Friday, 28 December 2012

Things I wish I knew 20 years ago

This is not a usual post, it is in response to a blog post by SWIMBIKEMOM about losing her mind.  It stirred up some feelings in me that I wanted to share, so thank you for indulging me this one time.  I will have a regular blog post on Monday.

So I have a confession to make, I am old.  I have been around the block a few times and life has left its marks on my body and my soul.  I look at myself and I feel every one of my years.  Don’t get me wrong, my mental  age is far younger then my physical age, there is no way I tell my body I am that old or it might stop doing all the crazy things I ask it to do.  When I am out with the girls, I really feel old.  They have young kids and are trying to sort out the work/life/training balance thing and I look at them knowingly and smile.  I would run away laughing hysterically but I do not want to frighten them, not yet anyway. 

When we are young we think we can have it all, a career, a husband, 2 or 3 darling kids, maybe a dog and look fabulous at the same time.  Keep dreaming as that is not going to happen, or it sure did not happen to me.  Women of my generation were raised to be superwomen, blame the feminist movement if you must (I don't). No longer was it OK to be at home, we had to work, workout like Jane Fonda, raise perfect kids and bake cookies all while solving some international financial crisis on our lunch hour.  We had to have a perfect home, a perfect marriage and perfect kids; whoever painted that picture was not living my life, that is for sure.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my life but at times I really wondered if I would survive.  So for all my younger athletic friends I will share my secret with you, come closer, I have to whisper. 

Life is not about balance; it’s about surviving, surviving and trying not to lose your mind completely.  If you want balance, buy one of those old fashion scales because that is the only way I know to achieve balance. 

We have to do the best we can or as I put it “fake it till you make it”.  Life does not come with a rule book; we make it up as well go along.  We try to do it all because we think we should but guess what, it never works out the way we want it too and we feel inadequate.  For me these feelings lead to over eating and giving up all my personal time for my children, the PTA, the scouts, the band and everyone else who wanted a piece of me until there was no ME left and a fat, sad depressing shell was looking at me in the mirror and I wondered who the hell she was.  I had slowly lost my mind, my body and my soul and it was time to get it back.  Losing your mind makes some things easier, like the teenage years but really, it’s not worth it.  Here is what I wish someone had told me when I was younger
-           to do the best I could, it would be enough;
-           perfect is only in magazines and not real life;
-          Your kids will love you even if you are not there all the time as long as you are there totally (mind, body and spirit)  some of the time;
-          Real men do dishes, they cleans and go grocery shopping too;
-          Store bought cookies or cookies from a mix are just as good as homemade;
-          Never give all of yourself away to everyone else; you might need yourself one day;
-          Be kind to yourself, forgive yourself and for god sake LOVE yourself, then everyone else will too.

My best piece of advice is to find something you really like to do, whether it be running, triathlons, bootcamp, knitting, reading or scrapbooking and put it in a special place, a place that never gets ignored or given away, some 'me time' so we can keep a bit of our mind, body and soul.  Your kids and husband will understand and appreciate the better person you are because of it.  I had better post this before I change my mind; that is if I can remember where I put the darn thing.

Huge thank you to my hubby and kids for giving me the time to find myself again.  I am much happier now and so are they because of it.

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