Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Who I want to be when I grow up...

Astronaut. Lawyer. Comedienne. Teacher. Dancer. Veterinarian. Seamstress.

All occupations I thought I wanted to be at some time in my early years. Some of them are quite laughable. Seamstress? I can't even sew on a button nor do I have a desire to do so. Astronaut? Please. I hate heights and have no interest in space. Dancer? Only at a lively wedding dance.

It's a question that I never think I will fully answer. My inclinations change with time and life experience. This week I found myself asking not what do I want to "do" but what do I want to "be"? Or rather, how would I want to be remembered? If something tragic were to happen tomorrow, what would I want my legacy to be? And does the way I spend my time and energy on a daily basis reflect who I really want to be?

I spend way too much time worrying about the reflection in the mirror or the weight on the scale.  I spend so much emotional energy beating myself up over eating a Kit Kat or missed workout when in the scope of life it doesn't even matter. If I were to die tomorrow would I want people to say "She never missed a workout?" or "She never missed a chance to ask how I was doing?" When I look at the women I consider beautiful it has absolutely nothing to do with the size of their waist and everything to do with how they interact with the people around them. And I want that to be where I focus more of my energy.

That doesn't mean I'll stop placing importance on exercise, but now exercise is more about what it can do for me mentally and a chance for a little me time. It's about being able to be active as long as possible and to be able to do my job without needing an oxygen mask. It doesn't mean I'll stop trying to have lots of fruits and vegetables on my plate, but it will be because I love my body and want to feed it, not because I hate by body or want someone elses. (PS-this will never stop being an inner struggle, I'm sure).

And there are so many other things that I need to remind myself:

It doesn't matter how fashionable my shirt is, but it matters if I would be willing to give it to someone else who needs it more than me.

It doesn't matter how new or clean my car is (thankfully), but that I would be willing to help someone with their transportation needs.

It doesn't matter if I bring a simple meal or a gourmet meal to a family experiencing a hard time, but it does matter that I cared enough to bring them something edible.

It doesn't matter how clean or fancy our home is, but it does matter that I make it a priority to make others feel comfortable and welcome in our home.

I want to BE someone who is able to keep the right perspective in life. To recognize the things that don't matter 5 years from now (like if there are dirty dishes when an unexpected guest drops by), and to be able to see the things that seem insignificant but have long term benefit, like taking the time to play a game with my kids.

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