The Vision is Much Easier Than the Act
Just over a year ago, you'd have met a woman who woke up around 5:00 a.m. to workout. She was the kind of girl who meal-prepped, never let bread into the house, detested pasta, and only drank water— with the exception of Jameson, but she counted those calories too.
Fast forward to 2020, the middle of a pandemic, and about three and a half months postpartum… life looks a little different now. For instance, I often resort to turkey and PB&J sandwiches because they are so easy to throw together and keep it moving. Also, I'm up a lot through the night with the baby and pumping. I can't remember what a full night's sleep looks like anymore. Hell, I often have to sneak a shower around midnight or once I wake up from putting the baby to sleep. Some days I wake up and glance in the mirror asking myself, "who the hell is that staring back at me?!" Can you relate?
As it stands, I haven't quite figured out a schedule that permits me to workout or one where I can coach myself to exert the energy. And, I often choose 30-45 minutes of sleep or the opportunity to clean the house over a quick workout. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, but we all use them so differently. I find myself filled with envy of the people who, somehow, know how to do it all: work, be awesome parents, cook amazingly delicious and healthy meals, schedule personal time, maintain their house, and do cool activities.
One thing I know for sure is that change is ever present and it is something that most people struggle with. Even though I'm aware of this fact, I still struggle with managing the real-time emotions of discomfort and I think that's okay. I think you're entitled to a few moments of frustration, providing space for your feelings. After that, it's time to be constructive. I've realized that my life demands are a little different right now, that my time is spread differently and often must be allocated to others.
I also realize that this phase, like my 2019 self, is a temporary thing. Plus, think about this, there are some beautiful aspects of this version of you that won't ever be this way again. How beautiful and bittersweet is that? I think learning to love a moment in time that doesn't reflect the pretty picture in your head is like learning to love meditation— you've got to breathe your way through and surrender to it. Once you've relaxed, you realize how hard you were making things for yourself.
I like to refer to 2020 as the year of extremities; this year has been filled with such sorrow and such joy. As we move into 2021 and yet another version of ourselves, I think there's room for patience and compassion toward ourselves. On my end, I plan to start out small. Maybe that looks like an ab workout on the shower mat just before I hop in for 5 minutes, lettuce cups instead of bread, and saying goodbye to PB&J. And if you don't mind, I'd like to challenge you to do the same.