“You’re so pulled together! I need to be more like that.” This young girl said to me at a Weight Watchers meeting after I had just destroyed my week. I had completely gone rogue to the point of having cookies for dinner. In that exact moment, I was executing a plan for my upcoming anniversary. It’s a great plan actually. It’s thoughtful and seems wise to this young unmarried girl. She longs for married life even though she is in a long term relationship that is probably headed in that direction. The uncertainty is ruining it for her, as is her biological clock.
In that exact moment, I seemed like someone to follow. She planned on stealing my idea. I encouraged her to do so. The irony of the previous week was just too much for me. I told her how my week started off badly, and then plummeted into terrible. She didn’t care. She was looking at the snapshot of the moment, the cover and she was impressed.
I had been at a work conference where I had no control over what food I was being served. I could bring some snacks with me, and did after the first day. I found myself irritable for reasons I could not explain. I was more irritable than my normal lovable self. Then the second day, in the first session, I walked into a room I recognized, sadly. I found myself in the room where two years previously I had received the call that it was “time to come home”. My father was ill and was going to pass away. Just a couple of weeks later, in a hospital room, while other family members and I were at his side, he left this world to be with our Savior.
While I know he is no longer in pain and, for the most part, I grieved conventionally. I still miss him terribly from time to time. This moment at the conference, as the memories flooded back, I realized why I did not want to be in this building at all and certainly not in this room. My emotions overwhelmed me. I handled my emotions fairly well that day, during the day. I went directly to a Weight Watchers to pick up snacks for the next day on my way home. Then I went to a Starbucks and my week took a wrong turn. I brought several Weight Watcher choices for snacks for the next day to keep away from all of the bad choices that the conference provided. Instead of picking from the choices I brought, I ate them all. The third day I brought less snacks, learning my lesson. I had an event that evening and had very little time for dinner. I had cookies for dinner. Nothing else in the grocery store looked good. I had given up by now. I was experiencing a melting down. We went out to dinner on Thursday, I ate somewhat lightly, but had dessert. By weigh in, if I had not already paid for three months, I might have high tailed it and not showed up to face the music at all. The wonderful check in lady hugged me. I had only gained half a pound. I COULD actually come back from that. I can pick myself up, dust myself off and shake off that week.
Here comes this sweet young girl watching me in this moment. She didn’t see the video of my complete mess of a week. She readily forgives me for my half a pound. “You’ll do better this week.” She’s really super sweet. I love this kid.
I’m thinking to myself, how many times have I seen a friend or coworker or even a stranger in a moment and longed to be them? How many times have I watched a couple that seem to have it all together and wished our relationship could be like that? How many woman have I gotten just a glimpse of them all put together in the best moments and wished I was more like them? How many Facebook posts have I seen and thought… I need to do that or be like that or start doing that? I fall for all of those things immortalizing a moment. I fall for all of those things showing the cover of a story but not the whole story. I’m just falling for the marketing. I know my whole story. I know all of my ups, and all of my deep dark downs. I’m very familiar with them. Actually I quickly forget my successes.
I once read that being proud of yourself was like being proud of an organ functioning. That resonated with me. Let me explain. I was born in this country to a decent family that valued education, a relationship with the Lord, family ties and a hard work ethic. All of those things added to who I am. I can’t take credit for them. I can’t look at myself compared to you, not knowing your journey, and assume that those things didn’t impact that journey. I would be looking at the cover, not the whole story. I can’t even look at my siblings and make that assumption because I don’t know all of the things that have happened in their lives. I wouldn’t be excited that my pancreas is functioning. It just does. Yay pancreas!!! I assume it will function. I would not be happy if it didn’t, that’s for sure. I’m sure that would be a problem. I can’t take credit that it does. I can’t take credit that I’m hard working, have a value on my education and family ties and love the Lord. Those are parts of my story that just were. I can’t be proud of that. I am not superior to someone who did not get that leg up in life. I am not more worthy or less worthy. I am just who I am.
I am enough, just as I am. I don’t need to make more money or dress better or have better friends. I might possibly need to be more responsible with my resources but that’s another blog. I am enough just as I am. Stop looking at my moments, my snapshots, and think you know anything about me. I am going to try to do the same when I see your moments. I’m going to try to remember at least once that someone thought I was all put together and had my act figured out, when the truth is I still don’t have a solid game plan. I’m not even sure I know what game we’re playing.
I do know if you sit on the sidelines that they aren’t sidelines and life will come along and knock you on your butt. I have figured some things out. I am enough, not on my own but because I know the owner, the big guy, the man upstairs. He took my broken pieces and made a masterpiece. Yay pancreas! Thank you Jesus. Thank you mom and dad for introducing me to Him! I am enough because I found Him. No matter what my snapshots look like, my book ends with my name written in His Book. He knows my name. Therefore I am a winner. I am enough. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believed in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
By Vicki L. Pugliese