Easy to be heavy, hard to be light

“It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light.” – G.K. Chesterton

I recently heard this quote, and absolutely cannot get it out of my head.

Why does it ring so true?  Why do I feel like this is so applicable to my life and my behavior?  Why do I find it so much less effortful to automatically react negatively to situations?  Do other people feel this way as well?  Do most people?

A few days ago, my boyfriend went to Publix (an amazing grocery store chain, for those of you not from the southeastern United States) to get some sandwiches for us for lunch.  In my typical persnickety, particular fashion, I had my boyfriend write out exactly what I wanted on my sandwich, expecting that he would read my instructions verbatim to the sandwich maker.

A six inch ultimate sandwich, with pepperjack cheese, on whole wheat bread, toasted.  Plus lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, green peppers, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Simple, right?  Not at all demanding?

I stayed home with the baby while he went, but was already hungry, and really looking forward to my sandwich.  It felt like he took forever to return.  I was practically waiting at the window with the baby, watching for his car to pull into the driveway.

When he got back, he took out the two sandwiches, and I eagerly began to unwrap my half.  Before I could even get the paper off I noticed a familiar yellow tinge bleeding through the white paper and my heart sank.  I hate mustard on my sandwiches.  My boyfriend noticed my unease and remarked disdainfully, “Yeah, I think she might have put mustard on one side.”

I was angry.

I was angry at the sandwich lady for what I assumed to be an inability to follow instructions. (Yes, probably very unfair).

But even more so, I was angry at my boyfriend.  He must not have been paying attention when the lady was making the sandwich.  He should have checked it for correctness before he paid.  Doesn’t he KNOW that I don’t like mustard on my sandwiches?

I was pouting like a child.  I withdrew into myself and tried to scrape the mustard off the bread, but my efforts were fruitless.  The mustard had already soaked itself into the very fibers of the bun as mustard tends to do.  I ripped the bread to pieces trying to remove the mustard, and ended up just toasting two slices of bread we had at home and putting the filling of my sandwich inside.

Of course during all this time, it was painfully obvious that my mood was soured.  Over a sandwich.  I was barely talking to my boyfriend as I indignantly ate my Frankenstein sandwich.  Granted, even with switching out the bread, the sandwich was still delicious.  It was just easier to be angry and place blame than it was to simply let it go.

It was easier to be heavy, than to be light.

My natural instinct was to be bitter about the sandwich, rather than to be grateful that my boyfriend had used his time (and money) to go get us lunch on a weekday – something that we normally never do.  I finished the sandwich, which I had actually enjoyed very much, and gave my boyfriend a hug.  I swallowed my stupid little pity party and decided to be light about the situation.  I apologized for my behavior and thanked him for going to get the sandwiches for us.  He wasn’t upset and the atmosphere of heaviness that had been in the air for the last 15 minutes or so cleared out completely.  The atmosphere of heaviness that I had created.

I feel like we encounter so many moments each day, where things do not go exactly as we expect.  In these moments we have a choice to make.  It is easy to be heavy and let irritation or disappoint spoil your mood (and probably those of anyone around you).  But I promise, you will be much happier if you take the little bit of extra effort and try to find the positivity in the situation.

 

 

A Shift in Perspective

Isn’t it amazing what excuses we tell ourselves when we fail to make time for things we have committed to, or even the things we enjoy doing?

Like this blog, for instance. I love to write. Like really love it. And I love the idea of taking time for myself to write here every day – or even just a few times a week. This is something that I have committed myself to doing time and again, recommitting every few months with a renewed vigor. “This time for sure! This time I will make my list of post ideas and work on one to publish every 2-3 days. This time I’m really going to do it!”

Then without fail I enthusiastically throw myself into the creation of one grand post. I publish it. I feel amazing and creatively fulfilled and can’t wait to begin work on the next one.

And then a day passes.

And then another. And another.

My list of blog post ideas goes untouched as the excuses start to dim the rosy glow of creativity and satisfaction that had enveloped me following my previous post.

“I have to run errands today.”

“I don’t really feel like writing.”

“I don’t have any good ideas today.”

“This post isn’t perfect.”

“No body will care to read that.”

“My baby is taking too much of my time today.” (This is, in fact, a somewhat valid excuse I think. My almost 5 month old is still quite needy and dependent on me, as most 5 month old babies tend to be. I am writing this right now at 9pm after he has fallen asleep in my arms).

But I think the biggest limitation I put on myself was my initial intent of making this a health/nutrition/fitness-y type of blog. I find myself struggling to come up with new and original post ideas that fit within these categories (when there is already SO MUCH out there), and have not even allowed myself to consider writing about other subjects.

But what if I didn’t just have to write about these things?

What if I were just to write?

I started this blog at a time when I was trying to transition from a teaching career to one in the fitness industry. I cared so much about getting stronger and having abs and counting my macros and having a popular Instagram.

But then I got pregnant. And eventually had my little baby boy. And my entire perspective on the universe changed so drastically that things that used to seem really important to me, all of a sudden diminished in their importance.

Don’t get me wrong, I still work out every day and lift heavy things. But my goals have shifted dramatically. I just want to lose the last little bit of my baby weight and stay active and healthy – not because I want to look like a fitness model, but because exercise makes me feel good, physically and emotionally.

I still love to cook because I am passionate about the process of cooking. It is one of my favorite ways to relax. But I don’t care about creating “macro-friendly” recipes that will somehow become Instagram famous and be shared around the internet. I just enjoy eating deliciously healthy food and sharing it with my family.

I don’t put time or effort into my Instagram because I don’t care how many followers I have anymore. The time I spend playing with my little guy and experiencing all his giggles and wonder at the big wide world is much more valuable. These are passing moments that are much better experienced with a fully present heart and mind, not moments to be constantly recording and uploading for others to ogle at.

This baby, little Noah, has changed my life and put so much into perspective. I find myself milking every last drop of joy out of each moment of the day. I have never felt so engaged and satisfied with my life.

Rather than letting him be an excuse for not writing, I’m going to use him, and the beautiful moments we spend together, as inspiration for writing.

And not just him (even though he is like, 96.3% of my life right now). But I am going to write about whatever I want. Fitness, books, food, me, gratitude, quotes. Whatever comes to mind, inspires creation, and contributes to my happiness.

Isn’t that what having a blog is all about?