The Proform Stretch Pro. "Stretch dozens of different muscles to maximize your workout performance and reduce risk of injury." Of course, this little beauty is just one stretching machine on the market. Pilates, Yoga, even football teams sing the benefits of stretching. Even my Nelson cat stretches frequently. (I'm watching him stretch right now as he sleeps in a chair across the room.)
Last year was full. Full of the stuff of life. Full of heartbreak and sadness, and yet full of life and joy and laughing. I would conquer the world, only to meet reality. Like ice to the face. Even moving to a new office location (i.e., my house. Pearl. Where I work alone every day!) brings its own set of challenges. I have found over the last months (really my entire life) that I have been stretched. Sometimes reluctantly. But what is life if not an opportunity to learn and grow... and change.
One of the hardest things for me is not being totally in control. This last year there have been multiple times with my dad or my brother that I was definitely not in control. Mainly because, well, I'm not a doctor, and I'm certainly not God. I was scared. Scared because I didn't know what was wrong, and because want them to feel better. I was given two choices in those moments (and I still have only two choices). I can learn to accept the peace that God and God alone can grant. Or, I can contort myself into a raging, sleepless, lunatic. One who bites her nails, eats Cheetos and laughs maniacally at inappropriate times. I choose the peace route, but it still requires WORK. I want to master this in one day. But, I just cannot. I am too much of a human, and instead I must daily surrender and give up those feelings of helplessness and instead accept peace... The quiet calm feeling that swallows doubt and fears and all things negative and ugly whole.
As I have gone through life I have learned and applied. One thing I do know for sure, life is not mastered overnight, in one moment. It requires over and over and over.
What do I want people to see and know when they look at me?
I want people to see someone who is highly imperfect (but has finally managed to keep her hair brushed, and not lit on fire).
Someone who loves Jesus, and does her best to spread the love around.
Someone who has a little gleam in her eye.
Someone who has learned to not make so many faces when people say weird things.
I want people to know that I will love them with no exceptions.
I want people to know that I lean heavy on the quirky side, and that I am comfortable with it.
I don't want to be mean.
I will not laugh at someone because they are different. I will hug someone even if they smell funny, and I will give you a glass of sweet tea if you come to my porch.
I will accept a challenge. I won't back down. While I may struggle through the sludge of change and trials of becoming new, I will make it through to the other side.
I will be flexible.
This I want people to see.
And I want it to all be true.
2014, (My self proclaimed year of love; seriously, who wouldn't love to have dinner with me? I'm fun.) I want to sit back on December 31, and be able to say, "I'm not the same as I once was," and know that it is true.
That being said, stretching doesn't seem to be all that bad, does it?