Two weeks ago I decided to get on board with prints and all things bohemian, so I allowed myself to be seduced by a pair of rainbow coloured bohemian pants while I was doing my grocery shopping. I was trying on a few different varieties and the lovely chatty shop assistant offered to help so I let her. We made light conversation as you do when you let a total stranger dress you up and she casually made reference to my ‘pregnant’ belly.
“Ha, I’m not actually pregnant! I had my baby 16 months ago.”
“Oh My Gosh! I’m so sorry! I’m not sure why I said that. Oh I’m so sorry!”
“Oh don’t worry about it! I don’t care. People say it to me all the time” *Chuckle*
Last week some random lady congratulated me on my ‘pregnancy’ and I gracefully said, “I’m not pregnant. My baby is 16 months.” She didn’t apologize and I didn’t mind. Or so I thought. Until…it dawned on me that this was the fifth or sixth reference to my ‘pregnant belly’. Then I minded. I’m not sure there is a word like that, but you know what I mean.
After having my last baby, I was keen to get back into my exercises and even though it took a while to settle into a routine, I was proud of myself when I nailed it. I visualized the weight dropping off and I was so sure my 30 minute intense core sessions would reward me with amazing abs! I’d never done these 30 minute intense core sessions after my other pregnancies, so I was more than a little bit impressed with my new found discipline and determination.
Then my family routine changed and I lost mine.
Don’t you just love it when this happens? Once you’ve finally settled into something new and things are humming along swimmingly, the waters get ruffled again! It is not funny. Well, I threw all the plates I juggled into the air and when they landed back in my hands, all I managed to save in the exercise department was a daily walking regime, but I just couldn’t find 30 minutes in any part of my day to devote to intense core strengthening sessions, or medium or beginner sessions. I am a full-time working mother of three, who helps run a business after work so it was just impossible. I grieved the loss of these sets of exercises but I figured that I would work something out sometime and everything would be OK.
Then I started getting these occasional congratulatory comments on my ‘pregnant’ look even though I was wearing my shapewear!
I whinged to my husband about these obvious side effects of being a MAJOR part of bringing the joys of having children into his life and I expected him NOT to try to fix my issues so I was half listening when he suggested, “Why don’t you just do 5 minute crunches every morning and evening? Surely it would be better than nothing?”
5 minute crunches! I could find 5 minutes! I had a couple of those scattered around here and there within my day. 5 minutes!…and I began to get a little excited until that small voice in my head whispered, “Why start something you probably can’t finish? Remember how you felt when your routine changed? Things are bound to change again.” Then I began to weave a very large mat with my worry thread. I was worried about what would happen to me if I failed again and I didn’t keep up with my new routine tomorrow or next. Oh it is always so hard. Every time I found that ‘life changing’ solution that I only had to stick to for my life to be drastically changed forever, something happened tomorrow to spoil my resolve. Oh there was no doubt that I would stick to it today, but Mr Tomorrow was forever scared of commitment. What if the kids were sick, or I got a new job, or I for some reason I lost my resolve… As this mat I was weaving grew bigger, my energy dissipated and I was no longer sure I even wanted to do my 5 minute crunches today. Suddenly I was too tired and unmotivated to spend any energy I had left on something I was sure I wouldn’t be able to commit to tomorrow. My thoughts were getting dark and my heart was a little cold. It wasn’t a big deal but it was a big deal to me. I want tummy muscles that do their job. I don’t want people to think I’m pregnant because I’m not. My doctor has even asked me to do this to help with that back pain.
“Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself.”
“You’ve got all you need to do all you are required to do Today”
“Just make the right choice today”
I felt like these words drifted on the rays of the sun and brightened my thoughts and warmed my heart. OK! I only had enough energy to do all I needed to do today. When I worried about tomorrow, I was depleting today’s resources and also creating a habit of doing the same in the future. As long as I made the right choice today to fit in 5 minutes or 30 minutes of crunches, to reach for the apple in my crisper rather than the cake, to pass that extra snack when I wasn’t really hungry…as long as I did that today, only today, I would be fine. I always had enough resolve to do today even though tomorrow was always a gamble. When tomorrow becomes today, I would find the resolve to do today again. What about next week, next year, next…?
Artist & Lover of God
Seeking to unveil the beautiful rhythms of love, hope and grace enshrouded in the mundane dailiness of the human condition and the spaces we inhabit