I’m not sure if this post is going to make any sense. In my mind it’s perfectly clear the message my little fingers want to tap tap tap into this little ditty of words meant to inspire, provoke thought and hopefully by the end help you to take that much needed deep breath and say “This is just want I needed today”…
Not too long ago we moved into a much more “Mimi and Tara” kind of space. Part of that “Mimi and Tara” kind of space included having a yard of sorts. You see I like to garden. And by garden I mean I like to mow the yard, pull the weeds and keep things looking nice. The first year I lived here in Halifax, I would leave our apartment (sans green like space) and as I walked around I would admire anyone that had a yard. It didn’t matter if they kept it up or let the weeds grow like wildfire (and trust me some of these folks around here have LOTS of wildfire growing). I kept thinking to myself “If only I had a yard of my own”.
Then the universe provided me with a little patch of green I could call my own. I can’t do much with it as it doesn’t “technically” belong to me. What I can do is pull out the rusty old push/pull mower (you know the one without the motor), cut the grass, pull up weeds and keep the small trees, bushes and that pesky hosta (that Mimi despises but I love) from growing uncontrollably.
It’s not much, but I take pride in what I can do to take care of it.
I have a next door neighbor, Ann.
(this is her yard)
Now her yard is something to admire. It’s beautifully manicured and I often find myself wishing that the yard that I currently take pride in (which up until just a few short months ago didn’t even have) looked more like hers. A few days ago, I asked about her son’s upcoming wedding in which the reception is taking place at her house. She’s been busy the last few weeks putting the finishing touches on her already beautiful house and on this particular day she was working in her yard.
She stopped what she was doing and said “I can’t believe how beautiful my soon to be daughter-in-law’s Mother’s yard/garden is”…(that’s where the actual wedding is taking place).
Isn’t it funny (but not really funny) how we are always looking over the proverbial fence at someone else’s “greener” grass all the while forgetting the beauty that is right in front of us.
When I was first stepping on to this Life Changing Journey, I would constantly look at those around me that were thinner/faster/stronger and a) berate myself for not looking like them, telling myself I’ll never get to goal weight, I’ll never run a mile, I’ll never be able to do whatever (insert name here) can do and that led to b) feeling defeated, disgusted with myself and wanting to give up before I’d even really started.
I didn’t spend nearly enough time thinking about where I was standing at that exact moment and how far I’d come even with the small baby steps I was taking. Maybe I wasn’t at goal weight but fuck I lost 15 pounds without taking pills, shoving a spoon down my throat or starving myself. I was reading labels. I was educating myself about processed foods. I was in my own fucking kitchen (the proverbial garden) people! I wasn’t running a mile but at 4am in the morning I was at the waterfront and that 60 second run turned into a 90 second and eventually turned into a THREE. MINUTE. RUN. without stopping. I was moving. I was sweating. I was heading in the right direction. Whatever (insert name) could do that I couldn’t, it was okay really because what I WAS doing at that time was pretty amazing considering where I’d started.
You see where this is going right?
Wait a minute…maybe you don’t know where this is going. I know you’re probably thinking “So what Tara is telling me is to stop looking over at what someone else is doing and pay more attention to what I’m doing“…yhea sort of. But what I’m really saying is that all that time you’re looking over there at someone else wishing you had what they had, you’re forgetting one important thing: someone is looking over their fence at your garden.
Take pride in what you’re doing. Right now. Today. Don’t worry about what’s happening over there. Stand where you are and look around. Someone is wishing they could do what you’re doing today. Whether it’s pushing the plate away from you when you’re full and NOT taking another slice of pizza, or going an extra 5 minutes on the elliptical. That modified push-up you’re doing that you tell yourself looks weak because you’re looking at someone next to you doing weighted incline push-ups looks pretty fucking amazing to someone that can’t even do one push-up of any kind. That slower than molasses run YOU THINK you’re doing looks pretty fast to someone that can barely walk down to their mailbox.
It might not seem B.I.G. now. Those small changes. The frustrations of why can’t I (insert whatever here) feeling like they are drowning out the ability to see how far you’ve come. The anger of how you got to be in this situation in the first place keeping you from seeing what’s really happening. I spent so much time being angry with the fact that I was morbidly obese and how hard it was for me to move, if even for short bursts of time that I missed seeing the truly awesome changes that were taking place no matter how minuscule they seemed.
Yes, Ann’s garden is spectacular. I would love to sit for hours on her cute little bench, barefoot reading a book or just laying in the grass looking up at the sky but I can’t. I have my own yard to tend too. My little patch of green that makes me smile each time I take my lawn chair out and watch the world go by. It’s may not be the best yard in the neighborhood but I work hard at keeping it just the way I like it…
And someone out there without a yard is wishing they could have mine.