What’s been on my mind recently is the topic of relationships. Everyone has relationships in one form or another. We have relationships with our spouses, our children, siblings, parents, extended families, co-workers, church friends, school friends, even people we see casually, like the grocery store clerk, the person bagging our groceries, and people at the gym.
We even have a relationship with ourselves and sometimes that’s the trickiest one of all. Lately I’ve been examining my relationships including the one I have with myself. The previous theme of this blog was about cancer and life after cancer. But I don’t want to focus on cancer any longer. There’s much more to my life than cancer. But I have to acknowledge how cancer changed me. I don’t think you can go through an experience like that, especially twice, and not somehow be changed.
What having cancer has done spurred me to take better care of myself and of course live life to the fullest. But that meant changing everything about my life. Since 2012 I’ve lost over 70 pounds, I go to the gym regularly, and have completely changed the way I eat. This was difficult but it's more than worth it.
I have a whole new attitude that has definitely changed how I feel about myself. Obviously it’s fun to buy clothes, and I find myself choosing more interesting and colorful clothes to wear. Recently I bought tennis shoes and while my inclination would have been to by black or boring, I actually bought silver shoes highlighted with neon pink and green, which is so different for me. (See photo with old tennis shoes in the background).
But I guess I have a new spirit of fun and celebration for this life. Last summer, my daughter gave me a pair of red and cream wingtip shoes. Never would I have bought these on my own, but they are now my favorite shoes! And they go great with the RED jeans I bought. Me... in red jeans... what a difference 74 pounds makes! (When I get really brave, I'll add a photo of me in red jeans!)
As excited as I am I don't want to turn into one of these people that has to tell everyone else how I've done this. Too many of my friends struggle with weight loss and other issues. While I want to be an encourager, I don't want to be annoying about it! Everyone has to find their own path.
We all want to have those relationships where we can share and celebrate the good things in our life, and still be compassionate and encouraging to those going through the tough times. The ups and downs of life are something we all have in common.
So as I go forward with confidence and some introspection, I think examining the relationships in my world and in yours will be a good exercise in trying to live life to its fullest and to appreciate life and the people we have in our lives.
I hope you’ll join me and share your own stories about the relationships in your life.
Let's start with how we treat ourselves. What’s your relationship like with yourself? Do you beat up on yourself? Have you gone through a recent change? Or are you still grappling with "can I do this?"Maybe if we share with each other, then we can lift each other up and today can be a better day.