I started out the day with a loose plan in my head. I had a number of things I wanted to accomplish in the house, and a few errands that I needed to run. As most loose plans go, mine fell apart pretty much from the beginning (much to my chagrin). *sigh* Just when I think I have got things under control, I lose my grip and things feel like they are spinning around me. I mostly just hate that feeling.
So, when my sweet girl asked me to play dollhouse with her this morning, I immediately told her that of course I could--but it would have to wait until after I exercised. After all, I had to stick to some sort of strategy for arranging my day. She was seemingly fine with my polite way of putting her off, and we all went about our business...until I really started to think about the interaction I had with my daughter.
I say all the time that my kids are important to me, that they mean so much to me, that I'd do anything for them, that I want to be a good mother...but it all comes out of my mouth as complete blather when I'm unwilling to follow through with my actions what I say with my mouth. This morning, I said to my daughter, "Yes, I will play with you. Can we do it after I work out?". What I intended for her to hear was, "Yes, I do want to play with you because you are important to me and I like spending time with you". But what came across was, "My workouts are more important to me than you are and I will only play with you if I get that done".
I didn't mean to be insensitive, it's just that my exercise is important to me. But is it the most important? I would absolutely say "No". But my actions absolutely say "Yes".
I went to Anna and apologized for putting her off, and we went off downstairs to play dollhouse. No harm, no foul, right?
Well, as I started thinking on this situation more, I admitted to myself that my exercise is important to me because, frankly, I want to keep from gaining any more weight than I already have. It's my way of trying to stay in ultimate control. Now, exercise is important for health and quality of life--we've all heard the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet--but for me, it's about more than that. It's a way for me to negate what I've eaten during the day so that I can feel okay about myself. I am at times still terrified (I am a work in progress, and sometimes the progress is S-L-O-W like molasses. But, like a friend told me, molasses is yummy and quite worth the wait!) to gain an ounce. I've gotten better, but it still occupies my thoughts way too often. Like I said, I hate feeling like I'm losing my grip in certain situations.
I thought back to my own childhood, and how precious the times when my own mother would stop what she was doing and play with me. In my little world, it was the best thing that could happen in my day. I'm very similar to my mom. She was an exercise fanatic and hardly ever missed a workout, even if it meant she had to walk in the rain (and guess who her lucky walking partner used to be?). When I reminisce on those good times, I don't think fondly about how thin my mom was or about what she looked like. I think about how much fun I had with her and how I wish I could share life with her now. But I can't. She's gone. All I have left of her are memories, and they are beautiful not because of her physical beauty but because she loved me and I felt it.
Ah, time. It's said to heal all wounds. I don't know about the healing part, but it does make the pain of losing a loved one a little less hard each year that passes by.
Hopefully time will allow my daughter to forget all about my parenting faux pas and we can play dollhouse again tomorrow like we played dollhouse today. I won't forget, though. I learned an important lesson today about where my priorities are, and I didn't really like what I saw. I am determined for my actions to match my words. I want people to know that I mean what I say. I want my kids to not just hear that I love them, but to know without a doubt that I love them. I'm making memories today...