis ball against the racquetball court just for the fun of it, and play some one-on-one basketball for, ahem, a study break. If I wasn’t daydreaming or writing poetry in the fold of my Western Civ book, err I mean studying, I was out doing something fun, something competitive, something that moved my body.
I remember one time being really stressed out about something (probably a test) and going out for a run. I ran, and ran, and ran, I don’t know, for a long time, lots longer than normal. The next day I could barely climb the stairs to my classes!
Exercise was just the way I coped with stress. And, it worked. I sometimes got sore muscles, but I was always known as the laid back girl, so relaxed, so easy going. I was that girl.
Then life after college, what they call the REAL world, entered and somehow, someway I let this active lifestyle slip away. I still got work outs in, joined fitness clubs wherever I lived, but the problem was that my eating pace stayed pretty much the same as when I was in college while my exercise sessions were far fewer in number.
Then Mr. Right came along. Love, love, love, all you need is love, right? After a whirlwind romance and a brief engagement, we married and three short years later we started a family. House, family, job, husband, kids, you know, the American dream . . . and STRESS. And, instead of turning TO exercise, I turned away. For the life of me, I don’t know why, but it spelled . . .
D I S A S T E R .
The pounds piled on. Life became harder than it needed to be. I suffered more than I needed to suffer. And, I missed so much. So much.
Mr. Right became Mr. Wrong, a mismatch that somehow managed to last 17 years finally fell apart. I could blame the marriage-turned-rocky, the messy divorce, the INCREDIBLE kids that I tried desperately not to screw up, the demanding jobs, or the obligations that life is made of. But, it wasn’t any of those things. The fact that I added 100 pounds more than I needed to my frame is nobody’s fault but my own. MY reaction to life. MY way of coping.
My personal trainer once told me that the best thing you can do at the end of a long, hard day is to work out…it’s like salve on a wound. I'm re-finding that tube of salve these days, and coping in much healthier ways.
But, I want to know . . . what have you found to be the best way to handle the ups and downs of life? How are you being kind to yourself? Please share your wisdom in the comments!
With you in the journey,