Wow, it’s already December! Never mind Christmas though, I’m now just months away from another milestone birthday. Sigh, the big “4-0”….it’s around these milestones that I often ask myself, am I where I want to be? My thirties have been full, but they don’t quite feel complete yet. There are things that I still want to accomplish before my next birthday….eeeeeeekkkkk…February is just around the corner.
1. I want to lose 10lbs.
Ugh these damn 10lbs! The same 10lbs I started this blog with a few years ago. I may go up or down five pounds, but in general, it’s always these 10lbs that I end up picking up again when I move off of a round of discipline and hard work. This is the weight I default to when I stop trying. But I know this place now. This weight is full of comfort and good enough. This weight is a reflection of destressing through mindless eating and channel surfing. These are the times that I shut down and tune out. It’s almost a coping mechanism, my food bandaid. This weight has little boundaries and lots of indulgences. This is the weight I can expect when I know I am acting impulsively and seeking immediate gratification. But this is exactly why I want to lose it. Living and floating through “good enough” isn’t actually good enough!! I haven’t gotten the upper hand on this yet, but I’ll be damned to settle at this state. I want discomfort, I want challenge, and I want growth. 10lbs is just the number really…what I’m actually looking for is to conquer this steady default state; clearly the security blanket I haven’t let go of yet.
2. I want to learn how to windex my parents regularly.
I try and be there for my parents. I help them with cleaning and meal planning. I drive them to appointments and talk to them every day. But what I don’t do is treat them with the fragility they deserve. I still see them and relate to them as I have almost all of my life. My ever “smart mouth, know’s better impatience, constantly busy, got better things to do” attitude they’ve always gotten from me. It’s easy to see my parents kind of frozen in time. It’s a taken for grantedness I’ve stupidly used as a life jacket. It’s tough though! They seem like the same people who use to be able to handle my sassiness and brattiness. There are characteristics about each of them that are unchanging. …Mom’s bun, Dad’s propensity towards brand names and sales…Dad’s ability to guilt me…..Mom’s indifference and half an ear she gives when I talk to her…..but of course they aren’t the same people they use to be. They have aged…a lot….if I can see those physical changes…I can only assume the impacts they are feeling mentally and emotionally. It’s not like they’d ever truly share what they are actually burdened with, outside of the usual knee and joint complaints I’ve heard most of my life. But I’d be a fool to not recognize that they aren’t rocks anymore, they’ve turned into glass.
3. I want to love more than less.
Loving people is effing hard! ESPECIALLY when they don’t do things as I would do, when they aren’t strong as they are supposed to be. When they make the same mistakes over and over again…or when they lie, cheat, deny accountability or seek to only serve themselves. But truth be told, these behaviours shouldn’t be barriers to love, they should be reasons TO love. Too bad it’s so hard for me to wrap my brain around that concept because it feels counterintuitive, but actions don’t equate to worthiness of receiving love. I’m not sure if people still parent in this way, but I remember growing up that people often withheld love punitively to shape behaviour. It was common to feel the absence of love when I messed up as a kid…and that would make me feel guilty or accountable for my actions…and somehow I unintentionally translated that into actions dictating love. I think I might have read that into religion while growing up too…that I was supposed to act in a certain way, and do certain things to earn favour or love. Unfortunately, I’ve somehow engrained that into the way that I love as an adult. But it makes sense that conditional love would force people to act out of fear, while unconditional love would allow people to act out of love. When confronted with things that make me want to run, I need to practice staying put and loving harder.
4. I want to take my relationships back old school.
I have to admit that as I get older, the flakier I seem to become. I jump head first into commitments, then waiver when the time comes to follow through on them. Maybe I over commit myself? Maybe I need to budget more downtime in a week, but regardless it’s important for me to begin properly honouring my commitments and showing up for people. It’s time to take my relationships back old school, long before text messaging, facebook and someday plans.
I recently underwent a surgery. it wasn’t hip replacement or a transplant but it was surgery nonetheless that put me out of commission for a little over a week. I can’t even begin to describe how comforting it was to experience people’s actions of love while I was down and out. Days before my surgery my girlfriend Erin gave me a container of homemade slow roasted turkey soup…..the day of my surgery (and quite frankly every day since), my thoughtful husband Jason, bent over backwards to care for me, including much kanoodling and grape peeling…the day after surgery my EFF Christa came over and had lunch with me with an awesome bag of tea in hand. ..my family visited within a few days to show their love and support over dinner with flowers and a huge bottle of rum eggnog in hand (classic Suma move), my friend Jenny dropped off some food from a dinner and bible study we weren’t able to go to…my girlfriend Ayah came by with delicious arabic food and marinated chicken I could pop into the oven, and my friend Teresa sent a care package of tea with a lovely card attached. These actions were invaluable to me. I get now, how supportive and comforting it is to people when we make it a point of showing up for them. I can recollect times recently that I peppered friends with “how can I help, I’m here for you” text messages, and sure those reminders are nice, but how effective are they at actually communicating love? Maintaining relationships via text is easy and convenient, and I get it, lives are busy….but we don’t build or deepen relationships via message, we simply placate them. It’s like a poke on fb reminding someone your there…but it doesn’t lend to the experience of love though it appears to. Conquering my flakiness is worth it if it makes a difference of someone’s love quotient in their life. Relying on my presence instead of my phone seems old fashioned but certainly worthy of revival.
5. I want to be open to unconventionally growing our family
It’s no secret that we don’t have kids yet. Having our own children may or may not be a potential for us following an ectopic pregnancy we had earlier this year. That was a hard truth to confront that led to many other difficult questions and conversations we worked our way through this year. And though I’ve fretted and stressed about it for so long, I am beginning to realize that family doesn’t have to be boxed into the way I’ve grown up believing it to be. Maybe we expand through adoption, maybe we foster…maybe we have more fur babies, maybe we develop rooted relationships with brothers and sisters who aren’t blood…maybe we strengthen relationships in our extended families…whatever it is I just want to be open to the possibilities. Both Jason and I recognize how important family is; and we need to also recognize the blessing in being able to create family in more ways than one.