I had originally planned to blog about bread today, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Today is always a hard day for my family. August 1st, 1979 was the day my big sister, Casey, was born. She died in 1997 when I was only 6 years old. She would have turned 32 today.
Talking about bread seemed trivial to say the least.
Casey was the perfect big sister. Despite being busy with cheerleading, track, school, and her friends, she always somehow had time to spend with her baby sisters. I felt more admiration towards her than I’ve ever felt towards anyone in my life. She tumbled and practiced cheer routines in the yard, and I made up my own cheer routines next to her. She spent time making scrapbooks for the football and basketball players, and I watched her wondering if I’d ever be able to achieve such creativity. She made the best chocolate chip cookies, and I always assisted her in eating the raw cookie dough. I honestly don’t have a lot of vivid memories of times spent with Casey. However, I’ll always remember my admiration towards her. I’ll always continue being inspired by her. I’ll never stop loving her, and I’ll always cherish those memories I do have.
One tool I learned in recovering from my eating disorder is to “live in the present.” Living in the present means being fully available and committed to whatever activity you are currently doing. Living in the present helped me stop obsessing about food and calories. For example, while taking a shower, I close my eyes and truly feel the water cascading down my skin. While washing my hands, I admire the beauty in a soap bubble’s color. In simple terms, living in the present is like taking time to smell the roses.
You may be able to relate to this: I used to have a constant voice playing in my mind. It would constantly flutter through my to-do list, count the calories in every meal, then recount them, it would count the number of steps I took every day, it would compare myself to others, it would plan for the future, it would chastise myself for past mistakes. The voice was constant, always nagging. Living in the present allows you to turn off that voice in your head and simply experience life as it’s happening.
Today I spent some time reflecting about Casey. Sometimes life can be short. I realized that living in the present is not only a tool to decrease anxiety and obsessive thoughts, but it is also a way to live life to the fullest. We should all fully experience our lives when we are here: in the present. For example, telling yourself you’ll be happy when you’re thin is a deception. When you’re thin, you’ll still be you. You’ll still have the same life, the same job, the same friends. Another good example of failing to live in the present is worrying. It’s fine to worry about something for about five seconds. Then you need to ask yourself what you can do to aid the problem. If the answer is nothing, then move on and stop worrying. Worrying removes us from ourselves and asking ourselves what we can literally do brings us back to the present.
Sometimes I get sad for no reason at all really. Unfortunately, sometimes I indulge myself and mope around being very unpleasant to anyone or anything that crosses my path. Usually though, I try to take my mind off my current feeling by doing something enjoyable to me. Sometimes I read a book, blog, or take a walk. Today, though, I baked. After baking a batch of cupcakes, I was back to myself, back in the present, and once again, ready to take on and appreciate every day of my life.