One can for every pound I lose...bring it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dream a little dream...

This is not me. I will never look like this.
But this is how I will FEEL next Friday! 

We hear a lot about "living out our dreams." I was just talking to my brother about this the other day. His dream is to move to California "someday." He has had this dream for a little more than a year. And he's no closer than he was a year ago, because he keeps getting sidelined by this, that or the other thing. He lost his focus, and now his dream seems like an impossibility. I tried to encourage him (young and unattached, there's nothing stopping him!) but I know all about people trying to convince you to do something before you are convinced that you actually deserve it. 

I'll be living out a dream of mine next week, when I run my first 5K in Disney World with my BFF. It's literally going to be a dream come true. And I am making it happen. It feels surreal now, but I finally will be putting into action something I've dreamed about for quiet some time. And that's just the beginning of my "New Year, New Me" attitude. I may not finish it in record time, but by gosh by golly I am crossing that finish line, and I am already proud of myself. 

I recently entered a contest that if I win, may take me away from home for about a month. At first, I thought I couldn't do it. "No way", I thought. I didn't dare to DREAM I could make it happen. Because that would mean I'd have to put myself first. This kind of ties in to yesterday's post, because putting myself first would kind of take me out of my comfort zone. 

As my husband prepared to help me with the contest video, I asked him, "OK, before we go any further, do I have your blessing to do this even if it means I'm away from home for month?" Without hesitation, he answered "yes." It took me back to February 2006, to the part of our vows (which I am proud to say I wrote myself) where we promised to "support one another in our goals." 

Supportive, he was. (there goes my Yoda again!) Thanks, honey. 

As moms, our nurturing instinct almost forces us to put others before ourselves. And that is definitely OK, to an extent. It's a loving, kind thing to do. But you also have to make time to be loving and kind to yourself, too. It's kind of easy to forget. I remember a therapist friend once giving me the analogy of the airplane spiel before take-off: "Parents of young children, be sure to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting children". Make perfect sense, right? In that scenario, you have to be the one in control of yourself so that you can take care of others. 

Anyone else hear that "ah ha?" 

When you don't take care of yourself, you really can't 100% take care of others. Not for an extended period of time. I get cranky and grumpy and am just kind of unhappy when I don't feel right about myself. But I push that down and ignore it, because that's who I am. Most days. But not today. I'm dreaming of a chance to change my life...

Me, selfish? Never. But I can also be aware that I am deserving of an opportunity to find the balance I lost a while back. I have had successes and failures (in that order) just as many of you have. And they can get discouraging. I have a few sets of 'before' and 'after' pictures. I'm kind of a 'before' again. And it's OK. Because I realized yesterday, in entering this contest, that it's OK to admit to yourself that you need a little help, a little "time out" to work on YOU, and with the support of those around you, it's possible to DREAM BIG. I went to the Biggest Loser Resort for a week over a year ago, and I allowed the stresses of life to get in the way of reaching my goal after I got back - not unlike some contestants you see that gain some (or all, or more) of their weight back. Lesson learned. I love evolving,  learning from mistakes. I also love it when I have a moment of clarity in an ordinary day, to help me with an internal struggle over doing the right thing.

Today I made my son and I an egg sandwich. One of the eggs fried up kind of funny. The yolk went all to one side, and it was a funny shape. The other egg was perfect. Guess which one my son got? My funny-looking egg sure tasted fine, and my son never even knew that I gave him the "better" egg - it never occurred to me to think twice about it, and as a mom/wife I've done a gazillion similar things over my lifetime. I'll do more. That's who I am. I give the best to those I love, and take what's kept over for myself. As I ate my funny-looking egg, I reflected on that. Do I regret it? No way. But I realized that maybe, once in a while, it's OK to do something just for me, because of all the little sacrifices I make every day (and I am not talking about the egg. It's not that big of a deal- but Moms out there will relate to what I'm getting at). 

I bought myself a daily devotional as a Christmas gift to myself. It's Joyce Meyer's "Love Out Loud." If I ever needed confirmation that I was doing the right thing in putting myself first, I got it in yesterday's page. Here's an excerpt: 

"We all need and want to believe that the future will be better than the past for us. ...some people are afraid to believe. They think believing will set them up for disappointment. They need to realize they will be perpetually disappointed if they don't believe. I feel that if I believe for a lot and get even half of it, I am better off than I would be to believe for nothing and get all of it. I challenge you all to start believing for good things in your life. ...dream big dreams and believe they can come true - because nothing is impossible with God!" 

Here's hoping you can do something just for you - soon. 
Put yourself first! Dream a little dream. 

As for me, I'm gonna

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