The most asked question that I get has been what is your secret. I already answered that question, so I thought I would answer the second most asked question that I am asked. What made you decide to start?
Many years ago, my mother gave me a framed copy of the poem Desiderata. It was hanging in the bathroom and while I was "doing my business", I would read it over and over again to the point I almost had it memorized. I really liked what it had to say and tried to live my life by it. One day I was reading it and the last line says "Be Cheerful. Strive To Be Happy" and I realized that I was not really and truely happy. I decided to look at my life to see why I was not happy.
So, my decision to start begain with a search for happiness. Now, I have been blessed with an amazing husband and son, the best parents in the world, a supportive sister, and friends that I could count on for anything. I have always been happy with my family and friends. The part of my life that I was not happy with, I already briefly wrote about this, is who I was as a person.
For years I have not been happy with myself physically. For those of you who have known me for a while know that as a teenager I was in very good shape. I know what it feels like to be in shape and be happy with your body and I was missing those feelings. But something was always holding me back from getting myself healthier. For a long time, I didn't feel like I deserved to be happy because I felt I was not a good person. Good people help others and I had an intense feeling that I needed to help people and since I was not helping anyone I did not feel fulfilled as a person.
I realized that the job that I was working in did not let me help people to the extent that I needed to help people. Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the jobs that I have had in the past because I learned many things from them. I learned organization, professionalism, multi-tasking, and prioritization. I developed a good work ethic and strengthened many skills like communication and even learned how to use a computer. I realize that having those jobs is what got me ready for my new career.
I sat down and really thought about a career that would allow me to help the people that needed it most. Nursing seemed to be the perfect fit for me. Nurses help people who cannot help themselves and that is exactly what I wanted to do. So, I made the decision, with my husband, to go back to school. I thought that while I was learning, I would start taking care of myself, exercising and eating right. But it didn't happen that way. I was not helping people yet.
I graduated in December and had actually put weight on. I was a whopping 333.4 lbs, OUCH! I got a job as a nurse in a very busy unit at St. Martha's Hospital. It was tough physically and emotionally, but I loved it. I was finally helping people. I felt happy. I felt that I deserved to feel happy. I began to like myself again.
I knew that I could help more people if I helped myself. I saw myself in many of the elderly ladies that I was taking care of. Diabetes. COPD. Cancer. I knew that if I didn't do something soon, that I was not going to be able to help people for long. I would be the one needing the help. Also, how can I tell a diabetic that she needs to start exercising and eating healthy, if I was not doing it myself. And imagine the people I could help if I had more energy and felt good about myself.
I decided that I needed to get myself healthy, so I could help more people and helping more people would make me happier. I want to be happy and I deserve to be happy. I now love myself enough to do whatever it takes to make me happy.
What makes you happy?
"You've got to follow your passion. You've got to figure out what it is you love -- who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe the only courage that anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dream."