I saw a picture on Facebook today that spoke to my soul. The words on the picture felt like they were written about my life. I have been pondering it all day since I saw it and felt that it deserved a blog post because it has affected me in a certain way.
When I read it I will say it brought up a memory from my childhood. It was Sunday and we were at church. In Young Women’s class, the teacher asked everyone to stand up and tell one thing that our mothers had taught us. I think my mom was embarrassed by my comment. I stood up proudly and said that my mom taught me that “Life is Hard”. Everyone laughed at me and my mom tried to intervene and say that’s not the best thing she had ever taught me or something like that! I stand by what I said and I don’t think its necessarily a bad thing to teach your kids that life is hard. It’s hard because its full of hard decisions that will affect you and the rest of your life. My mom didn’t teach me the doom and gloom life approach, just that life was full of hard things and the outcome was fully dependent on the choices that you make. As I have grown up and matured I have learned a deeper level to this whole choice thing. When faced with a choice as a child it seemed so simple. There was a good choice and a bad choice. As an adult its just not that simple and I think that we are often faced with a two hard choices. We have to think and try to determine which of the two hard choices will yield us the best results, but are often pushed to wrong one because the other seems too hard.
Marriage and Divorce…that one hit me pretty hard. My marriage was hard, really really hard. For the longest time Divorce seemed like the inevitable end, but that seemed harder. It hurt my soul to give up on my marriage even though it was as bad as it was. I had a choice in front of me. I can make the hard choice that would keep me in my marriage and keep me and my kids miserable or I could make the other hard choice to leave which means I am on my own and back to being a single mom, but to 4 kids not just 2. I had to make a choice and I made the equally hard choice to head down the path of divorce because deep down I knew it was right for me and for my children. I had the foresight and the experience to know that I could do it. It took me a couple of years to get on my feet (with much help from friends and especially family), but I am on my feet, solidly! I chose wisely!
The next one hit me hard too. Obesity or being fit! Wow, see what I mean! This thing spoke to me in so many ways. I have fought obesity most of my life, but especially hard since my marriage started going downhill and the abuse became bad. My stress relief was to eat. It turned me into a depressed 400 lb person that I didn’t recognize. I knew I was once again faced with two hard decisions. Stay overweight and TRY to lose weight on my own or choose to have weight loss surgery which inherently has risks. It was definitely a case of picking between two hard decisions, but once again I had the forethought to know which one would give me a higher chance at success. Having a LOT of therapy under my belt I knew that I had come a very long way in overcoming my eat addiction. With that on my side I decided on the surgery was my best chance at a healthy, long life. Every day since surgery day has been hard work. It’s not what the common person thinks. You don’t have surgery and then just sit back and do nothing. You might be able to get away with that for a short while but the weight loss would not be close to where you need it to be and it would stop at some point and you would probably be worse off. I have worked hard almost every day since I started my pre surgery diet. I work hard to make healthy food that I can eat, I exercise 6 days a week, and keep track of the food I eat and my weight. I am happy I made the hard choice to be fit because like divorce, it was hard, but I am happier than I have ever been.
The other two applied to me and definitely gave me the feels. I have struggled with bad credit most of my life. I made stupid choices from an early age with credit cards and have struggled with money management. It has been a miserable life living paycheck to paycheck with bad credit. It has been hard, but I am on a steady path to fixing this. It is hard to make this choice to get out of debt and be fiscally responsible in my spending. With the help of my parents, I was able to get out of debt and since then I have made hard but better choices in how I spend my money and use my credit cards. My credit score is on a steady climb up and I am happy to say that I am currently debt free except for student loans and paying my parents back. I have no credit card debt, no medical debt, and have money in my savings. It has been hard but satisfying to have more financial freedom than I have had in a VERY long time.
So, I go back and stand by my comment that my mom taught me that life is hard because guess what? It is! I will teach my kids the same. I will do this not to teach them doom and gloom and that life is miserable, but rather to teach them to know that they will need to make hard choices and hopefully instill in them how to make the “better” hard decision.