I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t at least a little chunky. Looking back at pictures from my childhood, I was always somewhat pudgy and frumpy and what were considered cute little “Michelin Man” fat rolls on my legs as a baby developed into not so cute, short, stubby legs as a preteen. Unfortunately, as I got older, I never really grew out of the pudgy, frumpy body and being overweight is something I’ve struggled with for 27 years now. I’ve never in me entire life been comfortable in a swimsuit. In fact, I pride myself in being able to avoid all situations that would require a swimsuit and, let’s be real, shorts aren’t even an option on most days. I don’t wear sleeveless shirts because my arms look like sausages crammed inside plastic wrapping and my midsection is the reason maxi dresses and flowy tops were invented. I know what you’re probably thinking–that I don’t exercise or eat right and that “abs are made in the kitchen,” and hard work and dedication would render the slim, fit body that I crave. And to a point, you’re right. I don’t always eat right. I have cheat days. And I really don’t work out as much as I should. But I am very active. I run. I keep my calories at 1200 or less (usually less) every day and I try, for the most part, to eat fairly clean. I’ve developed such a hate towards mirrors. When I wash my hands, you can rest assured that I will not look in the mirror in front of me. I hate catching my reflection in a window and the fear of people judging my body is something that nags at my mind almost always. I try to avoid people who are thin and in great shape because I fear they think of me as a lesser being.
Anyway, I guess I’m just having one of those days. But aren’t we all entitled to one of those every now and then?
Flea market finds are my all time favorite! I love the rich history in some of the treasures that I find and I also love the mystery in them, too. A few months ago, I came across a framed piece of fabric that had the words “GIVE ME THE SIMPLE LIFE” embroidered on it. The frame was red and chipped and I knew instantly that I had to take it home with me! There couldn’t be a better motto to live by. Sometimes, I feel like we (and when I say we I’m really talking about myself) get so caught up in the rat race of every day life that we find ourselves in a constant state of acceleration down the fast lane. I’m a lover of back roads where the blacktop ends and you’re forced to slow down because of the gravel beneath your car. When you think about life, the same concept kind of applies. When you’re traveling on the blacktop, it’s smooth and easy to navigate and a lot of times, we just set the cruise and get lost in the sound of our tires rolling, rolling, rolling and usually at a rate exceeding the speed limit. The same goes for life. We push ourselves past a healthy limit, we bite off more than we can chew, we fill our plates with multiple tasks. But when the road gets rocky, you’ve got to slow down and that bumpy ride really makes you aware of the road you’re traveling on.
I love the simple life. This summer has been nonstop for me, though. It has been, by far, the quickest summer I’ve ever had! I can’t believe that tomorrow I’ll be Ms. Cantwell to a bunch of 5th graders!! I feel like I just kind of sped through my days and it wasn’t until my life came to an abrupt halt last week that I realized I needed to take a moment to be thankful for the simplicity that my little life has to offer…..like the sound of my nephew’s laugh. And my daddy’s hugs. And my neighbors that sit on the front porch and drink coffee with me on lazy mornings. And the fact that all I have to do is walk across the street to be at my brother’s house. And my gramma. And my momma’s front porch. And my boyfriend that takes me fishing. And my best friend who has my back through thick and thin and shares a love of sunflowers, goats, calves, and ponies. And Ms. Shirrel who loves me like my Aunt Roxanne did. And the smell of puppy toes, those are the best.
Give me the simple life. It’s all I need.