Every Saturday morning I sit down and make a chart for my family. It tells us who is going where and when, any tests or projects for school, what day everyone has gym class, my husband's doctor's appointments, what we're having for dinner each night and my exercise schedule - basically our entire life summarized on an 8-1/2x11 piece of paper. Every Saturday morning as I hang that chart in our kitchen I expect that our week will follow the schedule that I have put together.
More often than not, the days and hours are very compliant with following my schedule. Then out of the blue I'll be thrown a curveball. I've gotten pretty good at dodging those curveballs - switching up a meal here and there, asking my parents to pick up a kid, throwing JJ's gym clothes in the wash at 11PM - I can be flexible!
Then last week happened. Curveballs were flying! A home improvement project that took two days instead of one. A pulled muscle that required an evening on the couch. An afternoon and evening in the ER after Jamison got rear-ended. A late-night trip to my parents to use their printer for JJ's research paper. I felt like I was playing a fierce game of Dodgeball!
Even with all of the curveballs, nearly everything on my weekly chart got accomplished. Except one . . . my exercise! Four days of training for the half-marathon down the drain. The question that pops into my mind is the question that most moms ask themselves at least once a week - "Why is it my plans are always the ones to be cancelled, changed or ignored?" I know the answer. Because I'm the mom!
As I sit at my computer this morning preparing my chart for the upcoming week, I catch myself teetering on the edge of a dangerous cliff. The cliff of an old habit that I have desperately fought to break over the past three years. The cliff of giving up. My negative self-talk tapes are playing at full volume. "You gave it a good shot Lisa, but you blew it. You didn't meet your training goal for this week. What were you thinking? You - complete a half-marathon? Ha! Ha! You are too tired. You don't have a good enough handle on your life to fit in anything else, especially exercising. You are destined to be chubby and super-stressed for the rest of your life. You need to take care of everyone else first. You come last."
As I listen I notice that that voice starts to sound garbled and warped - just like my Culture Club Colour by Number's tape after listening to Karma Chameleon over and over again while dancing and singing in front of my bedroom mirror back in fifth grade. I was so mad when that cassette tape snapped! (Sorry - I'll blame that thought on lack of sleep after my daughter's sleepover birthday party last night!)
That garbled and warped voice begins to be replaced by a strong voice reciting inspiring and encouraging quotes that I have collected throughout the years.
It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. Epictetus
Be miserable or motivated. Whatever happens it's always your choice. Wayne Dyer
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas Edison
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. Eleanor Roosevelt
Finally, I am reminded of the scripture verse God gave me back in January of 2010 when I started my journey of running and trying to live a health lifestyle: Do not grow weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9
God pointed out to me then as He has reminded me this morning - You HAVE to take care of yourself. It will be difficult and choices will need to be made to put yourself first, but do not grow weary. I have experienced some of the harvest - weight lost, cholesterol lowered, races completed, kids who ask to go to the gym. I have tasted victory.
So - I've made the choice to not give up. With a new day, a new strength and a new weekly chart in front of me, I am motivated to continue doing good for myself and in turn doing good for my family. I am predicting a victory for this next week of my Dodgeball-themed life!