What triggered these thoughts?
Since Thanksgiving, I have been working out regularly with my 15 year old son Jack. Jack and I have been work out buddies before, but never with such regularity. So what motivated me, a full-time working mom of 2, to stick to my routine this time? Well since 2016 Jack has been on growth shots. He was not producing enough growth hormone and was so small he was not even on the charts. Now, with the help of Nutropin, after just two years he has grown more than two feet and is bigger than I am! But, as with all strong medications, there are terrible side effects and one of them is that Jack’s blood sugar is quite high. The doctor suggested that losing weight would help.
Jack and I joined the Max fitness challenge and have loved it. As a professional voiceover actor, I spend my days in a padded foam booth. Getting out every night for out 7:15 class has not only helped me reach me health and fitness goals, but has been invigorating in so many way. Often others in the class will comment about how great it is that Jack is there and ask why he came. Not thinking any thing of it, I would answer honestly and explain about the growth shots and Jack’s sugar. Often as busy mom’s we won’t make a change for ourselves, but for our kids we will move mountains, right?
Well one night this week Jack told me that he would prefer that I “tell the truth” when asked why he was there. I was blown away, as I thought my reply could not be more honest. Jack said he was going to Max Fitness because he was looking for a harder, more challenging workout. That was it. He objected to my response because it made him sound like a “lazy schlub.” This really got me thinking. Two truths. Two sides of the same coin. But Jack’s perspective was surely the much more optimistic one. Jack’s outlook was full of hope and did not focus on any possible negative outcomes. This had me reexamining so many facets of my life. That very day I had been complaining that I had such a tough day, when actually four great things had happened. Instead of focussing on the great things as my kid would have, I was sweating the small stuff and letting everything that did not go my way define my perspective, and I realized that was ridiculous!
Just in Time for Grattitude Day
My conversation with Jack gave me a lot to reflect on. It turns out that Friday was National Grattitude Day. For someone who spends a lot of time working as a professional narrator, narrating other peoples explainer videos and projects, it was time to change my own narrative! Ironically, I am often chosen for projects because I sound hopeful, but I continue to be so hard on my self.
Well, this grattitude day marks the begging of a conscious choice to celebrate my successes instead of fixating on my own shortcomings. It is an irony of life that I am often specifically hired for the vocal qualities of being upbeat, energetic, and happy while internally I am measuring all of the things that I did not finish or the additional jobs I had wanted to book or the blogs that were never written or the friends that I never saw. After so many years of wanting to accomplish so much, it is easier to maintain this pattern of self scrutiny when we set the bar so impossibly high.
When the reality is that we are working more than 8 hour days, booking work in a super competitive industry, and somehow still managing to feed my family, help my kids with their homework, do the laundry, workout, and see friends from time to time. When I look it at that way it seems that working mom’s everywhere should not only be celebrated by our families, but we should be doing a heck of a lot more to remind each other how proud we are!
This is My Fight Song…
A lot of times when candidates run for office they have a song for their campaign. When Jack and I are in our gym class every night, and I am just breathing and trying to make it through, a lot of times it’s the music that helps me get through. I focus on the song. The beat, the rhythm, the lyrics all help me pass the time and survive what our trainer has us doing. On Thursday the old song “Get Ready, Cause Here I Come” was playing and if there ever were a song that captured the spirit of how I feel, it is that song! The lyrics do not fit exactly, but boy does it get to the heart of how I feel. I feel like I am still just at the beginning of life’s journey and the world better be ready for me, because here I am:)