you made me smile when i was sad

I started this blog on a whim. It was a thought the went through my head, a thought that ignited an idea. The idea was to hold myself accountable, to document the way God moved in my life. I haven't been the best at updating. Part of it is for lack of trying; part of it is because of fear and uncertainty; part of it is because of not knowing what to say.

It's this habit I have, this self-deprecating habit, of committing to something, anything in my mind and then not following through. It's this fear I have, have had for years; a fear of success. Not of failure but of success. Because what happens if I succeed? How would that change my life? Could I handle the changes? Would I welcome the changes? Would those around me welcome the changes?

The people I am close to love me; they want the best for me. I have heard these words more than a million times. But I struggle with really listening to them.

I want the best for me. I do. I want to be the best version of myself possible. This includes every aspect of my life: work, writing, house, weight, health, happiness. So why then is it so difficult for me to work to achieve the best for me? Why would I rather sit and wallow, allow myself to do all right but not extremely well?

If the answers come to me, I'll make sure to post them here. For now, I am going to concentrate on seeking out the answers. Starting tonight, I am going to do what is best for me, not necessarily what I want to do, and I am going to chronicle each step here. Even the steps that result in my tumbling down a staircase and bruising every inch of myself.

This all started after a loving conversation I had with my husband. Our lives are quite separate, unfortunately, due to differing work schedules. I work from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and he works 3pm to 11pm during the week (and sometimes the weekends). We spent the entire day together, a first in almost a month.

After an afternoon of relaxing and not cleaning the house, we saw Inception and then ate dinner together. He made a healthier choice in his dinner selection (minus the queso and chips we both decided to get), and I went with the American meal of a hamburger with french fries. Afterward, I said I wish I had ordered a veggie burger with a side of fruit. I thought about ordering it, even thought about ordering a salad, and then decided to go with the dinner that sounded better at the time. At least I only drank water with dinner, though.

Once we were home and sitting on the couch, we began to talk about health, about my being the best version of myself. We talked about the differences in my appearance between now and when we first met. I was blonde, always wore contacts, tan, and thinner when we met in 2007. Now I have reddish brown hair, wear my glasses most days, don't remember what a tan line is, and have put on more weight than I will admit to.

He handled the conversation with love. There were no negative words, no accusations. He stated he wanted the best for me, wanted me to enjoy my appearance, to feel beautiful, and he reminded me that he still sees me as beautiful.

I respect him for coming to me with his thoughts. It wasn't an easy conversation, and I know he struggled with what to say and even if he should say anything at all. But he did speak with love, and I am thankful for that. I didn't want to hear the words, but I needed to.

I plan to join the gym at the University of Oklahoma. It is $20 a month and will be removed from my paycheck before taxes, much like my parking permit. I plan to work out either in the morning before work or in the evening after work. There will be no excuse not to go as the gym is one minute from my office.

I plan to stop eating so much processed foods. It used to be unavoidable when I worked for the state when I spent at least twenty hours a week driving across the state of Oklahoma, but now, I sit in an office and leave campus only when I decide on fast food for lunch. Not only will it save us money to not eat at Braum's or Chik-Fil-A or McDondald's, but it should assist my waistline and cholesterol levels in shrinking.

I plan to cut diet coke out of my life as much as possible. I've endured withdrawals before. I know I can do this. The people I work with just may not like me as much while I am going through withdrawals.

I plan to not give into my every craving. I have the house to myself at night, and I enjoy sitting on the couch, watching The Bachelorette, and savoring a bowl (sometimes two) of ice cream. It's almost like I am back in college (minus the brightly colored apartment). Just because I have the opportunity to be a girl and eat too many sweets three or four nights a week, while my husband works, doesn't mean I should.

I've tried these things before, and I always gave into my wants and desires. I always allowed the wants and desires of right now to dictate my actions rather than looking into the future.

Now it is time to look into the future. I have years of life, I hope, left on Earth. I am called to make them years of joy, healthiness, happiness, and hope; I am not called to make them years of sometimes happiness and enjoying what I want in the moment.

I believe God speaks to us through other people, and while tonight's conversation with my husband may have been just about my health, I believe God is speaking to me about all aspects of my life. I am just going to start with this one aspect and see where it leads.

(title from "more like her" by miranda lambert)

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