This morning I was cursing the shower for taking ten minutes to get hot and at the same time cursing myself for thinking that buying a fixer-upper was a good idea at this stage of life. Sure the house has potential, but at that moment, standing in a cold, dark, old, out-dated shower, all I could think was "what the hell did I do?"
A moment later the hot water kicked in, and I was instantly soothed. It was then that I began thinking about the renovation potential of the space around me. I told myself to be patient, and in time I'd have the luxurious master bathroom I desired. It was also then, as the hot water worked its way down my sore, aching limbs, that I had an epiphany:
My new home -- much like my old self -- are both fixer-uppers with great potential.
We both have creaky joints, outdated plumbing, and are a bit saggy around the middle, but with a little overhaul, ongoing maintenance, and a lot of TLC, we might just rise above and allow our true beauty to emerge.
In a nutshell, I have not been maintaining my mental, emotional, physical or spiritual health. And now I'm paying for it dearly. I am completely out of balance.
Basically, these last few months, I pushed and pushed and pushed some more until my body finally pushed back with excruciating back pain. Only the pain didn't stop there. It radiated throughout my body, affecting my neck, shoulders, hip, knees, ankles, and wrists. And I began waking up daily with migraines. After years and years of learning how to care for my body and keep life in balance, I had forgotten my lessons in a blink of an eye, and was back to square one. Back to living with daily, chronic pain, as I had when my kids were babies and I didn't yet know how to care for myself, on top of being a sleep-deprived mother in constant demand. Then, as now, I see that putting myself last, often means failure, rather than success. Why does it seem we only learn big lessons the hard way?
Luckily, I went running back to my chiropractor and we've put together a plan to put me back together. Step One, is de-stressing. Step Two is getting back on track with my nutrition, exercise, and daily supplements. And Step Three is finding my balance once again and committing to maintaining a lifestyle that supports my health, rather than diminishes it. I don't know what the underlying cause of my pain is. I suspect a gluten intolerance is partially responsible for the inflammation throughout my body. I also suspect undiagnosed fibromyalgia. I've had every blood test know to mankind and know what I don't have, but still don't know what I do. For now, it doesn't matter. It only matters that I take care of myself and get better.
When I look around the new home we just bought I see the potential, but am too often fixated on the problems. The previous owners failed to maintain the home properly and thus, while impressive on the outside and on first glance, many visitors fail to see that the house needs a lot of work underneath. There are too many areas that were ignored or allowed to fall into disrepair. However, this morning after I finished my rant against all that was wrong with the house, I realized that part of why I was drawn to it in the first place was because I did see the potential and I wanted to be the one to bring it into its fully glory.
When I look at myself in the mirror, I don't always see my potential at first glance either, and sometimes I become a bit fixated on the aches and pains. On the outside, I appear healthy, and most people would never guess by looking at me that I've lived with chronic pain for years.
I've decided to give both myself and my new home the tender, loving, care we deserve. And in time, I believe both of us will no longer be fixer-uppers, but will be living at our potential.