It thrills me to be writing of this now. It has been such a huge part of my life for so long. And although I have had the opportunity to share with many, I relish in the chance to share it with so many more. To offer guidance, encouragement and support where ever I can.
You see, I wasn’t always healthy. I grew up in your typical family home in the 80’s and 90’s. I ate junk food and drank soda. I was sick a lot. Tired often. I have always been different, appreciated nature a bit more, spent long periods of time alone in the woods. But I never played sports, never skied. I was, however, active. I had horses I rode and took care of daily, a bike I was always on, ran for seemingly no particular reason now and then. I even found myself awake early on Summer mornings, while everyone else slept, moving cinder blocks from the burned down house at 13. I lived this life on the edge of both worlds, sick & unhealthy and active & crunchy.
But before I knew it I was striving for the latter with purpose and intent.
I was lucky enough to meet the man of my dreams at 14. Fourteen. He was, is, my very best friend. And by the time I was 15 we were a “thing” that has never wavered one moment in the last 20 years. I don’t know how or why I got so damn lucky, but I am, and I know it. And there isn’t a day that I don’t appreciate it. There isn’t a day that I would rather spend with anyone else – not girlfriends, family, anyone. We are still very much inseparable.
By the time I was 17 I had graduated early, packed up what I could carry and headed to Camp Lejeune to follow my Marine. I was always a very determined girl and there really was no stopping me. I knew what I wanted and I was going to get it. A couple of months later we celebrated my 18th birthday, went home, got married, enjoyed a brief honeymoon and he was whisked off to Japan for the next long, sad, painful, six months.
Little did I know that fateful day, crying all the way home from the airport, locked in my room, sulking on Long Sands Beach during a storm so big waves were crashing and spraying over my car, that we were embarking on our journey even faster than we had expected. I had gotten pregnant on our wedding night. That’s right folks. As sappy and unreal as it sounds, our son was born nine months to the day.
But here I was, 18, married, pregnant. I knew many at that wedding were taking bets as to just how long it would last. Thinking us fools. Now they really had something to talk about. But we knew. I can’t tell you how or why, but we knew that we were going to make this thing work. That there was no stopping us. And this is where it all began. Having a baby was surely in the big picture. I may have been determined, anxious, ready to get my life started, but I wasn’t a damn fool! I was on the pill. I had plans. And although if anyone knew life didn’t wait it was me, I hadn’t expected this. But I wasn’t about to let this beat me or my goals. And I was even more determined to be better, smarter.
I began reading everything I possibly could, starting with that book they give you at your first appointment “What to Expect When You Are Expecting”. Boy, what a mind trip that was. I’m going to have a baby? Now? Seriously? Oh, fuck.
If I was going to do this, and there was no question I wasn’t, I was going to do it right. Did I mention I was also a smoker? Yup. Me. I loved them. Smoked as many as I could. All the time. Every day. When my friend told me the stick read positive… because I was too damn scared to look myself, I handed her over the cigarettes and left to tell my mom what I had done. And from that moment on I have tried to be as healthy as I possibly can be. Because I have people depending on me. I love them too much to ever let them down.
Sure I have wavered now and then. I love a big burger with fries after a night of cocktails! I have been reckless a time or two… or three. I still like to live! And I am far from a Saint. I just do it with intent. And I am still determined to be the best mother I can be. Starting by taking care of me.
I believe that you have to take care of yourself first. Before you can really do well for others, you must do well for yourself. It isn’t selfish. I have heard so many women say they don’t have the time, energy or ability to take care of themselves because they are too busy taking care of everyone around them. But what happens when the machine breaks down? And what about leading by example?
Being healthy is important to your family! Living naturally is important to them too. For what we do is what we leave behind. We are what we eat. The chemicals used in our homes, sprayed on produce, effect our being. Most of what lines the grocery store shelves are loaded with chemicals and genetically modified ingredients. And that translates to unhealthy bodies, sickness, allergies, fatigue, lack of nutrition.
All those plastics pile up. The chemicals linger. Killing our environment. Killing us. Leaving nothing but waste and harm for our children.
I have a tremendous tendency to ramble on. And I find myself here doing it again. I just have such a sense of passion for it all. We weave our way through life, over mountains and through valleys. We will never do everything right the first time, or even the second. I’m learning and growing everyday, even after 20 years of this. My journey has been fulfilling and it continues. And I continue to learn and grow, make mistakes and changes. But if there is one thing I might not have said thus far, that I feel I should it’s this…
Don’t try to be perfect. Stop worrying over it all. Just learn what you can, do what you can. And never stop growing.
What is your journey to wellness story?
Read Full Post »