Being Kind With ME


Week 13….and the start of a new, budding, sparkling, year!!

If I can begin each day of the next year with enthusiasm like this…..even on my birthday…..getting old, UGH….it should be a fantastic year.

Kindness is on the menu for the next few weeks, already starting this week with a focus on Being Kind to ME.

….Which was tough!!

There is more work to be done on this front.  One week was NOT enough.  I was recently thinking about what I would focus on after these 52 weeks are complete, perhaps I found the answer by spending more time on some topics that need it!

kind note to myself: you are not very good at being kind to yourself.  🙁

And so, I begin.

Perhaps not the kindest way to start the year, but I have joined millions of others who have decided to create a healthier version of themselves this year.  I started a diet!  Oh boy…..I am wondering now, after the first 3, miserable, detoxing days, if kindness to ME actually exists!

It began as a very kind thing, to look at my lifestyle, my eating habits, my fitness goals and realize, I am not on a good trajectory toward sustainable health.  Some changes needed to happen, and although I have previously resisted the ‘diet trap’ by increasing my exercise or making small changes to how I ate (like no food after 6pm), I find myself almost the same weight as I was when I had a full term baby inside my belly…..a whole other being inside of me…waiting to be born.  Wow!

It has been 15 years since I carried the weight of an actual pregnancy, meaning in another 15 years, I could potentially double that weight, if I do nothing about it.

Please….do not get me wrong, I know weight is totally an individual perspective and my ideas about ideal weight/shape cannot be compared to anyone else’s ideas.  I have people in my circle that have battled, accepted or dismissed their excess weight, or lack of it.  I told hubby a few years back that we are getting older and can expect to have a little more ‘fluffy’ bits here and there.  But now that I am getting fluffy everywhere, I am not so sure I can truly accept this for my future.  I think I need to fight a bit harder to avoid buying another pair of jeans in the double digit size I bought last month, which was a bit traumatizing, but necessary, since I no longer fit into pants that have been my standard for several years.

For people who have read previous blogs, you might remember that it has taken several months for me to get back into good health after a concussion took me out of my regular work and activity.  I was not able to do much exercise during this healing time.  Getting back my energy levels is a priority, so I can do more vigorous exercise….which would be easier if I lose some weight….so round we go, back to the diet!

I enlisted hubby to join me in this mission, although he really does not need to lose weight and seems to have energy galore, he said he would enjoy a little cleaning out and freshening up on the inside.  Good hubby….who is wondering, now that we are 3 days in, if this was such a good idea, both being hungry and grumpy at the same time….but, as we used to say in the last generation, this is ‘small potatoes’ in the scheme of things….or for those who would prefer to hear it in this generations jargon….that is a ‘first world problem’.

Yes, I am very aware of what a luxury it is to even contemplate reducing my daily food intake, when so many people in the world are desperate to increase it.

It is a privilege to never have had the feeling of hunger, without it being a choice.

Food has always been available and for that, I am grateful.  Growing up on a farm, we stored food for winter in freezers, on canning shelves and inside cold rooms, the product of hard-working mum and dad in the garden and 2 little reluctant, but happy helpers.  From the time I was small, I understood the value of what it took for food to ultimately end up on the table and longed for that kind of understanding for my own children as they were raised in the city.  That meant lots of visits to family and friends with farms or garden patches, and tending to our own tiny strawberry and carrot backyard plots.

Tomatoes are difficult to grow.  You need to start them indoors early, transplant them twice, and tend to their specific climatic needs consistently.  I must have drowned about 1000 plants before getting it right.  I was so proud when I finally got to put the successfully sprouted vines into the ground, taking great care of them to blossom and start to bud.

Summer weather does not always play nice with tender blossoms and budding fruit, so when the skies opened up suddenly with thunder and hail, there was no time to set up the mounted ‘roof’ of the hothouse type home for these darling tomato plants.  I rushed outside to do the  only thing I knew best, which was protect.  Cover and protect with my body and a scrap piece of cardboard that was laying on the back deck. No coat, no shoes, the children just see their mom rush outside to the tomato bed, right in front of the kitchen bay window, where their little eyes can watch the happenings with curious sympathy.

For there was their mother, getting pummeled by huge hail stones on her bare arms, bare legs, only a thin layer of cotton clothing between these sharp, biting stones and sweet flesh.  It hurt!  It stung!!

I started to cry, it was not enough; so I bawled, the impact of the bigger stones causing greater outcries for what seemed like an eternity.  I could see 3 little sets of eyes peering through the glass, and so kept affirming to them between cries of anguish, mommy’s ok, mommy’s ok…..

What do tomatoes and kindness have in common?  Nothing, on the surface, I should think.  But when I think about what it took to taste the reward of those juicy tomatoes, to get them to their full, amazing potential, the commitment needed in order to reap a harvest…. I see the connection.

Kindness does not happen overnight.  I have started the seeds, and am trying to figure out a best way to keep them growing.  I will not always succeed, there may be too much watering, not enough watering, there may be hail storms and enormous pain to endure, and it will be my job to comfort others even when I feel like I am being punished for my work…..but it will end.  The work has reward….rewards that can be shared, rewards that renew hope, that inspire next years’ sowing of seeds….and gives me purpose.

Kindness is tough as nails….that is what I know from this week.  It is an action that takes daily strength to produce.   Having kind thoughts, kind words and kind acts, takes an intensely determined mindset in order to succeed.  I have far to go, on this diet and figuring out how to truly see kindness flow freely for myself.  I have only promised myself no negative judgments or internal backtalk if I slip up or it takes me longer to get to where I am going than expected.

Kindness….is not for wimps.