My 25 year-old self never would’ve guessed I’d say this as I approach 40 and the highest weight I’ve ever been (pregnancy excluded), but I've truly never felt more comfortable in my own skin. I’m not technically overweight, I just have the kind of not-so-perfect body you might expect a busy teacher & mom to have: a decent set of love handles, thighs that rub together a bit, underarms that wave a little when I do, and, when I look down toward my stomach while in a plank, well…
it’s just not good.
Yet that extra "me" somehow still feels lighter to carry than the mental load I lugged around back when keeping it off was my biggest priority--fixating over calories and a certain number on the scale, imposing consequences on myself if I ate "too much" or skipped a workout. I couldn't keep up with that today if I tried, and I don’t care to. These days, if my cholesterol's good, my blood pressure's in check, & I can keep up with my five year-old and share an ice cream with him, too--then we're all good.
She burst through the door for our parent-teacher conference talking loudly to a client on her Bluetooth. Her entrance aside, we were happy to see her given that she’d scheduled but not shown for the previous two conferences. Her son was struggling—not so much academically, but socially and emotionally. He was a small, quiet little thing that oozed anxiety; a loner on the playground and a worrier about seemingly every little detail of his day. We sat awkwardly as she loudly wrapped up her conversation with a client at the table.
When done, she sat back without saying a word, sunglasses unremoved, her lips tightly pursed together. As each teacher shared, she sat silently & reactionless--no longer the bold, expressive talker she was only a few minutes ago. We first shared her son’s accomplishments and then delicately eased into our concerns. Still no response. After we’d said everything we needed to say, she finally responded coolly “well, then…why don’t you help him? I mean, isn’t that your job, to take care of kids? If he’s struggling and your job is to help children, then I’d say you’re not doing your job.”
We have a few mutual friends, you and I. So every now & then I see the two of you as I’m scrolling through social media and I stop.
I observe the big smiles, the perfect lighting, the fit bodies clad in coordinating outfits. And, for a second, I buy into the perfection. I see what everyone else sees.
But then I wonder.
If you've stumbled across this post finding yourself in the thick of it--
in a mess you can't imagine finding your way out of,
off-track in seemingly every area of your life,
at a depth you can't imagine rising above...
~ b r e a t h e. You have that. Start there.
~ know you're not alone. We've all been there at some point in our lives.
~harness whatever little faith & willpower you've got left in you & sort out what's within your control & what to give over to God. What's not within your control--hand it over. (And know that you're not somehow doing the whole faith thing wrong if it feels uncomfortable or even painful doing so.)
We're all aware of the downsides to social media, but one of the benefits that I see is that it's a means of connecting us--not just in the way of keeping in touch with old friends from high school & family living out of state, but on a deeper level. Through sharing, commenting on, and tagging others in thought-provoking articles, inspirational memes, & the such, we're able to not only feel inspired and uplifted, but also find a like-minded community we may not have otherwise found in our daily encounters with, ya know, real actual people.
I was jogging (ok, walking & every now and then jogging for like two seconds so I can say I went jogging) & the song "7 Rings" by Ariana Grande came on. Catchy little tune, although I think the credit for that part mostly goes to the OG Julie Andrews. The lyrics, though...
Could we get more unrelatable? (wondered the middle class, middle-aged working mom).
I can relate to her mention of ATM's, although for me it usually involves a balance transfer so I don't overdraw at Publix.
I'm not sure what a "flossy neck" means exactly, although I can relate to noticing the first stages of "turkey neck" emerging.
And, yes, my receipts do "be lookin' like phone numbers" every time I go to Target even though I came in to only get paper towels. Unfortunately my income be lookin' more like a zip code.
I'm Krissy & I'm so thankful you're here. Teacher-Mom life is rewarding but it's tough--we need fuel (& each other) to keep going. I hope this is a place you can go that feels like caffeine for the soul--uplifting & highly addictive ;) Check out the categories below and, if you like what you read, subscribe to make sure you always have good Sunday morning reading to go with your coffee :)