Did you know that you can burn up to 590 calories for doing an hour's worth of hardcore yard work? That's a LOT of calories burned! Today we went to my father-in-law's house to burn trash that was collected out of our workshop. We had tons and tons of stuff that needed to be disposed of. Papa Johns, my father-in-law, has a large piece of property out in the woods that we spend at least one weekend out of every month shooting guns, cleaning or just hanging out. After burning all of our trash, we started cleaning up his acreage by collecting all of the dead limbs, cut down trees, etc. and putting it into the fire. I don't know what it is about burning things that I find so cleansing (can we say pyromaniac?) but by the time we were through, after two hours of chopping, carrying, climbing, ripping and burning, I felt like I had done an entire session of hardcore aerobics and was pouring with sweat. It was fantastic! Did I mention that I love to burn things? It's sort of symbolic in a pyscho-cosmic tree hugging, bunny humping way...you're getting rid of the crap that you don't need and get to start anew.
That's the way I feel about my life overall now. I'm burning the crap that I don't need and I'm starting anew. It just amazes me how taking a positive direction in my life, has improved my sense of well-being and has me excited for the future. I look at who I was just a few short months ago and it makes me sad for the person I used to be. I was stuck in a job that I didn't enjoy. Every day was depressing, miserable and completely unfulfilled. The only thing I looked forward to was going out to eat for lunch (how pathetic is THAT???). When I came home from work I would be exhausted, snappy toward my family and would complain any moment I had to anyone who would listen. I pulled away from everyone, including two of my closest friends, rarely got to talk to my parents (who I absolutely adore) and my husband was lucky if I would sit down to watch a TV show with him before I passed out on the couch. My poor kids got little to no time with me and before I knew it, we were all eating dinner in separate rooms and barely spoke other than to say, "it's time for bed," "go take a bath," or "see you tomorrow". Don't get me wrong, I understand that work is crucial to survival. How else are we going to pay the bills, eat, or have a roof over our head? However, working in an unhealthy environment that literally causes (or in my case increases) depression, then is it really worth it? No amount of money is worth that to me.
So when I was able to leave my job, although it was sad to leave some of the people I had grown to absolutely adore, I didn't look back. Obviously I couldn't burn the place down but removing my things out of my old office, walking out of that building for the last time, and hugging my work friends' neck goodbye was cleansing enough and a chapter of my life that I was happy to end. I still think of those people often, slaves to a company that hand out layoffs, furloughs and a ridiculous amount of work that bares no reward, and I mourn for them and wish better for them. Maybe one day I'll win the lottery and I can save them all!
The point behind all of that is...YOU can change YOUR life by burning the crap you don't need and starting anew! Obviously most of you won't be able to just quit your job, but you CAN decide that spending time with your family is more important than watching a new episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey or taking a walk with the dog around the block is more important than spending an hour on Facebook. Burn those old habits (symbolically, of course) and start new, better ones. You're never too old, too fat, too set in your ways to make a decision that changes your life forever. Mine was quitting an unhealthy way of life overall and working toward a healthy life! Yours might be for any number of reasons, but I know that anything is possible just by taking that first step to change. You know that old saying "old habits are hard to break"? I don't buy that anymore. I refuse to buy it! You CAN break it if you WANT to! You CAN break the unhealthy cycle in your life...you CAN make better decisions for yourself...you CAN be the person you've always wanted to be...just by taking that first step, burning the crap you don't need, and starting anew.
Call me hyped up on life, call me whatever you want, but what I do know is that my future looks brighter every time I make a healthy food choice; every time I work out; every time I spend that much needed bonding time with my husband and kids; and every time I look in the mirror and say I CAN do this. Life does NOT have to be the struggle many of you are living. It CAN get better if you put a little effort into it, burn the crap you don't need and take that first step for a better you.
Stay healthy, my friends! I thank you for reading my blog and hope to see you here again soon!