My parents have been married for a lovely 44 years. First of all- that is a very long time considering that my generation is the first generation of kids when divorce became common. So very many of my friends parents split (some more than once) while we were kids and that is something that we never had to worry about. After being together for over 45 years- my parents are still crazy about each other. That is huge! They love one another and love us girls and were never afraid to show it. Growing up surrounded by that kind of love; seeing the sacrifices they make for one another and for us; it's a terrific lesson for us. If you aren't sure if successful marriage can be influenced by what you grow up with- consider the fact that we girls have been married from 15 to 24 years. We have all had our ups and downs but we have stuck with it. That's something to be proud of but I can say that (at least in my case) when the going gets rough- we think of Mom and Dad.
As we get older, as we take on more responsibility, as we "grow up", I think we lose a bit of our joy. Think about this for a minute. Do you remember when you were a child and went to the park and hopped on the swing and pumped and pumped and pumped until you felt like you were flying? Do you remember the first day of the summer that you could go outside and turn the sprinklers on and run through them with abandon? How about laughing so hard that you couldn't catch your breath and then giggling about it all day? When was the last time you felt that way? I know that for me it was a long time. When I think about pure joy- I think about kids and dogs. Now- my "kid" is now an adult- and my neices and nephews live far, far away; but I have two "puppies" in my life. When I get home after a long day; when my key turns in the lock- they go into a frenzy. Auggie is jumping up and down wiggling around and so happy he nearly turns himself inside out. Harley brings me whatever toy (or shoe) is in between her and me and just wiggles till I take it and play with her. They radiate so much love and are so happy to see me that it is just infectious! No matter how bad the day as been- their pure joy at seeing me lifts me up and makes me want to be as happy as they are.
Kindness and Loyalty-
My sisters are two of the sweetest women you could ever meet. They are smart, they are funny, they are considerate and are far better than I at remembering important dates or tidbits. If they love or care about you the two of them stand beside you through thick and thin. They take the time and think of ways to lift you up (from a great distance I might add) when you are having a rough time and they don't hesitate to show you how proud they are of you. They inspire me to be a better person in my own life and relationships.
When you have weight issues- it is a common practice to do Before and After pictures. In fact I need to take my "before " pics very soon , I just haven't had the time this week. It's also a fairly common practice to put in a prominant place (like your fridge) a photo of what you would LIKE to look like. These are mine:
What I like about these two ladies- Jennifer Aniston and Kate Beckinsale- is that both are honest enough to admit that they were not born into those bodies but that they take hard work to look that good!
They are also in my age range (Jennifer is two years younger than I am and Kate 5 years younger) and look FABULOUS. Now- will I ever REALLY look that fit and that beautiful? Not in my lifetime- but I can work toward it to the best of my ability.
So that is a few of the people who inspire me. I am grateful to have them to look toward when I am feeling low and find the strength to keep on keeping on.