My kids were literally jumping with excitement. And to be honest, I was pretty stoked, too. Farmer's market season had finally rolled around, and we were kicking it off by having breakfast at the market before doing our shopping. After months of dreary, off-season and inferior produce, we were at last surrounded by an abundance of fresh, in-season, delicious vegetables. The asparagus alone was making me do a happy dance (This is not as weird as it sounds. Fresh, locally-grown asparagus is so much better than what you buy in the store. It's like a completely different vegetable). I couldn't wait to nurture my body with pesticide-free, sugar-free fresh whole foods. Standing in line to order breakfast, I thought about how nice it would be to start my day with the food I'd been longing for since last fall, when the market closed for the season. When I got to the front, I scanned the menu taped to the table. As is natural for a vegetarian, I automatically filtered my options down to the meat-free ones. Dismay hit me as I realized my only option was...a cinnamon roll. I reluctantly ordered one for myself, and of course my kids all wanted one, too. The boys and I found a seat, and my husband brought us our food. As I settled down to eat my sugary cinnamon roll made with white flour, out of a styrofoam container, I wondered if the vendor was even aware of the irony of what she had just served us.
As annoyed as I was, I really can't blame her. I understand. Old habits are so stinking hard to break. Changing your way of thinking involves opening your mind to new ideas. It means literally changing brain patterns. And when you're doing that, mistakes are inevitable. After weeks of going to bed early, at some point you will give in to the temptation to stay up late.
Even when you've done a great job of getting up early, the morning will come along when you hit the snooze and snuggle under your covers. You will stay away from sugar for three months, only to lose it with a candy bar. Or four. And when that day happens, I want you to remember one thing..it's okay.
You're human. Slip-ups are natural. In fact, if you can employ one little trick, mistakes can actually be good things. They can even ultimately help you reach your goal. All you have to do is this one thing--forgive yourself. Treat yourself with compassion. Acknowledge that while apparently you are not perfect, you don't actually need to be perfect in order to reach your goals or change your habits. None of us are perfect. Even that person you know with the pretty garden, the clean house, and the well-behaved kids. You know, the one who can actually replicate those Pinterest crafts and recipes? She's not perfect either. You don't need to have a perfect record in order to change your habits.
Here's the thing. When we fall off the wagon, we tend to beat ourselves up, decide that we can't do whatever it is we planned to do, and we fall more solidly back into those bad habits. But that doesn't help us move beyond those habits. If, however, you recognize that you messed up without criticizing yourself, you can look honestly at where you went wrong, figure out a way around that issue, then simply try again. You can use that mistake to learn more about how to set yourself up for success, and actually get closer to reaching your goal.
I'm sure the woman at the farmer's market had very good intentions. I'm sure she was simply going off of what her prior experience told her people would like. I hope that some day she realizes that she can serve us the same kinds of food we are there to buy. But whether she does or not, I hope that she can be kind to herself as she progresses along her own journey. We all deserve some basic kindness, and the best place to start is with ourselves.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. Look around and make yourself comfortable, because this is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty and authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.