I have learned a lot about myself in the last few months. Some of it good. Some of it not so good. Some of it downright ugly. I have been a single mom for about 5 months now. Just to let you know, I survived Thanksgiving intact. And I survived my son’s 8th birthday intact (the first birthday party I’ve thrown alone.)
The best way to describe the past few months is that I have good days and bad days - just like before “the thing” (as my kids call it). But the difference is that my good days are better than good. They are euphoric. I feel on top of the world. I feel invincible and that I can do anything. The bad days though are pretty awful. I am filled with anxiety and fear about the future. Debilitating fear. I question whether I can do it on my own with 3 boys. I worry that I have damaged my kids forever.
I know that the one thing you can always count on is that life always changes. Nothing stays the same. I also know that no matter how bad you think you’ve got it, there are always people out there who are suffering worse than you. Everyone has problems.
One comment sent in response to my last post really stuck with me. One woman wrote that she secretly resented me because she thought I had a perfect life. After I stopped laughing, I had to admit to myself that sometimes I think that way about other people. But I can honestly say that I have never met anyone who has a perfect life. And how un-interesting would it be to be perfect?
My favourite people are those who have the ability to laugh at their imperfections. And that stems from confidence. Nothing is more attractive than confidence.
As I forge ahead in this new chapter of life, I’d like to share some of the things that I have discovered about myself in the past 5 months.
I love to run. I realize now the importance of a positive psyche. Emotional health is as important as physical health and the two things are intertwined. Running for me has always been about time alone. It’s when I re-charge my batteries.
I have a wicked sense of humour. Thank goodness. Now if I can just convince my kids that I can be a fun parent too, like their other one…
I finally get that I am solely responsible for my own happiness. This is huge.
I can be a martyr. And that’s not a good thing. I am learning how to ask for help and how to accept support.
I have guilt. It is difficult sometimes to take enough time for myself. Why?
I am mortal. I expect an awful lot from myself. Too much. I can’t accomplish as much as before. I just don’t have enough time to do all of the things I want to do. I need to accept my new normal and alter my expectations.
Schedule fun. Whatever happened to those times when you’d laugh so hard you’d pee your pants? Since I have been on my own, everything feels so serious. When did life get so hard? I miss those days of carefree, spontaneous fun. Just as we schedule time to exercise, why can’t we schedule some time for fun?
I am a personal trainer. But first and foremost, I am a mom. As scary as it is right now, I have hope that the future will be brighter for the four of us. And hopefully the good days will start to outnumber the bad ones.
Be good to yourselves.
The way to optimal health is to combine good sensible nutrition with consistent strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Consult with a physician before embarking on a new exercise plan. Stop immediately if you feel any pain while doing these exercises.