Not. At. All.
(this is obviously not an exercise picture)
I've had a time-and-a-half the past year with fibromyalgia, and exercise has ranked right up there on my list of things I'm dying to do right along with:
* gouge my eyeballs out
* pick up a spider without at least 3 wadded-up paper towels, and
* dilate past 3 centimeters without an epidural.
Seriously. I am that averse.
Unfortunately, I'm now at the age where my skinny-girl jeans (not to be confused with "skinny jeans," the cut) will not fit beauteously unless I make sure I'm not cheating on my Weight Watchers points and yes, exercise is helpful, too.
I want more energy. My kids range in age from 4-14, and they are a million miles an hour. My soul is only really energized when I'm "creating" and dreaming and being engaged. And being exhausted like I have been is way-stifling. It is totally cramping my style.
I hear exercise is energizing. This knowledge has been around since the dawn of time, probably, but I've been ignoring it.
So I'm getting a toe in the water, thanks to our 'doodle. I'm now dog walking.
I swear this dog is good for my figure. He needs to go walking every day, so we go all over the place. Up to this point I've had a tiny dog whose exercise needs - I have maintained - are fully satisfied by running circles around the dining room table from time to time.
But a 'doodle must walk. Therefore I walk. And I don't even hate it! (I guess all the experts are right about the positive effects of exercise... who knew?)
We've been chatting a lot about happiness, and today I want to shift gears only a little, to encourage you to take good care of yourself. (And it's not selfish. So don't even start....)
Most of the friends I have are not wrestling with how to do good for others or how to be generous or how to be selfless. Maybe I just have a weirdly wonderful group of friends? But seriously - you do a lot. You give a lot. And that's good. It's what really blesses us inside our hearts the most, right?
There is something else I know about you, though...
If there is something that's allowed to fall through the cracks in your life, my friend, it's probably you. And I care about you too much to sit by and say nothing.
You have your own set of challenges that tug at your energy and your spirits. You hide them away most days, but sometimes you peel back the layers and let a glimpse of the hurting places be seen.
The only way I know to get past the hard places is to refuse to hide them away. Instead, I whisper my story, because somewhere in the telling is where I'm most reminded that God is still writing good stuff.
And there is relief from pain, and there is rest, and there is a way to choose joy.
A goofy dog has been part of making "taking better care of myself" more fun (and more likely to happen regularly, since I hear that exercising him will make him less likely to destroy my house as well as making my butt smaller).
Are there things you know you should be doing to take care of yourself, but you put it off, because it's not super-fun or there are so many other people who need your time and energy?
Today, I want you to know something: You are worth taking good care of, too. You are worth treating gently. You are worth the gym membership or the long walk, the time curled up with a good book, or the new journal to write down your "best thing of the day." You are worth the evening out with your husband or the morning laughing with a friend over coffee. You are worth the nap, girlfriend. You are worth pushing for answers to why you don't feel well. You are worth that college course you keep toying with in your mind or that photography class you think would be great "just for fun."
Not to get all sappy here, but...
You are precious. And loved.