Tuesday, October 9, 2007
If your face is ugly learn to sing
I was once told that by a young elder while I was serving as a missionary in Lyman Wyoming. I described Lyman in my Journal this way. "Here is where I am serving now...(insert drawing of stick figure pointing to arm pit)". Yea I said it, and I am not proud I said it. I will admit that my feelings were more based on homesickness for my wet, green western Washington than reality. I was young and not quite ready to realize the beauty in all things.
So, I was humbled by this Elder from Tonga. If he ever had reason to experience bad attitude it would be from experiencing his first winter in Rock Springs. Learning to sing when life placed challenges in his path was shown by his example of the pure fun and joy he exuded.
I threw myself into the work, I learned to work hard, and laugh. Every night I came home tired. At night I pleaded with the Lord to help me to want to wake up the next morning, I could never imagine I would be able to recover after feeling complete exhaustion. Yet every morning I woke feeling refreshed and excited (a miracle).
After 5 months in Wyoming I was ready to invest in a pair of ropers, some wranglers ("wrangler butts drive me nuts"), western shirts and a "rig" (cowboy talk for large truck), I made dear friends who I always think of at Christmas time when I get out the ornaments they made for me. I cried when I was transferred. I was transformed. I now love Wyoming! I love the high dessert, I love the smell of sage. I love that it snowed on the first of July. I love the ghost towns, the way people talk and the friendliness of small towns.
Dieting can be ugly. Giving up old eating habits caused a real period of mourning for me. I am not being dramatic. I felt depressed and sad that I had to change something that I loved. Eating brought me joy, a bright spot during the mundane tasks inherent in motherhood. I honestly looked forward to Relief Society Enrichment nights because of the food it came with. It really seemed like I was in love with the wrong guy and someone was making me give him up. I loved him but he was no good for me. So, I broke up with Mr. bad eating. I mourned, I moped, I felt sorry for myself. I even tried getting back together with this former flame, but he left me feeling bloated, uncomfortable and guilty.
Learning to sing in the face of ugly now means learning to enjoy a new kind of life. It includes prayer and many nights of learning, reading, studying, and hard work. I have to learn to laugh in the face of an eclair. I have to learn to stay on the opposite side of the room when a buffet calls.
There is a reason that the proverbial Fat lady sings - she just had a whole Oreo cookie pie and feels wonderful, but when she got home she found out that she has a headache from too much sugar and the new jeans she just bought don't fit anymore. The skinny lady sings too, she learned to substitute applesauce for oil in baking, she uses fat free pudding instead of frosting on cake, she says no to seconds and carefully plans ahead every meal of the day. She is singing because she just went to the store and found out she could kiss Lane Bryant goodbye, .
Do I miss eating with reckless abandon? I say that I do, but really I have learned a different way to enjoy food. I enjoy it just as much, I just enjoy less of it, which I then enjoy for longer. I was shocked to find myself loving Wyoming, I am shocked to find that eating better is possible and enjoyable. I have finished my mourning period, I am done moping, life is still fun, life is still full. I love my new life, I love my new boyfriend. (proverbial boyfriend Mel, I love you best.)