I’ve been thinking a lot recently about ways in which I have changed the last couple of years. It has been an interesting and rewarding exercise.
In my 30s, I cared so much about my image. Was I attractive? Thin enough? Stylish? Interesting/cool? Career oriented? I felt like I was always trying to check boxes that I believed meant I had a good, successful life. I don’t mean to say I wasn’t happy. I just had radically different priorities.
Nowadays, at 42, living with Stage 4 MBC, so little of that matters to me anymore. Do I want to be attractive to others, considered cute, stylish, and interesting? Of course. But it’s not even close to being at the top of my list of priorities anymore. I’m caring about 20 pounds of extra weight now. Just a year ago I was 140. Now I’m 160. I don’t like it, but I do like having dessert with my kids, having a drink with my husband, and going to have Mexican and cupcakes with my bestie. I only work part-time now, and my self-esteem def took a hit when I no longer felt like a financially stable, super lawyer with my own firm. No more super cool cases and drama to discuss. But you know what…I really love how little work related stress I’m carrying nowadays. I love the extra time for lunch dates and field trips. I love having time for self-care so that I have energy for the people and things that really matter.
I’ve realized that my finely crafted image never truly fulfilled me. But now I finally have the time to sit with myself and with the things that do fulfill me and bring me joy. My family makes me so happy, especially watching the kids grow into their adult selves, helping to shape them. Sitting with a book in the afternoon and really savoring the story/losing myself in it. Playing with the pets every day and seeing how much it has helped their development. Going on little walks. Having time to do acts of service for my family and friends. These things matter. These things make me happy.
I still intend to work on myself. I always strive to be better. For example, I want to be fitter, not for looks, but for strength. The work is never done, but the definitions change over time. And that’s not only okay, it’s good. Change is good. Everything is going to be okay. No matter.
We have to make the most of what we have. Every day we can.