It is very easy to get lost or lose focus when there is so much going on . . . or when there will be so much going on starting tomorrow! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about staying focused and on trying to make sure I don’t start putting myself down again. I will probably end up making this a duel post on my weight loss blog because it entails things from that journey as well as other aspects of my life.
The last couple weeks I’ve been thinking about the new semester and how crazy life is going to be and how hard it will be to focus on my family and my weight & exercise and my classes & grades and my spiritual life. I will, unfortunately, admit that many times when everything else gets crazy I tend to leave the spiritual stuff behind. However, then I get overly stressed and start putting the spiritual back into my life because I know I should’ve never stopped in the first place since I feel so much better when I include God in the chaos!
Anyway, as I thought about this and thought about my starting goals for the new year and how I wasn’t doing them much, I started telling myself I’d start them when the girls went back to school. Then last week came and went and I started saying that I’d start when I started school again tomorrow (1/14). Then, part way through the week, I decided to make sure I was doing at least some of the things on my goal list and tried to make myself do at least one thing each day instead of telling myself, “don’t do any of it because you forgot your morning prayer.”
Throughout the last 12 years of being overweight, I’ve put myself down – A LOT! I wrote a post back in June on my weight loss blog called “Learning to Love Myself Again,” where I talked about how I came to the realization that I started putting myself down to save myself from the hurt of other people doing it. That habit of putting myself down quickly spread to not only my weight, but to my friendships and relationships and pretty much every aspect of my life. I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t friendly enough. I wasn’t spiritual enough. I wasn’t a good mom. I wasn’t a good wife. I wasn’t a good housekeeper. I wasn’t a good medical transcriptionist. No matter what other people told me, those are the things I kept telling myself. Since having my gastric sleeve surgery and losing weight, I’ve started to love myself again. However, I’ve recently found that it’s so easy to fall back into that bad habit of putting myself down instead of looking at how far I’ve come. It’s so easy to say, “Oops, I forgot my morning prayer so why bother with the evening one.” It’s so easy to say, “Dang it, I yelled at my kids this morning. I’m a horrible mom.” It’s so easy to say, “I ate a handfull of Goldfish crackers, no wonder I’m still fat.” It’s so easy to say, “I’m not fluent in Spanish, so I’ll never be good enough to teach it.” Now . . . deep down . . . I know these thoughts are just the old habit . . . I also know . . . deep down . . . that they’re Satan telling me I’m not good enough and hoping that I’ll believe it enough so he can keep me negative and keep me down and keep me from pursuing my dreams and keep me from believing in myself and keep me from saying my prayers and relying on God. B-U-T . . . although I know that deep down . . . it’s so easy to forget it!!! It’s also so easy to forget – especially when in that crappy state of mind – to remember that I have the power to step on his head and crush him in his tracks!!!! It’s so easy to forget that I’ve lost 80 lbs. and have gone from a size 32W to an 18 regular. It’s so easy to forget that I did say a prayer. It’s so easy to forget that I drove my kids to school and told them I loved them. It’s so easy to forget that I gave them hugs. It’s so easy to forget that we provide food to eat and a roof over their heads. It’s so easy to forget that I don’t have to speak Spanish perfectly because I love it so much and that love will translate even when my words aren’t perfect. It’s so easy to forget that I’m doing great for being 37 and going back to school. It’s so easy to forget that I worked out for an hour, which probably completely obliterated that handfull of Goldfish crackers in my system.
As I was thinking about all of this last week, two of my friends from church shared an article on Facebook called “Drops of Awesome.” I read this blog post with tears running down my face because it expressed everything I was thinking recently . . . except that I didn’t know how to recognize the good things because I had been kind of wallowing in the old bad habit of putting myself down again. This article was what I needed to start to get my head in the right place again and to adjust my focus. The day I read that article, I said my evening prayer even though I had forgotten a morning one. I thanked Heavenly Father for the inspiration of others & for being able to read that article. I even thought about thanking Him for my obsession with Facebook in a way because if I hadn’t looked when I did, I wouldn’t have seen the article – but since I’ve also been trying to cut back on FB, I didn’t actually thank Him for that! I am grateful I saw that post though and read the article.
I’ve thought about the article a lot in the days since reading it. I recently won a $20 Amazon gift certificate from a book blog giveaway I entered. I had put the gift certificate on our Amazon account, but hadn’t bought anything with it yet. I was looking at Kindle books, but then thought it was kinda crazy to look into more books when I have about 200 on my Kindle already and don’t have any time to read them (especially once school starts tomorrow). Then, I remembered commenting to my sister-in-law that I needed to look on Amazon to see if more LDS books were there because every time I get a Deseret Book catalog I want stuff from there, but don’t want to order it and wait for it to arrive & such. Therefore, I took out the recent Deseret flyer I got in the mail and looked at it. I had circled a number of books that I thought I’d like eventually. I started looking to see if they were on Amazon. I found a few and started looking at them more closely.
I finally decided to get Becoming His: A Daily Journey Toward Discipleship by Emily Freeman because it seemed like exactly what I need right now. The book is set up in a way that you can focus on one chapter each month. The introduction explains that some people will go through it faster or slower than others, which is fine too. I just started reading it yesterday and feel I made a great decision to buy it. I hope that I will put in the effort to go through the book because I’m only a few pages into it and already feel it is awesome and could lead to some great changes for me. The first part of each chapter has something to “consider” and the first chapter says to “Consider . . . You Are Worth It,” which goes along completely with what I’ve been thinking about and with the Drops of Awesome article.
I am looking forward to going through this book and trying to discover drops of awesome in my daily life. A long time ago I remember doing an “accomplishment” journal where instead of things I had to get done, I wrote things that I did get done. The drops of awesome reminded me of that accomplishment journal. There may be 50 things I do wrong in a day, but the focus has to be on the 10 things I do right instead of the 50 things I do wrong. Thinking more about the fact that I am worth it and focusing on my own drops of awesome can completely change my life each day!