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Affecting Change

I want to eat a chocolate house. I don’t know whether it is hormonal or sugar withdrawal from my trip abroad. To those men out there, bear with me for just a moment…

I read somewhere not long ago that women actually burn an extra 300-500 calories a month during menses, but we eat that plus some, which attributes to the weight gain during “that time.” I’m sorry, but this sucks. Where’s the duct tape when I need it?

I wonder sometimes if it is simply mind over matter. Do I use “that time” as an excuse to justify when I want to over eat and embrace an overbearing, bitchy persona toward my family? Compromise is part of everyday life. I suppose it’s the cost of living in a civilization.

I accept the fact that particular social limitations require me to alter my actions. I behave one way at my place of employment, which is quite different than at home with family and friends. I’m quite certain several people at work would be surprised to see me hanging out with my neighbors on a lazy summer evening after a day of boating on the lake, and I know my family would be shocked to see the last word stifled on the back of my tongue during long drawn out meetings! I really do have the ability to keep my mouth shut!

What does it all mean? Does it make me any less authentic to change my behavior based on varying situations? I think it may be an extension of childhood/company manners. When we are in the comfort of our own homes, we have the freedom to relax. People endure our idiosyncrasies in spite of us because they love us. We are given more leeway.

But wouldn’t life be more harmonious if everyone tried to put forward their best effort the majority of the time? I ran across a quote from Gandhi that I have been contemplating, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

I like it. Actually, I found it on a bumper sticker in a hippie town I like to visit. I snatched it up, but then I was afraid to slap it on the back of my car. It seems like such a lofty goal. Can I live up to it? Mostly, I’m concerned that someone I know will see ME climb into the car with the bumper sticker and start laughing so hard that they fall over and get run over by a big SUV in the parking lot.

I definitely have lots of room for improvement, but I think the quote may serve as a nice prompt. One of the things I was reminded of when I went to France is that I am blessed with a wonderful life. I used to feel guilty because my life seemed pretty easy from the outside. What I accept now is that my life may not be perfect for everyone, but it works for me and my family based on decisions we’ve made along the way. It didn’t just happen.

We are all confronted with choices, some pretty tough ones from time to time. When I fail to take an active and responsible role in my life, I am left with alternatives that offer very little appeal. Sometimes I want everything I want when I want it – the two-year-old comes out of the corner throwing the tantrum, but I can choose to send her to the time out chair.

When I accept that compromise and choice are part of my life, I rarely regret decisions because I know benefits far outweigh the sacrifices involved. I fully realize that I am far from perfect and my actions definitely impact others, but I can only affect change for me.

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