“Never miss a Monday.”
I hear it — yep, you guessed it (smarty pants) every Monday — when I drag my tired butt into Orangetheory Fitness in South Tampa for my hour-long workout. This gym thing, it’s pretty new to me.
For most of my youth and early adult life, I played soccer. I played often, and I played hard. I had no need or desire to step into an actual gym.
Fast forward quite a few years, input three pregnancies, followed by three natural deliveries, add in some stress eating, hormone changes, exacerbated anxiety, and a healthy amount of weekend wine… and you’ve got the me of today. 32 years young, moderately healthy, sort of “balanced,” typically exhausted, often overly-stressed (self-induced), under-inebriated (purposefully) yet still utterly happy self.
Well, that is when I can escape my own damn head and irrational perfectionistic tendencies.
This seeking perfection in everything I do and my “I must be the top-dog” mentality is nothing new for me. I’ve been this way ever since I can remember.
I’m aggressive, eager, motivated, competitive, and I really struggle to half-a*s anything.
For me, and others like me (Lord, tell me there are others out there) I see black, and I see white when it comes to my tasks, my responsibilities and all of the many roles I hold in my own home, with my work, and in my community.
I have this — what I’ve come to understand is a warped feeling about only doing things in full and to an extreme or not doing them at all; being all-in, or simply, just staying out.
Hence, my initial sign up to do two gym days a week, quickly became five days, Monday through Friday, and I’ve been loving how I feel.
In truth, this way of being — with this fixed and inflexible way of thinking — has helped me achieve success and ultimately curate a life that fulfills me.
But, then it happened.
What happened, you ask?
Something happened, and I missed a Monday.
Something happened and my divine plan for the day, the week, and the month were shot — or at least that’s how I felt when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to execute my schedule and make it to the gym every day as I initially set out to.
Not only did I miss a Monday, but I also missed Tuesday through Friday and the week felt like a wash, a waste.
But, was it really?
What made me miss Monday and the following four days was my 2-year-old ball of fire; one of the three lights of my life who ensures she is always shining bright enough to light up even the darkest of rooms.
My little monkey is under the weather. The pint-sized princess has pneumonia, probably caused by RSV or strep and though we are on all the right meds, it’s kind of kicking her butt.
I feel ashamed to admit that sometimes when my kids get sick, I find it really inconvenient. Ugh. I’m embarrassed just divulging that.
You may have felt the same if you’ve ever had a child fall ill on the day of a big work meeting, an out-of-town-trip or even on a date night with your spouse.
So, here I am, with this new plan for myself to get healthy and work out every day and here you are, sick, needing me and ultimately preventing me from achieving my goal.
But, what a dumb goal to have!
Not the goal of getting healthy, but the goal of having everything go according to your unnecessarily strict plan.
How ridiculous it is to hold unrealistic and irrational expectations for yourself, your children, your day’s event, and your life.
Speaking of lives, do you know whose are the most important?
And keeping our precious offspring safe, healthy, and happy.
“Never miss a Monday” is a terrific mantra and I am going to continue to adhere to it, but I am going to be more open-minded as to its fluidity and the areas of my life to which I apply it.
The instruction is on point — you should never miss a Monday, but you must take the message and translate it to all areas of your life.
Never miss a Monday or any other day when it comes to showing up for your kids and being the parent you need and want to be.
Never miss a Monday when it comes to showing compassion, being selfless and being there for others.
Never miss a Monday when it comes to executing your job or tending to your passion.
Never miss a Monday when it comes to working on your mental health and being more mindful and present.
Never miss a Monday opportunity to love your spouse and remind them how they make your life better.
Never miss a Monday by forgetting to laugh and smile.
So, yes, you should never miss a Monday to show up for yourself and get healthy in the gym, and I hate that I had to.
BUT, you should also never miss the chance to be who you are outside of those orange (or whatever color) walls.
I’m a mama first, and I’d never have it any other way.
So, here’s my suggestion for you and myself:
Let’s let go of impractical expectations. Let’s let go of unnecessary worry and guilt. Let’s let go of extreme, unwavering suppositions when it comes to our tasks and how they define us. Let’s let go of our need to do #allthethings and be everything to everyone at any given moment. Let’s be one thing at one moment and live in that space for as long we need to.
Today, and every day this week, I’m being mama and will be executing only as much as I am capable with a lovable toddler glued to my hip.
Never miss a Monday in the gym unless you have to, and if you are going to miss a Monday, your children make a damn good excuse.
This story originally appeared on @jthrenme on Facebook