Celebrating my 36th wedding anniversary last weekend has given me pause to reflect on the big picture of commitment in my relationships with my husband Sam and our children Sam Jr., 35, Julie, 33, and Kelli 20. (Doing the math it’s easy to see I was a child bride.) Realizing we have been blessed beyond measure, I posted a wedding day picture of us on Facebook and had many congratulatory messages and “likes” referencing our special day. It’s seems like a lifetime ago; to be honest, it feels like several life times ago. My twenties were a blur as I blindly took on the roles of marriage and motherhood. (Bless my children for waiting until the thirties for marriage.) My level of immaturity was second only to my low self-esteem & confidence. Within a couple of years, I found myself responsible for a household, a husband, two children (at the time) and a dog. Something tells me I wasn’t alone tackling these issues (ladies, this is your cue to slowly move your head in an affirmative manner). Sam and I married in the month of November and reality struck with a heavy hand when he surprised me with a big Christmas gift (wait for it, wait for it…) a dryer to complement the washing machine in the garage. Surely there had to be a surprise vacation to Mexico or a diamond necklace under the Christmas tree outlined in magazines in that day and time. Nope, money was at a minimum the first decade and was expected to stretch to the limit covering bills, babies and household expenses. We loved each other, yes, but there were so many factors to be considered while navigating life on a sea of uncertainty. Thankfully my husband was a hands-on dad and my mom was available when my son and daughter were born. She was my rock and true inspiration as I watched her tackle each task with such loving authority. My mom possessed the noble qualities of a housewife and mother procuring it into an art form guided by her faith. Experience was her teacher and she in turn became mine.
Which brings me to the topic of discussion: where was my relationship commitment to “me?” In my frantic attempt to steer this household away from any possible calamity, I failed to protect and insure my health and sanity. Deep seated within me was fear of failure as I navigated uncharted waters figuring out my strategies along the way. Solace came to me in food. Its mission was no longer to sustain me, but instead to comfort and reward me. A silent pact was agreed upon between my mind-body relationship and the fuel was food.
Back to our wedding anniversary, my responsibilities have shifted as a result of an “empty nest syndrome” (our third child left for college last year) and retirement, which generated more time for reflection and re-commitment. My commitment now is to the original duo, my husband and me in an effort to commit to an enjoyable, healthy lifestyle. I’m including myself this time! During the next ten weeks my plan is to rewire my mind-body relationship restoring caloric order in place of unmanaged eating habits right through Thanksgiving and the holidays. It will take a great deal of faith, patience and forgiveness. I’ll keep a diary of my escapades on my website listed below should you want to leave a comment, share some inspiration or simply join me in this endeavor as I enter uncharted territories! Happy Thanksgiving!
Originally Published in The Bay City Tribune on November 22, 2015