Last year for Christmas, my brother and SIL got me this blog. This year, they got me these awesome t-shirts with my very own logo to give away and spread the His-Girl-Friday love around and celebrate my one year of blogging. One year! I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for a year. I can’t believe all the changes that I’ve gone through this past year. Life is certainly not the same, and it’s hard to completely wrap my mind around all the details.
One of my first posts last year was all about yoga and the book I had just read, Poser, by Claire Dederer. I shared this excerpt from her book:
This was my yoga MO: sheer determination. I would do it. No matter what. I was willing to make supreme effort…Somehow I couldn’t see the irony of grinding my way toward freedom…What was yoga if not effort? It would be a long time before I could entertain the notion that maybe my yoga would improve if I didn’t try so hard, and a longer time still before I began to question why my yoga needed to improve at all.
It is amazing to look back and realize how this has been a theme of the past year. When I wrote that post, I was just a few months post partum (like two or three), feeling crummy about my body, feeling crummy about my fussy children, and feeling crummy because my husband had just added a Masters program on top of his full time teaching job and part time job.
What was I going to do with myself and these two little boys that cried and fussed more than they were content? What was I going to do with myself now that I wasn’t working outside of the home? What was I going to do with my body that had been stretched and exhausted by a difficult second pregnancy and now wouldn’t fit into any of my old clothes.
All my life, I’ve formed goals. Then I formed a plan of attack. Then I conquered. I attacked every obstacle, goal and to-do list with the same vigor – never stopping or settling until I produced the perfect results. But this year, with the help of my amazingly patient husband, I’ve realized that my expectations were making me miserable. I’ve been forcing situations. I’ve been expecting unrealistic outcomes. I’ve been, to use a phrase borrowed from Dederer, “grinding my way towards freedom.”
This past year has been amazing because I’m slowly starting to let go of expectations. So I thought my life would look differently at this point. So what? How it actually looks is incomparably better. So my body doesn’t look like it once did. So what? My body has formed, sheltered and delivered (naturally, I might add!), two amazing little humans. So I’m not the powerful working woman I thought I’d be. So what? I’ve found so much empowerment and freedom in the roles that I’m playing at home, in the lives of my family and friends, and in this unexpected role as a yoga instructor that it boggles my mind.
I still struggle with feeling blue when things don’t turn out the way I’ve planned. I still struggle with grinding towards freedom. I still struggle with killing myself to get perfect outcomes. But I’m getting better. I’m grateful for a husband who pushes me to be brave and for a God who gave me the gift of freedom. I don’t have to work for it, I just have it. I don’t have to live up to unrealistic expectations that I’ve created in my own mind. I get to grow and explore and create and enjoy. And it feels really, really good.