Yesterday left me thinking a lot about life. How incredibly short it truly is. This was for obvious reasons Memorial Day isn't about the living so you do have a tendency to let your mind wander to death and what are you doing in this life. As I sat down I knew I wanted to write about the shortness of it, what had not popped into my head yet was the title, but as I gathered photos to share and was forming the words to type, I thought to myself, "You know life IS just like a box of chocolates, but it is so much more than not knowing what you are going to get!" Who among us has recieved one of those HUGE boxes of Whitman's for Christmas? I do not believe I ever did but I know my mom did and frankly that was one of the Christmas highlights! Sitting here now I am thinking that the giver probably could have put a little more effort in the gift but I am grateful they didn't. I can remember them being wrapped in cyclophan and the hope and anticipation I would feel about what was inside of that box (hey I was a fat kid leave me alone) knowing that there was goodness inside. Don't we feel that way about life when we are going into new experiences? Learning to ride a bike? Our first date? Our first marriage? The birth of a child? The new job? We go into it with the highest of hopes!
Sometimes when we reach in we get that wonderful chocolate caramel and all of our hopes and dreams are met, but other times we get that milk chocolate with cherry cream and nuts, which was not at all what we had planned. Our marriage fails, we lose the job, we fall and skin our knee, our child dies. This didn't go as planned, not at all. So what do we do? Do we look at the box and say "You gave me a bad piece.. you suck! I am done with you!" and toss it out? Or do we just toss out the remainder of that nasty little cherry traitor and try again? For so long I have wanted to toss that box out. Just be done with this, because I felt that with each selection it was cherry cream after cherry cream after cherry cream and it left me no desire to chose again out of fear for another damn cherry cream! That fear left me not enjoying any of the chocolate caramels though, not a one. I had no hope or anticipation when I looked at my life, it was a long slow drudgery that just sat there in front of me mocking me. Like the remainder of the chocolates in a box if you don't chose one, they just sat there. Do you know what happens to chocolates that just sit there year after year after year? They melt, mold, dry out and become a wasted mess of trash, just waiting on someone to come along and toss them out. That was me, that is where I was waiting to have the cuorage to throw myself out or hopefully someone or something else would come along and take care of the task for me.
I wasted a lot of chocolate caramels over the last decade, but no more. I don't want to live in fear of cherry cream!
Seriously if you didn't laugh at that... check your box of chocolates you may need to dust it off.
What are you even saying here Re? I am saying that life is too short to sit here freting over what is going to happen next, because the truth is SOMETHING is going to happen and it is going to happen with or without you. I can't tell you that it is going to be good or bad but it going to happen. It is going to happen regardless if you are out there looking for the next adventure or sitting in your recliner letting it go by. It is going to happen regardless if you keep your stories and feeling and words to yourself or you share yourself openly. It is going to happen NO MATTER WHAT PATH YOU CHOOSE so why not give yourself the freedom to be part of it?
Trust me I KNOW how hard it is! I fight the urge every single day to shut the door, turn off the computer, stop responding and retreat back into the safety of the darkness. Yes I have to fight to stay out of that horribly sad place, because it is comfortable and while the things still happen it does offer a layer of protection.
This weekend was full of hard choices, "Oh you didn't see those?" Let me fill you in on some.
I posted a photo of myself in pajamas at what looked like my hightest weight ever (it wasn't by 20 pounds) That was way out of that comfort zone. But it was a choice to continue to share my life and my truth with you. My hard work and dedication so that someone may be inspired to help themselves or even reach out to me to help them get started (hey L I know I owe you a coffee phone call.. we have GOT to mesh our calendars this week.. ps I am proud of you.. I saw your post... so proud). I chose a chocolate.
I went to a party. That sounds incredibly simple right? Go to a party, who doesn't want to go to a party? Me that is who. There are and were so many ways that could have gone sideways. But I chose to go and surround myself with people I adore and extend myself outside of the safety of these walls and land boundaries I set for myself. Yes I do still have a tendency to hide, but, I chose a chocolate.
I ran my first 5k in YEARS. Oh Re you could finish a 5k with your eyes closed. Yup I sure could but it would have been at a walk with no effort because that is where I had gotten, no effort, no efforts given! But that is not where I wanted to be on this race, I wanted to do my best to really try and that on the same hand scared me! What if I failed, what if I was sooooo slow that everyone was standing around waiting on me? What if .. what if.. what if.. could I have allowed the what if's to over ride my desire to go.. ABSOLUTELY because I was darn close. But I went and I shared my morning with a group of friends that mean so much to me. I was a key player in one of my deartest friends first 5k's. I finished in less time that I had set out for myself and you know what.. no one was standing there waiting on me .. I got to finish the race with my earth angel and one of the most beautiful and strong women I know (also her first 5k) and the others? They were cheering for us as we finished. I chose a chocolate.
I wore the 2 peice. I can't begin to tell you how far that was outside of my comfort zone, but I pushed through that zone, put it on, and then took a picture for all of the world to see! It's not perfect by any means, I still have lumps bumps and rolls, and sitting down is well.. yea let's not talk about that, but it is a step towards accepting my body in the state it is in and where it is going. I chose a chocolate.
Was I perfect in any of these situations? Absolutely not, but I shared my wealth, not only with others but with myself. One day, that box is going to run out of chocolates and there will be no more choices to make, there will be only one left and that chocolate will be neither caramel or cherry cream it will be the sum of all of the chocolates you ever chose, and for me.. I am realizing that I want to try as many chocolates as possible, the only way you will ever get to all of the caramels in this life is by risking getting a cherry cream from time to time.
Signing off with this take some time today and just think about if you are really living life to it's fullest or are you gaurding yourself. If you are gaurding yourself right now what are some small things this week you can do to break that?
Peace Love and Light
(PS I should note that it was me that always threw out the little piece of paper that came in the box with the chocolates, there was joy in the unknown back then, which was before Whitman's started printing the names on the lid.. .after that I had to just not look)