Monday, April 29, 2019

Adulthood: The Trade-offs We Make

True adulthood is about trade-offs.  In order to receive certain coveted things, there must be some level of sacrifice and trade-off.  The idea that you can have it all right now without a sacrifice of something isn't real.  In order to have kids, you must sacrifice a level of time, money and physical standards.  In order to travel the world, you must sacrifice a level of time, money and relationship.  For many of us, in order to achieve and maintain a healthy body, there must be trade-offs in how we spend our time.  Eating differently and prioritizing exercise takes a sacrifice of time and intention.

Besides the major challenge of managing life with three kids, one of the hardest things for me to accept since having the Race Car is the extra weight I put on and have had a very hard time getting off.  Losing weight is always work, but this time my body hasn't responded the way it did with  my other two kids. Granted, I've never lived life quite the way I have the last 3 years with emergencies, stresses and a bigger family.  Still, it is so discouraging when you feel like you are trying your absolute hardest and it matters so little.  It's so easy to look around us and see those who aren't struggling like we are.  And so we have to think about the trade-offs we make in life.

Sometimes we get critical of those that don't live life the way we do.  As a mom, it hasn't always been easy for me to understand people who could, but choose not to have kids.  With every additional kid and life change, I have a greater respect and understanding for the reasons people don't live life like me.  It's not that I would change many of the major choices I've made, but I can see why they might not feel the way I do.  It's all about the trade-offs that we aren't willing to make.

When the struggles are discouraging, I'm finding that the best bandage is to remind myself what my trade-off gave me instead of what it took.  The stubborn weight that discourages me is the side effect of successfully carrying, birthing, nursing, educating and mothering 3 very special children while maintaining a house, a marriage and a couple of side jobs.  Those precious gifts are not small things and the unfulfilled dream of many broken hearts.  So, we remember the trade-offs in life.

Whatever you are missing in your life - success, a spouse, a skinny body, a full bank account, adventure or freedom of all sorts - I hope you can find some time to relish the good gifts that have come from your trade-off.  More than that, to those that have yet to decide what trade-offs to make, I pray you can search your hopes for 50 years from now and see what you want it to look like.  I have always planned to be active and healthy as long as possible, but my dream?  My dream has been a house full of people that I love.  It may take me a couple years longer than I would like to fit into my healthy size, but I have the seedlings of a beautiful dream started.  That's a trade-off I can live with.

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