Saturday, December 3, 2011

Different is GOOD!

Hi guys!

We had an eye appointment this afternoon for Lily, who is two and a half. It was a follow up appointment as the optometrist suspected Lily was farsighted and wanted us to come in today for the dreaded drops so she could have a better look at her eyes. To make a long story short, Lily needs to wear glasses full time. She picked out a cute pink pair (really the only pair that would fit her tiny face) and she was smiling ear to ear, she thought they were pretty cool. I'm glad she likes them, though my immediate reaction upon hearing the news was sadness.

Everyone wants their child to be perfect, which is silly because the term "perfect" shouldn't even exist since it's something based on social expectations and characteristics which are objective and ever changing. Regardless, I don't want anything to ever be "wrong" with our children and to know that her sight isn't so good, well, it upsets me. And as my husband Jeff pointed out, we don't want any extra challenges for our child, and definitely not something that will make her stand out and possibly be a target for teasing from other children. That got me thinking.

One of my biggest fears with Lily growing up is being bullied. I've read the stories about young kids committing suicide after being bullied for a period of time. I encountered some bullies in my younger years too and it doesn't take long before the taunting takes a toll on your sense of self worth, and every day functioning. I don't ever want my child to question her value in this world based on nonsense that comes out of someone elses mouth. The thought alone just hurts my heart.

Lily will be different as I have seen very few children her age wearing glasses. I don't want her to be different. I don't want other kids to look at her funny, or ask her why she has glasses on. I don't want her question why she's different or start to be self conscious of her difference. I asked the doctor if correcting a child's vision at such an early age means that her vision will get better as she ages....turns out that's not the case, the chances are she will wear some sort of corrective device the rest of her life.

I've had a couple hours to process the information and have reached a couple conclusions.

1. There are so many terrible things we could be dealing with right now when it comes to Lily's health. Having eyes that don't function perfectly really isn't a huge deal. She has her health and for that, I am truly grateful. It really is about perspective and I am glad I am not having to face worse news.

2. This difference is actually a wonderful opportunity for us to teach Lily valuable life lessons. Being different isn't a bad thing, in fact, it's a great thing. I don't know why I forget that at times and certainly don't want Lily to WANT to be the same as everyone else. We can teach her how to appreciate not just her own differences, but the differences in other people as well. We can teach her about tolerance and treating others equally regardless of what stands them apart from others. We can teach her how to deal with negativity (assuming this happens at some point) or how to handle teasing (again, assuming this happens). I think if done correctly and in a positive manner, she can learn a lot from this. And as it turns out, so can I. Clearly I have a lot more to learn from this experience than she does.

I know for me, I have grown the most and developed the most strength during difficult times. The opportunity for learning and growth occurs when a challenge is faced and I think we have been given a gift to now talk to Lily and take advantage of this to teach her and guide her. I guess that's parenting in a nutshell isn't it?

If you have any suggestions for books on differences, I would love to hear them. I know of Chrysanthemum (such a cute one!), but if you have any others in mind, please let me know!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Hi everyone,

Things over here are busy. Dexter has been sleeping less during the day already, and when he does, he sleeps for short periods of time. He no longer likes being downstairs while I work out, and tonight my shower was about 3 minutes long. I was a bit miserable last night as I only got in a very short interval workout, my tea got cold before I could drink it, I had to get out of my nice hot bath early to tend to my screaming toddler... and so on. I chose to be a Mom, I know that at times (often!) I come last, and while I wouldn't have it any other way, sometimes I would love to be on my own schedule or to be able to do things without interruption.

I hate working out at night, absolutely hate it. Lily finally gets settled around 9:00 these days (bed time is such a nightmare right now), and I typically go to bed at 10:00. I don't want to spend that hour working out, I want to spend it sipping my herbal tea and watching mindless television while scouring the internet for random stuff. I've been trying hard to figure out a way I can work out the amount I want to during a time that works for everyone. I was feeling defeated and assuming I'd just have to cut out some days from my workouts. Then my mantra passed through my head "if you want it, prove it." I want it.

I ordered a dip bar, which came in today, very excited about that. I tried it out and decided I'm going to love it. It's a staple in a lot of the Body Rock workouts, which are 10-20 minutes in length typically, so that's an option I'm going to take advantage of when I know my time is limited. I get out Monday nights for hot yoga and my mother in law has been watching Dexter Friday afternoons so I can get to boot camp. I'm going to write out a schedule each week for specific times I can either get to the gym or work out downstairs. Jeff started the P90X program a few months ago, which I do a lot of as well. The bonus is that our basement now has a lot of useful equipment in it - pull up bars, push up bars, stability ball, resistance bands, and lots of weights.

Part of being successful is in setting up your environment to align with your wants. I want to be active and to shape my body so I am trying to set my life up right now to coincide with that desire. If I am surrounded by opportunities to work out and spend time with people who want the same thing, I am more likely to succeed. How can you set your life up in a way that promotes success?

I set up a Facebook page to discuss clean eating and fitness. I don't think this blog is the best place for that, this blog is for something else, though I'm not sure what! It's for life lessons I guess. My advice, tidbits of inspiration, and random musings on things important to me.

So if you'd like to come visit me there, it's under "Rachel's Fitness and Clean Eating Journey." I weigh in tomorrow and take my second set of progress photos. Perhaps I'll be brave enough to post week 1 and week 4. I must admit, week 1 was pretty frightening!

I'm off to bed now, I have a little man who is bugging me to go! Good night and good luck in all that you do!