I am over 30 pounds lighter than I was in my teens. Some people have asked if it was a crazy diet plan or miracle pill that did the trick. It was not. It was a thousand tiny decisions, made over and over.
At first it was fewer slices of pizza and going for walks. It was a Boston Cream with a black coffee instead of an Apple Fritter with a powdered sugar drink. The little decisions quickly built on each other. In the early days, I never would have envisioned that my ordinary life would one day effortlessly include leafy greens, running, and protein powder.
Getting healthy has afforded me one of the most important lessons of my life: that life is the sum of all the small things.
Every person’s existence is made up of a constellation of big events: marriages, children, trips, deaths, achievements, etc. These things matter, but they do not reveal the bulk of who we are. They do not show our true character. When I think about who I really am, the answer is not in the constellation.
The important things in life are not always terribly exciting. There is a danger in planning life around the constellation, eyes always on the future – as if “now” is just a filler between the big events.
My sister-in-law is a stay-at-home momma to two young kids. When I visit after several days away, I ask how things have been and she is nonchalant. Things are ordinary, she explains, I get the kids up, dressed, and fed… and the days quickly disappear. Catching up with a long-distance friend renders similar results. Life, she says, is very good, but it much of the same thing, day in and day out: there is work, school, coffee dates, workouts, driving, and groceries.
All these ordinary things: this is where the magic happens. This is where we dedicate the lion’s share of our time and craft the heart of our identities. This is where life really unfolds. Contentment... it is the sum of all these small things.
By Jeana Les