We put up our Christmas tree last night and decorated it today. We talked about all the ornaments and where we got them, our collection is getting quite extensive. Holiday music was playing, it was raining, we made hot chocolate. It was a good day. After the kids went to bed, I put Max’s ornament right in the middle of the tree where I can see it everyday. And I cried just a little bit. Sometimes it just physically hurts.
Last year we were confidently pregnant at Christmastime. Happy. Things were looking up! And then we lost the pregnancy. And repeated the cycle in the summer. And here we are again, putting up Christmas, and I feel like we haven’t made much progress.
I’ve been working out with a group and a trainer for over two months. Three days a week, all my heart and soul, we sweat it out together. We run and lift heavy things and jump on boxes and do burpies and jump rope. It is the best kind of torture. But guys I haven’t lost a pound. Not a single one. I get so discouraged because I am measuring my progress on the scale. (Ugh why do we even own that thing.) Anyway, yesterday I went for a “jog” (“or maybe it’s yogging. a soft j”) without any kids or strollers or scooters. I set out to go a mile straight…and after that I just kept going. When I got home, my fitbit had recorded a 3.2 mile run at a 12:30 pace without stopping a single time. It may not sound like much to you but TO ME, it was huge. I was so proud of myself! I have never been able to run for an extended period of time like that, EVER. NOT EVER. I’m not small, I’m not light, and yet my body ran around for forty minutes without dying.This is a significant improvement from two months ago, when an 800 meter run made me want to vomit. And though my scale hasn’t moved, my body has changed. I am stronger. My body can do hard things.
I think maybe I’ve been measuring progress the wrong way. Look at all the things we have done, how our children have grown. The memories, happy and sad, we have made. Losing two more babies at 14 weeks has taught me patience, understanding, taught me about empathy and service. We’ve taken vacations together as a family. Been to Disneyland thrice. Swim lessons and violin and ballet. A new church calling. Celebrated birthdays and anniversaries.
It’s been a year. The same Christmas decorations were pulled out of storage. I am different in ways that I can’t really see. Yes, I am emotionally tired and a little lot discouraged and sometimes I cry and eat oreos. No, I don’t have a newborn, I’m not even pregnant. I don’t know what we will be doing next time I pull out the Christmas storage bins, but I hope I’m a bit stronger than I am now. I can do hard things.