After running in several different directions this weekend, preparing to send the boy off to camp (again) and the husband off for a week long business trip I found myself with a decision to make. It’s 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening and I have yet to get to the gym for my daily workout. Seriously considering skipping the gym and maybe take a quick walk around the block I sought out the husband in hopes he would talk me into staying home with him. Finding him outside with a drink in one hand and a cigar in the other I took a seat on the steps and began my “I think I’m going to skip my work out because I am tired” speech I caught a glimpse of something moving along the bottom step. Taking a closer look I realized it was an ant transporting a rather large object up the steps. Thinking out loud I wondered why the ant chose such a large load to carry. What would make this ant think he (or she) could carry such a load? Always the positive thinker, my husband stated that maybe he needed it. I’m not sure what “it” was, but my guess it was a piece of a leaf from the tree above. But whatever it was it was bigger than the ant; a lot bigger. Continuing to watch the ant move across the step and up the next I was reminded of the difficulties in life and how we have to make the choice to carry the load or give up. Upon that thought sinking into my brain, I dusted myself off, grabbed my car keys and went straight to the gym. After all, if that teeny tiny little ant could carry his heavy load up the steps the least I could do is work out.
Throughout my workout I thought about the ant and how hard he has to work to survive. That trivial piece of leaf was apparently pretty important or he wouldn’t have kept going like he did. I wonder what would happen, if we took the time to put all we had into what matters to us; family, friends, faith, work. What if like the ant we decided that instead of fussing over stuff we figured out a way to work through it. What if we learned to prioritize and determine what was really worth working for? What if, like the ant, we lived in a community that took care of one another and worked alongside of one another for no other reason than because it’s the right thing to do. What if we were able to carry our life load and be thankful for what we have? The “what if’s” are endless; much like our life’s work.
In watching the ant it was apparent that he wouldn’t stop until the job was finished. Determined to get over any obstacles in his path I watched as he made it up the entire set of steps and disappear into the grass. Working hard is necessary to achieve our life goals. Making the decision to never give up is important; no matter how heavy the load. Taking life one step at a time, one task at a time and working to complete each one step at a time will allow you to live a fuller more satisfying life. Look at your load and decide to pick it up and carry it through to the end.
I encourage you to take a moment and watch the video below and to pick up your life load and carry it with determination and motivation. After all, if that tiny little ant can do it I’m sure you can too.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
It’s Friday afternoon and as I stare out my bedroom window remnants of this week’s snow still sit in clumps along the outer edge of my yard. The week has played havoc on me emotionally filling me with questions, concerns and deep prayer. I welcome the weekend with open arms hoping that it creeps by a little more slowly than usual. When I stepped on the bathroom scale this morning my heart sunk a little because staring at me was the exact same number that I saw earlier in the week. Standing there wanting the number to go down I began to replay everything I had done over the past several days wondering what it was that prevented me from losing and hoping that if I stood there long enough the number would drop; it didn’t. Even after I got off the scale and back on several times it remained the same.
Slumping out of the bathroom I sunk into my chair and began to feel sorry for myself. It’s been nearly three months and this is the first time I’ve been faced with a zero pounds lost for a week. As I sat there alone pouting quietly to myself I caught a glimpse of the clothes I had laid out to wear for the day; a sweater that I had not been able to wear in a couple of years and my new jeans; jeans with a zipper in them! It was in that moment that I realized just how silly my reaction to the number on the scales was. Seriously, there is a pair of jeans laying on my bed that is not only two sizes smaller than I’ve worn in nearly 15 years but they have a zipper in them! Zippers have been rare in my world until now; for me zippers are big stuff!
After showering and getting ready for work I hopped into my new jeans and as I zipped them up I realized that they are quite loose; as in they are a bit too big. So what do I really have to be disappointed about? Absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, disappointment should not even be word in my vocabulary anymore.
A friend of mine shared with me his thoughts on happiness a while back. As I read his words regarding happiness and how that in order for us to have happiness it is necessary for us to have unhappiness sometimes. Just like, he says, “ we must embrace Winter so that Spring will come; Happiness has a companion that serves a purpose” My ahh haa moment came when my thoughts drifted back to just a few short months ago and the incredibly large embarrassing number that was on the scale. At some point I will be brave enough to share that number but for now let’s just say that I never want to see that number again. That number represents a darkness that kept me buried beneath the weight of guilt, shame and embarrassment and although my current number stayed the same this week I celebrate that while it didn’t go down it didn’t go up either. The old number was my winter; the new number is becoming my spring. Winter, like the old number is harsh, detrimental to our emotions and can drag our spirits down. Spring, however, fills our lives with warmth, hope and a sense of renewal for filling our spirits with vitality and as my daddy used to say it puts “zoom in our broom”. I like spring, it makes me feel better than winter, but I know that winter is essential in the cycle of life. We must experience the four seasons of life to be complete; it is necessary
Just like the conversation I had with my friend regarding the perils of life and how necessary it is to go through them so that we are able to recognize and appreciate true happiness, I find that it’s necessary for me to stay put once in a while so that I can endure the season I am in while preparing my spirit for the next. Life is all about balance. We must learn to embrace all aspects of life in order to fully experience it as it is. We must be in each seasons of life if we want to truly live and be happy.
As I went about the remainder of my day in my spiffy new zipper pants I felt a new sense of peace settle within my soul. While the winter of my life is not over by a longshot, I know that my spring will be here allowing me to bask in its warmth and newness. It is important, however to remain open in knowing that sometimes Winter can last much longer than Spring; it’s all a necessary part of the seasons of our lives.
Whatever seasons of life you find yourself in I encourage you to take it all in. Embrace each and every part of that season so that when the next one rolls around you will have the memories to carry you through. If your winter was harsh, I believe that by remembering the harshness you will be able to sweetly savor your spring; just as those sweet memories of summer, spring or fall will enable you to endure the bleakness of winter. Staying focused, finding happiness and seeking peace are all part of the seasons of your life. Some may appear in more than one season while others may briefly appear only to give into a new season.
Turkish novelist and playwright Mehmet Murat Ildan once said “Love all the seasons, because every season has its own treasures! Winter does not own the treasures of the spring; the spring does not own the treasures of the winter! If you know only the autumn, you are poor; if you know only the summer, you are poor! To be rich, love all the seasons and live all the seasons! Wise and rich man is the one who knows all the treasures of all the seasons!” I encourage you to love all of the seasons of your life; it is then I believe you will find true happiness; the real treasure of life.
I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!