I'm stretched so thin these days. There are many times when I think I just can't do all this anymore. And there are times when I stop doing much of it - when I give into the exhaustion and the frustrations and I allow myself to stop working quite so hard. But then I can't stay that way, so I go back to early morning work-outs of squeezing a 30-minute work-out in between jobs.
I have yet to figure out the balancing act. Or the act of eating healthy. It's so hard to say no to a juicy cheeseburger than costs $3.50 at a local diner and say yes to a $8 salad that looks nowhere near as appetizing. And usually I say yes to the cheeseburger and no to the salad - even when I've spent the entire morning (and the night before) preparing myself for the task of ordering a salad.
I've spent a lot of time focusing on the things I haven't done. A lot of time trying to understand what my relationship with food really is and why it is that I go back to the foods that are not good for me. I've also spent a lot of time focusing on just how busy I am and realizing how important my diet is right now when I don't have the time or the energy to spend two hours in the gym every day.
And I am spending a lot of time focusing on where I am in life. On what I am doing every day and the impact it is having. Because every day I am surrounded by need. The need of medical care, the need of parents who care, the need of attention and of structure, the need of an understanding ear, the need of help even when you don't want to ask for help.
Seeing that need all around me is exhausting. It tugs on my heartstrings and makes me wish that I could do more and be more. When something happens and I feel like I didn't do this or that right, it impacts my entire day and then usually the day after that. So I do what only I can and I pray for some sort of guidance. Because I am human and I fail daily. I fail myself and my fight for health. I fail the children I work with. I just fail.
Even with the failure, there is success. There are moments, like last night, where I cuddle a sick child at 10:00pm and press a wet washcloth against their forehead that I am overcome with a sense of purpose. where I am reminded that it is okay to fail because there is always the next day. There are moments when I dance like a crazy person in the middle of the living room with children who don't speak fluent English and for that moment it doesn't matter that I hardly remember how to count to ten in Spanish or how to say the colors. Because the children's laughter and smiles overcomes any boundaries that exist.
And it is because of those moments that I am reminded to continue to fight for myself. It is those moments that allow me the grace to forgive myself for my failures in weight loss and healthy living. Because I remember that I need to be healthy so that I can be there for those late nights of dancing and pressing a washcloth to the forehead of a child sick with fever.
I still don't know how to do it, though. How do I say no to the easy drive-thru meal and instead make something healthy to eat when I spend the free 30 minutes I have at the gym or stuck in traffic. And when I am spending the money to eat out, why is it so hard to spend a few extra dollars on the salad instead of getting a crispy chicken sandwich or cheeseburger?
If I ever get the answers to those questions, I'll pass on the information. Because it is something I will need to hold onto. I need to be forever reminded of how to do this whole living healthy thing.
I never feel great after I eat french fries with my chicken sandwich instead of a side salad. And I always say that next time I will get a salad. But then that next time comes around and again I order french fries instead of the salad.
With each passing week, I feel like I am closer to understanding and closer to a breakthrough. But it is a process and I need to allow that process to happen so that when that breakthrough happens, it will stick and not just fade in a matter of days.
And I need to continue on with where I am. Serving the needs of the people I work with. Recognizing that God has placed me in these positions for a reason. Remembering that one day I won't always have to work so hard. Being thankful for the blessings that are coming from these opportunities - like spending a weekend in the Plano/Frisco area with one of my best friends and like upcoming trips and plans with my husband. And also having the chance to make that difference in a child's life.
(title from "romeo and juliet" by edwin mccain)