If You Hesitate Now; That’s a Subtraction

Let’s get moving into action
Let’s get moving into action
If your life’s too slow, no satisfaction
Find something out there, there’s an attraction
If you hesitate now, that’s a subtraction
So, let’s get moving girl, into action

~Tim Armstrong: Into Action

Conversations tend to take a different spin when you become a full-time stepmom for the summer. Last week was a perfect example. I was in the company of acquaintances one morning when the discussion turned to ‘camp’. Not the camping thing I am relatively familiar with, but rather the summertime sequestration thing for children.

Apparently camp has hierarchy, but we’ll dive into that drama at a later date. Anyway, we women do tend to get into some unique, and often useful topics – where to buy the best sports bras, the bane of waxing the day before a hard workout, or suggestions for healthy camp lunches. On this particular Saturday, the conversation went something like this:

Oh, you have child? How old? Me: My stepson is 10. And how old are you? Me: I’m 41. Sooooo, THAT is what 41 looks like when you’ve never had to birth your OWN kid!


Sigh. No. Let me call a little bit of BS here. No, sorry to disappoint. I am NOT what 41 looks like because I haven’t given birth. I am NOT what 41 looks like because I was born thin. I am NOT what 41 looks like because genetics made me beautiful.

I AM what 41 looks like when you eat clean. I AM what 41 looks like because I give a damn. All day. I am what 41 looks like when you work out each and every day. Yes, every single day. Often twice a day. I am what 41 feels like because the food I put in, and the energy I exert makes my mind clearer. I am what 41 looks like because I am vain. I want my husband to think I am sexy, and I want strangers to covet. I AM what 41 can be because I want to wear pretty and expensive clothes. I am what 41 IS because I will be rocking this body at 51 and at 61.

I am this image of 41 because I care what goes in this body and how it feels. It is my only temple and I want it to look, feel, and be fabulous.

I am this version because I am mindful. It is not easy, but it is my choice. Seriously, I am a girl from Wisconsin and I recently gave up cheese. CHEESE! Choices. I am what 41 looks like because today this body is my temple, and someday soon it will be a work of art.

Mindful. Clean. Vain. Strong. Irrelevant. Choices.

Just get Moving Into Action.

5 responses to “If You Hesitate Now; That’s a Subtraction”

    • I am going to refer to my superhero self from here on in as Ms. Righteous Indignation. And as for the universe? Yeah, it did good when it mindfully slammed us together. You give back to me more than you ever realize!

  1. I should start by saying that I LOVE your blog, and you regularly serve as a source of inspiration for me (and countless others, I’m sure) – both in the call center industry and in life. Thanks for putting yourself out in the world to inspire us all.

    I agree with your point that it’s not fair that people assume that you are a goddess of health and wellness simply by virtue of not having biological children. I can tell from this, and past posts, that you work HARD, eat smart, and live responsibly. You deserve all the rewards and accolades in the world for this. But reading between the lines (or in the picture) it’s equally not fair to suggest that those who don’t make healthier choices are slackers.

    I am a proud stepmom to three kids who now live with me almost full time while their mom and dad both travel extensively for work. I work full time in a job that really deserves about 60 hours per week, but gets about 40. I own a restaurant. I founded and run a nonprofit. I serve on the vestry of my church and chair the Mississippi Diocesan committee for the Honduras Medical Mission. And in between all of this, I manage a minimum of two loads of laundry per day, middle school cross country practices and events 2-4 times per week, high school band practices 3 times per week, middle school band and choir rehearsals, practices, and performances, summer camps – both the “away” and the “day” varieties, private percussion lessons twice a week, private trumpet lessons twice a week, and helping get our oldest ready for college in a short sixty days. And I’m one of the lucky ones who can afford to have a housekeeper and a lawn maintenance crew come in weekly. Could I wake up at 4:30 each morning to work out? Absolutely? Could I give up my one hour of bathtime reading (where I often fall asleep) each night to go to the gym or do yoga instead? Absolutely. I’m simply not willing to make those sacrifices within my current situation. But I, too, give a damn. I, too, live mindfully. And for the next three years until my youngest can drive, I have prioritized my life differently based on what is most important at this point in time.

    I AM what 37 looks like when you eat three well balanced meals a day, but with way too much processed food. Do I (and my kids) get our veggies? Absolutely. But on days when I’m squeezing dinner in between three other activities, those veggies might have to come out of a can. I AM what 37 looks like because I think it’s vitally important to give my kids every opportunity to live their childhood to its fullest in the few years left that they can, and I’m the one who they depend on to enable that to happen. I am what 37 looks like when you used to enjoy workouts in the morning, yoga in the evenings, and occasionally a walk in between – when there was time – but are willing to sacrifice that for a few short years in the spirit of getting things done (including a small allowance of sleep and R&R.)

    I applaud you – over and over again for your accomplishments and success, and think you deserve tremendous respect. You deserve to have strangers (or friends) covet, and you should take every opportunity to wear amazing clothes, do amazing things, and celebrate your general awesomeness. But please don’t mistake my short term fitness lapse for a lack of action, because I can assure you that from 6 am until 10 pm every day of the week, my dance card is full, and I consider each and every minute vitally important.

    • Ms. Amelia,

      I should start by saying that I LOVE you for writing this! I love your often quiet, yet balls-to-the-wall attitude about things – work, kids, and life in general. You are absolutely correct that there are sacrifices that aren’t always feasible to make, or priorities that have to flip on a dime due to life, love and circumstances. And girl, I applaud every and all that make those choices that are necessary or at least right for them at the time.

      When you first told me you were opening a restaurant, my immediate response was: “This woman is crazy! She has kids, she has a traveling husband, she has a career, she has a house, she has a non-profit, she has soooo much on her plate!” And then I remember thinking and telling you how proud I was of you, and how much of an inspiration I think you are for following a dream…for doing what makes you ‘happy’. For finding and fulfilling that purpose. For choosing your purpose.

      Here’s the point I have tried to progressively make on my blog, and one that perhaps didn’t accurately come through in this short snippet. I spent years, and years, and years trying to be and live up to an appearance that didn’t accurately belong to me. I feel blessed on a minute-by-minute basis to have been afforded the opportunity to do it differently. This time I make choices that are right for me. This time I make choices that make me happy and make me better BECAUSE I am better to everyone and everything around me when I am happy. I didn’t get it before…unless I am happy with myself, no one else really benefits from the output I provide. (Isn’t that what we say in contact centers? Happy agents happy customers? lol)

      Choices. We are make them. We can call them sacrifices, we can call them compromises, we can call them justifications. They are choices. If they are RIGHT for you, and they make YOU happy, then OWN them and BE them.

      I adore you and everything you are doing. And darling, you are most certainly “into action”. xoxo

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