My Lesson in Kindness

So, unless you’ve been caught in a never-ending Law & Order: SVU binge, you know Facebook has an On This Day feature, where you’re reminded of past achievements that put you on figurative mountaintops and mistakes that legit hurt worse than a you-told-me-this-movie-wasn’t-sad-but-it-is-and-now-I’m-bawling way.

Today, I was reminded of how I looked three years ago.

My first thought was one full of self-hate and loathing because that’s how I’ve acted towards myself for the past 33 years. “How could you let yourself go? Again? God, you’re such an idiot. Life was so much better back than.”

That’s when I hit the brakes. “Really, Dani?” I asked myself. Four years ago, my life was broken. I had moved to a new city for a new career and was constantly homesick and lonely. Following a weight loss program was easy because I had no desire to eat. Exercise meant I didn’t have to come home to a broken marriage. And this picture doesn’t show that to the average viewer.

Fast forward to today. I’ve since met the man of my dreams, remarried, and became a stepmother to three gorgeous bonus children, all with dreams and goals of their own that we get to help them achieve. My daughter decided she was ready to move away from the only home she’s ever known and try out life in the Big City, and she’s soaring.

All the little things that make life, well, life have happened along this journey. My husband and I traveled to Mexico City, where we ate awesome street tamales and rocked out to Pearl Jam. We’ve tried out funky ice cream cones and have donuts and coffee for breakfast every Saturday. Instead of a thirty minute DVD workout, we’ve been known to push aside the sofa and coffee table, put on Spotify, and dance.

The scale and recent pics tell me I’m heavier today, but there’s not a scale that measures happiness.

Now, I’m trying to get fit again, and if the progress is a little slower this time than last, that’s okay, because I’m experiencing life fully. “So be kind to yourself,” I remind me. I don’t know if I’ll ever really overcome 33 years of brainwashing, but I’ll keep working to show myself some kindness.

And now, for some more SVU.

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