I feel like I spent way too much time last year shrinking from real life and bemoaning my state of being.
Then I had a few little epiphanies that have rapidly been building on each other and falling into place like a long forgotten puzzle half put together on grandma’s coffee table. Life is meant to be imperfect. Why me? Because I’m human and this is how it works! I knew this, but I didn’t KNOW this, you know?
My mind has been like a perfect mental game of Tetris with the pieces just falling neatly into place. (Man, I used to play Tetris like a boss.) This mind game feels even better though. I realize this is all a lifelong journey of learning and growing, but this has all fell together since the 1st of this year. It started when I attended church on New Year’s Day, 830 am mind you, I am NOT a morning person to say the least. That’s probably what all this really comes down to, props from the big guy for getting my butt and our 4 kids to church that morning! Ha. Anyways, I had realized that some choices and thought processes throughout 2016 just hadn’t served me well and were negative and even toxic. I was ready for change. Some choices had really clarified to me who I did and didn’t want to be, what I wanted myself and our family to be in the long run. I was READY for change. REAL change.
So, it’s January 1st 2017, now about 10am and I’m in what we call Relief Society, a women’s only Sunday school class. I’ve got things swirling around my head space as my friend, and the teacher that day, starts digging into her lesson on not shrinking with the three words Faith, Trust, & Patience on the chalkboard. I like the idea of having a word of the year, but hadn’t yet come up with mine. As a discussion starts to blossom and these wonderful women are sharing their insights, I think about all the shrinking from life I had done over the past year; all the complaining and whining and feeling bad for myself. I ponder what the opposite of shrinking would be. Growth? Not it. Hmmm. I think what do I want to do instead of shrinking? My answer? I want to embrace my reality. Lightbulb! Intro Tam’s word and motto of 2017: EMBRACE.
I quickly threw a post onto Instagram right there on the spot. I was excited to start embracing life. Real life. All the good and especially all the trials and hardships. I realized that although I am special because I am a daughter of God, that I’m not so special that I don’t have to experience real life. Life is messy. Its ups and downs. Its trials and growing through adversity. If we do it right at least. I was ready to be grateful for my opportunities to grow. Attitude is everything and I was ready to embrace everything!
That week I finally got myself over to the library to print up some pictures for the vision board I had been planning on doing since Wally and I went to a positive affirmation class a few months before. A few days later I finally got some motivation and both started working on my vision board as well as journaling in my new planner. I made it to the temple that week and was definitely not reading my scriptures daily, but I was trying. I love that we get credit for trying because I’m a notorious procrastinator! I was doing stuff guys, woohoo! I may have only got 4 sections of pics up on my board out of the 9 I had planned before I needed to go do more research, but I had started.
A few days later I was up one night on the laptop researching various things. I had vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery in June 2016 and have been worrying that I haven’t adopted enough healthy habits and am going to waste this opportunity I’ve been given to get healthy. Granted, I have lost 120 lbs, but I want to keep forward momentum. I know this is the long version, but I’ll try and shorten it up some from here. Basically, I looked up healthy lifestyles, came across the Blue Zones of the earth, which are the places that enjoy the healthiest and longest lives on the planet on average. The thought crossed my mind of I wish I could just go live in those places and really spend the time learning and living healthy first hand. I proceeded to have a very overwhelming feeling of the Spirit and a conversation with the big guy up above. Things like “wait God, are you saying we could actually do that??” and “but how would we pay for it?” The answers just clicked instantly into place with each question asked. I was on a crazy high and could hardly wait for Wally to wake up so I could tell him all about my experience.
I told him what I felt and all the answers I’d received as well as all the reasons I thought living abroad as nomads would benefit our family. And he didn’t laugh or instantly say no. I was kind of shocked. He said to talk to Mekhi and then he’d think about it at work. He sent me various questions and ideas throughout the day. I talked to Khi and he was on board. Over the next day or two we met with our church leader to consult and we called over our realtor. And that my friend is the beginning and the end. Here we go!