Ways of measuring progress

I saw an old friend I haven’t seen in almost a decade this weekend, and in between all the catching up, etc., she was remarking how good I looked– weight, demeanor, etc.  She, too, looked better– despite us both being older and having some smile lines a little extra padding around the middle, both of us were lighter than we had been when we were younger.  Lighter in heart, lighter in body, lighter in significant others (or lack of)– all around, lighter.

I was feeling a little sorry for myself yesterday after a health screening we had at work because my BMI was a little higher than our strict BMI range to get an extra discount over our usual employee discount.  Granted, I knew my weight was 15-20lbs more than I wanted it to be– it’s been a stressful winter and I stress-eat– but seeing it confirmed made me bummed anyway. I’d resolved to treat the results as a benchmark to work from in terms of cutting back on starches, on increasing all those good things I should eat, etc., to decrease my at-work snacking and do better about bringing my lunch in, and I’m still going to do that.

But I was reading something this morning on tumblr– one of those semi-joke, semi-serious memes about how it sucks to be an adult and any small victory should be celebrated (I am a dragon, I am an adult, I have my 401(k), I breathe fire, I regulate my fiber intake!)– and it made me rethink my disappointment in myself as I drank my 8 oz. of water, ate my yogurt, and drank my plain, un-sweetened, un-be-creamed coffee, since I’ve decided that lactose may be one of my problems.

Right NOW, I happen to be 20 lbs heavier than I want to be– but my blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol all would have gotten me the next-to-highest discount.  And I still fit my pants, albeit a little bit tight.  There are ups and downs in my mood & my introversion & ability to socialize, sure.  But– measured in the larger scope of things, I am 80 lbs lighter than the last time I saw my friend 7 years ago, have kicked a legal career that was eating my soul, have found a job where I am truly happy, have eliminated some unhelpful or toxic folks from my life, and am exploring ways to enjoy my own company pretty well, thanks– all things I didn’t do, then.

In a larger, more geological sense of my life, that’s huge.  (Unlike my waistline, which is still a size 10.)

So, yeah, I’m not going to be hard on myself.  Instead, I’m going to think of a more not-now way of measuring progress.

I am an adult.  I am a glacier.  I carve rivers and mountains, and leaved uncovered layers of life no one knew about before in my wake .  Sometimes I make more risotto and eat more cookies than really I should.  But I keep moving forward, and I’m pretty damn cool.

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2 thoughts on “Ways of measuring progress

  1. Kari

    You are AMAZING with all that you’ve done to build a life that is authentic and real. Celebrate those successes and be proud! The rest of us are inspired by you!!!

    Reply
  2. Dawn

    Damn straight!

    Like the metaphor, too. I’m here, I make progress, the world is changed by me being in it, even if only slowly–nothing to sneeze at!

    Reply

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