Monday, May 19, 2008

Shifting Simulacrums

I have rounded the bend and seen the sun rise from a new horizon.  Or could it be the horizon has always been the same and yet I have not yet taken it in from this perspective?  It may be that the overseas move has finally started to work it's magic on my mind, but I will not be so grand as to admit this chosen adventure has had an affect on me.  Though this one thing I will admit, things have changed.

In an effort to pull myself out of a pit of self-pity and descending depression I turned to what reason I had maintained and attempted the age old cure: exercise.  What better way to feel better about yourself and get some energy back but by working off those extra pounds accumulated by sitting on the couch in front of the English BBC channel in an attempt to avoid the foreign not-so-niceties and popping bon-bon's to console my guilty conscience.  Yes, my conscience was still capable of producing guilt which is a quality I am proud to admit I possess an abundance of.  Without that forcing me to face reason in the eye I may never have lifted a foot again.

Is there not an ideal life we all imagine ourselves living?  Even a life we may "show" others we are living?  There was a point in these last few weeks in which my mind came out of those lofty clouds and realized I was nowhere near that life I'd imagined creating for myself, my family.  I served up a good helping of humble pie and sat back to watch a film clip of my past revealing embarrassing lies to myself.  Yes, I had thought I was on the road to this "reality" but at some point I had disengaged the gears and was coasting with the navigation system set on scramble.  Fortunately, somewhere along my journey I looked out the window and witnessed a bit of scenery I did not like the looks of.  In the blink of an eye I witnessed my children growing without me.  I was missing moments which could have been spent on the playground or dancing barefoot on the living room floor to sweet little voices singing princess songs.  Suddenly I understood the looks on the faces of crouched and wrinkled faces who watched us as we passed them by in hurry to get to the next "must-get-it-done" place.  They gazed at my children with a look of longing, a longing which could only be for the days they had once spent with their own small and beautiful children who'd now grown and possibly even moved to a far away land.  I was living in the midst of those moments and not enjoying them to their full capacity.  Would I one day be resting my weary legs on a park bench and watch a young frazzled mother rushing her children along and have the thought cross my mind "if only I'd spent that time enjoying their innocence and youth more" or would it be possible for me to watch that woman pass by and recall more happy moments than can be recalled singularly but blur themselves into years of happiness with my many young children?

Strangely enough it was not the fresh and frequent trips to the playground or living room ballroom or even the loss of over 20lbs which made me realize my life vessel had finally found the proper detour and I was in the midst of transformation.  It was the easy transition into a portion of lifestyle I've only dreamed possible of those I most admire.  There is a particular type of friend with whom I have always held the most respect for and this friend (plural) often has many qualities to be admired.  Shamefully I admit most of which I had once found myself, if not equal to, on the path to perfecting.  But one thing never ceased to amaze me and placed these women on a pedestal at least one step above mine if not lifting them into the clouded realm reserved for goddesses.  What could this unreachable quality possibly be?  I will admit that it could even be interpreted that the woman of Proverbs 31 accomplished the same task (verse 15), the one verse which I would shake my head at and loose hope at ever being able to achieve.  Okay, let me be more honest and tell you that I'd shake my head at that Proverbs woman and convince myself that she was a tad overzealous in her endeavors, at least when it came to that particular passage.  What needed to be done in a day could always be done at a sane hour of the day, namely after all the sweet dreams you could squeeze out of the night had been exhausted.

The transition happened with a clarity of vision and rational thinking, so was too smooth of a decision.  It dawned on me that the exercise I needed to achieve each day was not being met due to time constraints and conflicts of interest during the day (one of those being the extra playtime moments).  It stood to reason that if I could just wake up an extra 30-40 minutes earlier in the morning I could go for a brisk morning jog in the sweet spring sunrise and still have enough time to shower and get the kids ready for school.  I had motivation enough to pull me away from those sweet moments of sleep the first few mornings and that is when the sunrise shown down on me.  I had rounded the bend.  Suddenly I have turned into a person I had once deemed if not impossible to become, at least insanely fanatic (the thought I used to convince myself I was not in need of such regime or in my less than finer moments that I tried to convince myself I could never achieve it even if I eventually wanted to). 

It is an accomplishment that even if it does not produce the results desired (an extra 20lbs shaved off my figure) it has already given me the vision of a foreign sunrise which will never be forgotten.  Once an accomplishment as monumental as this has been hurdled, the next hurdle will look less daunting.  In addition, I feel great.  It seems the fresh morning air has not only boosted my confidence but also my immunity and energy.  Now I can catch up on all those other Proverbs verses . . . sigh . . . well at least get the house mostly clean and the essentials bought for a tasty meal for my family, Italian style, tonight.


Anonymous said...

Having seen you blossom like this has been such a treat. The 20lbs that somehow dropped off you (and i am sooo jealous of! i am drinking my water like crazy here!), the way you kiss and cuddle the girls with all you have, the way you know how to lift other's spirits - amazing.
Your advice i take with both hands, i am so grateful that i have found a friend in you.
love, daphne

Amber said...

Sooooooo eloquently written, my dear. You truly are an inspiration!

It is funny because I was swept away in the doldrums of day-to-day life and started pondering my ideal life. And then I realized I am LIVING IT. I have a great husband, two kids and a happy home. I need to just stop letting the little things bug me!

Lisa said...

Sigh. The Proverbs 31 woman has always made me tired. I'd like to meet her. I love God and I love His word, but I always think about Miss Bennett telling Mr. Darcy that she wonders how he knows ANY "accomplished women" ... based on Mr. Darcy's own definition. I'll be looking forward to hearing how your new perspective and focus goes. You sound wonderful - your writer's voice is enthusiastic, clear and insightful. {And if you let me come to your tasty Italian dinner, I'll be sure to bring some good dessert. ;)}

Nooner said...

Hi Mama ;-)

You said tons here. What amazes me is that you achieved an amazing accomplishment, i.e. a serious self-look and understanding of what exists today for you, and ideas of what you need to change or continue going forward. So, so glad you said the words "I feel great". More accomplishments can follow with that attitude.

All the best,


Jungle Mama said...

@Amber - I am so glad that you have found yourself in the same spot you left her ;) Congratulations. Doesn't that feel good?

@Lisa - Yes, that proverbs woman is intimidating, but I take her for what she was and relates to today. What I can accomplish to better myself and those around me I will strive to do. That which is only for lifting up ones image I'll leave behind.

@Nooner - You are so right! Just the fact that we can say to ourselves we're actually feeling well with the world is a major step, isn't it? Ha, though wouldn't you know that day after I wrote this I came down with a sore throat. Figures! Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned any bible verses . . . could there have been some blasphemy I missed and am now being punished for? Na . . . but I do often wonder how the cosmos works it's superstitions.

t i m said...

Great stuff. ;)

I love Italian, although I found out ordering spaghetti on a first date was probably ill advised for me. :)

jorge said...

Congratulations on your accomplishments. The only advice I'd give you is to compare yourself only to the way you were yesterday, and never to anyone else. Any "improvement" should use this as its only yardstick. be well,

bibi said...

Hurrah for those sweet moments in life when we feel so empowered. And long may they last!

t i m said...

Just dropping by to say greetings, hope you're doing well. Have you been swept up like the rest of the Dutch nation @ the moment by watching Euro 2008? :)

Jorge said...

I miss your posts! Hope you and the family are enjoying a summer holiday. be well,

Holy said...

Wow - I thought I was behind on blog posts.

I trust you're travelling throughout Western Europe and having a great time with the fam damily.