Rome wasn't built in a day, nothing worthwhile can be.
Worthwhile = Dedication + Time + Patience + Love
See the photo above? That photo represents something worthwhile to me. You automatically think my daughter, and of course, for any parent, that's a no brainer. Our children are the definition of "worthwhile" and the greatest lesson of how to achieve it too. I'm not referring to my lovely (adorable and totally cute) daughter in that photo taken around September of this year. No, I'm talking about me. Gasp. I know what a most conceited thing to say...er, type.
To make my meaning a little more clear, click here, scroll to the bottom of the post and take a peak at a similarly posed photo of my daughter and I taken almost exactly 3 years prior to the above photo. Notice any difference? Nope, not my daughter, still lovely (adorable and totally cute) and a bit taller too. Yes, our clothes are different, specifically mine. They were at least five sizes larger in the old photo. Gasp. What?! Yep, Rome wasn't built in a day, and I also discovered in the past three years that neither was my health.
A couple years ago around my 35th birthday, I was puttering around on Pinterest when I came across one of those inspirational fitness quotes set on top of some awe inspiring image (see below). You know, the kind that makes you feel inspired to run a mile and yet slightly sickened all at the same time because you couldn't if you wanted to, well, that was my personal thoughts at the time anyway.
|Image Source: Pinterest|
I don't think I'd ever really applied all of those "inspirational" words to myself before. Yes, I'd expressed them to others, but never, ever all of them to myself. Why? Well, I didn't want to be selfish of course. What the heck? Love yourself? No, really, love yourself. Yes, you should and also see yourself and your body as worthwhile. After all, our bodies are the most amazing machines that were ever or ever will be created, not your iphone or your tablet or your 2 billion inch wide big screen that you sit in front of for several hours a day, but YOU including the amazing shell your soul has been blessed with to walk around in.
This thought hit my 70+ pound overweight self like a ton of proverbial bricks. I spent more time taking care of the external mechanical man-made wonders of the world than I did my own amazing God-created wonder, my body. It showed too. Not only physically on my body, but also on my daily routines and activities and what I could and could not do and how I did things and how I looked at things and what risks I took and didn't take and how I encouraged others and how I encouraged myself and how I..... Well, you get the idea. The state of my body affected everything in my life, everything.
So, on my 35th birthday, I committed to be worthwhile to myself. I knew I was already very worthwhile to my family and God so it was time to step up and answer to myself too on the matter.
The only thing I did that year was dedicate myself to take the time to participate in sweaty exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-5 days per week. It took a lot of patience and when I failed, because I did often, it also took a lot of love to keep going, but in the end, I knew I was worthwhile, not only to myself but to my family and to God (who I could serve better if I functioned better physically from day to day). I lost 25 pounds the first year. The second year, this year, I dedicated myself not only to exercise but also to evaluate what food I put in this machine handcrafted by God. It has included a lot of ups and downs. Along the journey, I've lost another 35 pounds. Next year, I'd like to add in some strength training to go with my cardio exercise and new eating habits. Then the next year...well, there will be something else I'm sure to add in. After all, it is about what I do each day consistently, not just a day here or there throughout the year, and that is the hardest part of this journey.
One thing I've learned about "worthwhile" is that it is never ending. Nothing worthwhile was built in one day. You were handcrafted in your mother's womb over time. You are not only on a journey but you are a journey and a worthwhile one too. So keep going. Not only giving to others but to yourself - dedication, time, patience and love.
As this year comes to a close and a brand new 365 days are approaching. I challenge you to consciously decide what is worthwhile to you and focus some of your dedication, time, patience and love on those things next year. Because, whether you decide to or not, you will spend those things on something in your life so make it worthwhile. I've shared a small part of what that means to me and I hope you can apply it to what it means to you this coming year as everyone is in their own place in life.
P.s.This personal post follows another one about doing less and being more that you might also like to read.