It's been about a month since my last post, and that's pretty rare for me. Back when I started up this blog, I was sometimes posting a couple of times a day. You know - all those quizzes, like "What kind of purple are you?" and stuff like that. It's like we didn't have enough to put on our blogs, so the Internet was providing us with filler so we could all run around and see just how purple all our blog friends were ... because we had nothing better to do ... and some days, we didn't.
Now I'm posting less frequently, but I hope what I'm offering is more valuable.
I'd like to share a little bit about what I've been up to lately. Yes, I'm writing (two new books coming out soon) and I'm editing (pretty much full-time) and I'm still homeschooling and doing the stay-at-home-work-at-home mom thing. My new publishing company has produced two books so far (hooray!) I'm really busy with my church assignments, and then there's this handsome dude who calls me his wife, so yes, I've got a lot going on.
Internally, I was a whole 'nother mess of chaos. I was dealing with emotional issues that affected my weight and my feelings about myself and the world around me. I was dealing with guilt over things I couldn't control - so, yeah, why feel guilty about them - and also feelings of inadequacy. I had an early miscarriage back in October, and wondered what I had done wrong to make my body lose the baby. On and on and on it went, a cycle of trying to stay on top of things, never feeling as though I was getting anywhere, and wondering if I would ever feel like enough.
In November, I made a decision.
I had been putting a lot of pressure on myself to recover so I could get pregnant again, putting a lot of pressure on myself to lose the weight I'd regained (because of the emotional issues), and putting a lot of pressure on myself to be at the top of my game every minute. But in November, I said, no more.
I told my doctor I was taking some time off, and he said, "Good for you."
And then I sat down and really started looking at my life.
I looked at all my blessings, and I looked at all the stuff that's bothering me. I started praying intently, asking the Lord for help in fixing me. For someone who spends all her time helping others fix their mistakes (as an editor, for books), it was something else to shift the focus to me and fixing my mistakes (as a person, for life). I attended the temple and had some amazing spiritual experiences, which I won't be sharing, but trust me, they were amazing. I had a series of priesthood blessings that were comforting and affirming and uplifting. I was able to see my life for what it really is and to understand that I don't need to carry the burdens of all my expectations anymore - that I can take things one step at a time, and that being me is awesome enough without having to embellish it or augment it with, "Not only that, but she can juggle, too!"
You'd think that because I took the focus off my physical health and turned it toward my mental health, I'd be gaining even more weight. But you know what, the more I work on my mental health, the better my body is doing. Yeah, yeah, weight-loss gurus have been telling us that for years, that once we get our heads right, the weight loss happens. But there's a huge difference between knowing it and believing it. And there's also a huge difference between believing it and being able to put it into action.
Since November, I've taken all the pressure off myself. If I want to watch a show, I watch a show without feeling guilty that I really should be writing that chapter instead. If I want to eat a brownie, I eat the brownie. If I want to take a nap, I take a nap ... and surprisingly, to me at least, I'm more productive in the other areas of my life than I was when I regimented myself like a drill sergeant. And I'm drawn more to the healthy foods when I ask my body what it wants instead of telling it what I think it should want.
So many things have happened since November, I can't even explain them all - nor should I. It's been a very personal journey, one that I'm still taking. But I'm sharing this much with you for one simple reason, and that is this ... for the first time in my adult life, I am at peace.
I am calm.
I am honoring myself.
I am moving at a pace that feels more natural to me.
I have taken off the expectations and am moving with the flow of my own creativity and rhythm.
And I'm learning and growing and becoming. I've asked the Lord to be in charge, and He's doing a much better job than I ever was. He's much more gentle with me than I am with myself, and He tells me on a regular basis to take care of myself ... something I never did before, really and truly.
Down the road a little bit, I'll finish taking off the rest of the weight I regained, and I'll try again for another baby. It will happen when it's right, and for the moment, I'm not worried about it at all.
I'm enjoying the peace too much to worry.