How is it possible that January lasted four years and February is over in 30 minutes? Good gracious, time is flying by. Last time I checked I had just caught up with the blog and now it’s been a month.
It’s been one year since I started this journey to health and wholeness. A year ago today I was on my third day of workouts, my third day of eating portioned food, and my third day of running to the bathroom 84 times because that gallon of water is no joke. If I tried to list the things I’ve learned in the past year, I would be writing all night. So I’ll narrow it down to two.
One is balance. “Everything in moderation” might be the wisest three words ever spoken. And this was a hard, hard lesson for me because I am an extremist. (Not in the religious, political, or fanatical way. I’m not a cuckoo bird. I’m just talking about my personal life.) I’m either at zero or one hundred all of the time.
If I was eating healthy, I would throw out everything in the pantry and start fresh — down to the last grain of rice or packet of salt. If I was not, then I would order from three or four different drive-throughs for dinner. Real life. This is the truth. When it came to fitness, I would work out two or more hours a day, six to seven days a week. Or on the other end of the spectrum, drive my car to the mailbox that is half a block down from my apartment. I just want to paint this picture as clearly as possible.
In this year I have learned that it is a good thing to work out consistently. It is also good to take some days off and allow your body to rest. It is not good to take several years off, nor is it good to workout so much that if you miss a day you have an emotional breakdown. (Different story, different day.)
I learned that it is a good thing to eat whole, balanced, nutrient rich meals but it’s also good to indulge in my favorite foods every now and then. It is not a good thing to eat so little that your hair falls out nor is it good to eat as if I am headed to the electric chair.
You see what I’m getting at? All of this balance is a learning process for me. I’m still learning. I’m nowhere near finished. And this leads me to the second and most important lesson I learned this year.
It is a good thing to be a rough draft.
In fact, I always want to be a rough draft. I never want to be finished working on who I am. Whether that be mentally, spiritually, or physically, I always need a new goal. I need something to strive for. Author Shannon Hale put it this way,
I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.
I love that so much. I want to take everything I learn and build castles. And all these raw, unfinished edges will eventually smooth out and become the walls and beams of my life.
The picture on the left is from a year ago and the picture on the right was taken yesterday. Both of these are very rough drafts of who I want to be. But I’ll tell you what, I’m not a first draft anymore. There’s a difference between rough drafts and first drafts. If I stayed in the first draft there would never be any progress, but I revised, I changed, I shook some stuff up. And now I’m in a whole new draft, a better version of who I once was, but not yet ready for printing if you will.
That being said, if you are in what feels like a rough draft, embrace it. Don’t over edit yourself. Don’t try to fit on someone else’s sheet of paper. Be who you are and make no apologies for it. I believe that every draft of our lives has something to teach us, so look for that nugget of knowledge and understanding so the next draft is even better.
I’ll be back sooner than you think.