“Start your own revolution and cut out the middleman”
~ Billy Bragg, The Great Leap Forward
You can have your own personal revolution any time you want. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. Sometimes it can start with a murmur at the dawn of day.
This week I started walking. For exercise. Shuffling out of bed every morning. One foot in front of the other. Trying to undo two years of turmoil. My body has absorbed every drop of it.
When my son was born I started eating. I needed energy to match his energy. He was a force that clung to me, twisted himself around me, turned me inside out. He cried and writhed. All day. For one year. I was capsized.
I also ate to make myself forget. Anything to alleviate the hell I was in.
The second year of his life has been a bit better. But still I carry the scars and demons with me. I haven’t quite recovered.
Today, I stand with an extra thirty kilos on me. I’m a mass of knotted aching muscles. You can hear my bones creak when I walk. I’m fairly sure my pancreas is working overtime shifts. I’ve aged ten years in the space of two.
You know when you have one of those “oh no” moments when you look at a photo of yourself? Where it hits you that you really DO look as messed up as you feel? Well, yes, I had one of those 2 weeks ago. My friend took a picture of me and my son in front of the elephant enclosure at the zoo. And I’m telling you now, you couldn’t tell me from one of those elephants. (Yes, you can laugh, I laughed too).
I’ve experienced this kind of moment before. It was over a decade ago. It was the catalyst to a life changing 45 kilo weight loss that took two long years. I was so proud of myself for having the mental fortitude to break addictions and manage my emotions for that long. It’s one of my finer achievements.
So, I know I can do it.
I didn’t just start walking this week. I started doing all sorts of things. Overwhelming things seemed doable. I suddenly got that rare commodity called head space. It was small baby steps really. But a great leap forward in my world.
I decluttered the kids’ toys. I cooked a meal all by myself (yep, that’s how ‘not normal’ I’ve been). I even sent a birthday card to our World Vision sponsor child. It was only 2 years late. I felt so bad about neglecting him, so I stuffed extra stickers and photos in the envelope. “Sorry we haven’t written for awhile. You see, I had a baby… “
I finally got frames for photos. And I hung them on walls.
This spurred me on to a bigger photo framing project.
Guess what? The overwhelm didn’t eat me up.
I did it.
They’re only photos. In frames. But the house is beaming.
When I stepped back and admired my photos I realised there was actually joy in the last two years. Somehow it seeped out of the turmoil and into our lives. There was much goodness.
So MUCH goodness.
My daughter admired the goodness too.
“Why are you so happy in this picture, Mum?”
I really was so happy then. I’d just given birth to my son 11 days before this. I was basking in babymoon bliss. I had no idea of the turbulence ahead.
I assured her I was happy now too.
“But I want you to be REALLY happy one day again. Just like the picture.” She said this with big warm tears welling up in her eyes.
My heart sank, drowned and came back to life again.
“I’m getting there, my dear. I’m on my way to being that mum again”.