I was watching an episode of House of Cards and the lead character, Kevin Spacey, said something to the effect of “Always choose power over money.” I put that one in my hip pocket so I could stew on it as I was in the middle of making a career move and really struggling with what to do about this job offer. I have zero power at my current job so I took the job offer, but that’t not where it ended…my struggle with power that is.
This weekend I went camping. Yes…camping. Bugs and breezeless 80 degree weather. It’s a lot like work except it’s relaxing work. You’re building your temporary living quarters and nowadays with quite suitable gear if you know the right people. It’s easy. Unroll this, zip this here, put this there – mindless work and when it’s all said and done, you can go exploring nature. We rode bikes and made a cocktail that we sipped on while we walked through a very cool nature trail. We saw a raccoon, old men fishing, birds of all varieties and plant life of every kind you can imagine and some you can’t.
It ended up being a very relaxing weekend which was much needed after a very intense conference and resigning from my job last week. One thing it wasn’t though was sexy. It was very different for me. To spend an entire weekend not feeling sexy and wanted after a year or so of being single and feeling hot after all this weight loss. No makeup, no showering, no shaving…different. (Now it was only one night so I’m being slightly dramatic but still.) So on the drive home, I started crying (I cry a lot and I’m totally blaming my birth control) but I couldn’t figure out why and then it hit me – I derive my power from my sexuality. I was feeling powerless. I was feeling ugly and stinky and powerless. All I wanted to do was go home and shower and shave and put on a dress! Maybe that has driven me most of my life and that’s why I was lost with the extra weight. Maybe that’s why most overweight woman feel the same way. They feel powerless.
Power is powerful…more so than even money. The key is to find your power elsewhere – maybe the gym or church or a gaggle of gals to which you can provide support/counsel. And to not let your need for power drive you. Focus on your need to help people or serve our purpose.
Power is also dangerous. What makes you feel powerful? Is that harmful to you?
P.S. I’ve taken up biking since my son got a mountain bike for his 8th birthday. I burned 358 calories today on a 40 min ride through a beautiful neighborhood in Atlanta. I love trying something new!
They say the best way to learn a subject is to teach it. I don’t think that’s more true than the parent-child relationship when it comes to learning about life. For some reason my son and I have had a lot of life lesson chats lately. Here’s what I have learned from him:
1) Self control: If you eat all the garlic bread because “it tastes so good”, 1) there will be none left when you want some tomorrow, and 2) your tummy will hurt. As I tell him that he can only have 3 pieces of the garlic bread, I am reminded of all the times I should have just stopped while I was ahead….before that 4th candy bar or 4th glass of wine or … you get the point. As I teach him about self-control, I’m reminded I should exercise it as well.
2) As long as you like yourself, that’s all that matters: “Mommy, do you like my artwork?” “Mommy, do you like my hair?” “Mommy, some people at school don’t like me.” My response is always, “Do you like you/your hair/your artwork? That’s really all that matters. Are you a person that you would like? Do you have a good heart that Jesus would like?” That last question brought tears from my little man for some reason. He couldn’t articulate why so we just hugged and I told him that I loved him. What matters most to you, what makes it easy to look at yourself in the mirror, what makes you proud should be all that counts.
3) It doesn’t have to be perfect: My son doesn’t like to do something unless it’s going to turn out perfect. “I’m no good at karate. I don’t want to go.” It’s not ever going to be perfect. Your best is good enough. That’s true for all of us. I’m reading this great book that my stepmom gave me and it said “It is impossible to appreciate a good situation when one’s focus is on the illusion of perfection.” You’re going to continue to be mediocre at karate (or whatever it is) if you give up and don’t figure out how you can be better. That applies to just about everything in life…relationships, weight loss, cooking, painting, work…you name it. That’s why candid photos are sometimes the best because they show life as it actually is, not some perfect version with everyone posed and sucking in their gut.
It’s not going to be the romantic comedy or Disney movie that you watch on TV. It’s real life and that’s what makes it so great. You create your own imperfect future with laughs and tears and stretch marks and smiles and bumps in the road all the while making you smarter and stronger hopefully.
What have your kids taught you?
Warning: It’s about to get real. Like real vulnerable. So if you like the shiny picture of me that you currently have, skip this post because I’m about to give you a peek into my dark side.
I have mentioned that contrary to popular belief, I have faults. Only a few though so don’t get crazy and start pointing them out. Yesterday I was smacked in the face with one of them.
Have you ever felt super cute and thought, “I wish someone would see me that mattered so my cuteness wouldn’t be wasted”? Hair was falling just right, tan was rockin from my recent vacation, new outfit fit perfectly, accessories were just right and the colors were all working together to bring out my new tan…I was feeling great! Of course the person that I wanted to see me was my boyfriend but he lives about two hours away so I was going down the line of other men in my life that are close that would recognize the mojo I was working. Then I thought, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Why must I seek the approval from others, namely men?” I guess we all do it to some extent or there wouldn’t be a need for selfies and Instagram and Facebook but I know that’s one of the areas I would like to work on so my happiness doesn’t hinge on other people. I had to remind myself all day that me knowing that my hard work at the gym and eating right was paying off and that was enough. I need approval from no one else. Period.
Maybe I didn’t get enough attention from my dad as a child so I crave that male attention (no fault of my dad’s…he was awesome and did the best he knew to do at the time…love you dad). Maybe I was just PMS-ing. Maybe I’m just lonely from coming off of a week of being touched and loved on on vacation. It helps to know these things about myself and try to pinpoint why so I can start to correct. I can be better every day and that’s always my goal: be better than I was yesterday. Eat better; think better; love better. Former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles said, “The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.” I don’t want to go back. I’m looking forward to a brighter and better future with less tears and cellulite and more smiles. I was happy before, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t fulfilled. I am realizing that can only come from within. It doesn’t come from dessert or margaritas or compliments from anyone else (male or female).
“I have found what I have been looking for all my life has been with me all along.”
What can you do today better than you did yesterday? How are you leaving the world a better place?