Ten years ago I wore a size 8, sometimes a 6, and I weighed under 150 pounds. I did 7 yoga classes a week, usually in the span of 5 days, and they weren’t all Yin. My blonde hair had natural highlights and my skin did not sag.

I loved being the mom of two high-school kids. I supported their activities, made sure they were fed and healthy, and thoroughly enjoyed Friday night lights with my daughter cheering on the football players. Yes, I was the cool mom. I worked full time (plus some), in a partnership for a startup marketing firm. I loved my job, my people, and watching the sunset with a clove cigarette in one hand and a Corona in the other.

Fast forward 10 years – just 10 short years — to now.

I’m jealous for that size 8 body and the energy to do 7 yoga classes while going to high-school football and hockey games and working 50-60 hours a week. (Just writing that made me need a nap.)

This morning, I woke up in the same bed as I did 10 years ago, next to the same man, so I know I’m the same person. But holy tamales has time taken a toll on this momma – and grandmother!

I wear a size 14 and my lovely lady lumps have turned into flabby, flappy folds. Medications and lack of energy to exercise (plus the inevitable post-workout pain) keep me from losing weight. I do still like the occasional sweet – key lime pie with whipped cream (*wiping corner of mouth*) or vanilla bean ice cream with dark roast coffee.

Most days I only wear “real clothes” for about 6 hours. If I wear a bra, it’s for 2 hours tops, and I really like bra extenders. I’ll stop there with the underwear saga. There’s more to tell, but I’ll spare you – and me.

My life entails working from home, running a dental marketing firm. I do not go to yoga. In fact, I do not go out a lot. When I have the energy for yoga, I follow a 20-minute gentle session on YouTube – Yoga with Adrienne is fun, even if I’m just lying on my mat watching her youthful body twist and stretch, wishing I could still do that.

On the odd day when I don’t take a 2-3-hour nap, I’m in bed around 5, reading or watching TV through blurry eyes. Nap days feel great, until I wake up. Then its like Night of the Living Dead until bedtime, around 7.

My eyesight isn’t what it used to be. I wear trifocals. I have insomnia sometimes, but other times I can’t sleep enough. My body feels like the Tin Man after three rounds with Mike Tyson, most days. My mind tends to fog up like a windshield in the snow; thoughts appear slowly, like letters drawn in condensation on the window.

Sometimes I itch uncontrollably or get nauseated for no reason. I get these loud, strange hiccup-burps on occasion. Once, my husband dragged me to my neighbor’s house to show off how gross and strange my hiccup-burps are. They laughed and pointed. (Whatever. I’ weird. So are most people, but I just let my weirdness shine.)

I know I sound lazy and pitiful. And strange.

You may think my life is miserable, but it’s not!

Listen, I love my husband, my high-school sweetheart, despite his sense of humor.

I love my precious, crazy family. (My granddaughter is my fave. Hi Gracie Belle! Nauna loves you!)

I love my church and sister-friends.

I love my job. I get to do what I was designed for: write.

I love my comfortable, beautiful home where people feel loved and welcome.

I get to spend time homemaking, which I sincerely enjoy, caring for my husband and my family, trying out Pinterest recipes, doing the laundry with extra Downy, decorating (which means shopping at Hob Lob), organizing the drawers and cabinets, and buying groceries on Amazon Prime ?.

I volunteer to teach new moms, via video conference, how to properly write a resume and interview, and I run a writers’ group that involves hosting monthly meetings at my home. I have a couple of INSPIRING prayer partners, and we meet weekly for coffee (sometimes in my living room, sometimes at a locally-owned coffee shop). And the group of girls God’s connected me with at church are AWESOME BLOSSOM! We feel like long-lost soul sisters. I just hosted a potluck after church last week – it was fantabulous!

God’s using me to encourage family members and friends with calls, texts, and social media posts. (The internet isn’t all bad!) I’m helping care for my mother in law, who’s almost 80.

God has allowed me to write this blog that you’re reading. The writing is therapy for me and I hope that it’s moderately entertaining and uplifting for you!

I’m blessed with doctors who listen and medications that work pretty well. (I feel like a crazy lady, tripping over my words and fumbling through my notebook when I explain my symptoms, but they believe me and do their best to help.)

Best of all, every morning I spend a few hours reading the Bible and devotionals, studying, and praying. Jesus has coffee with me on the porch or in my study. It’s the best way to start the day!

When no one’s home, I dance in the kitchen and sing praises LOUDLY. (My dogs cover their ears. The cat hides.) Sometimes even Alexa has enough and she abruptly stops the playlist.

Yes, I’m heavier and larger than I’ve ever been. The bathroom scale is evil. Evil, do you hear me?!?

I sleep a lot. A lot! My husband usually can’t even find me among the wedge pillows, blankets, and body pillows. He calls out to me and my muffled voice cries out, “I’m having a flare!”

If I miss my meds, I feel like a salted slug. Some days are “down days,” and I’m in bed with ice packs, heating pads, the TENS unit, my CBD vape pen, and various medication bottles. Honestly, those days are fewer than they were four years ago, PRAISE THE LORD!

Some days I’m foggy and forgetful. On those days, you’ll find everything open: cabinets, drawers, the dryer, a book or two… Nothing gets finished because I keep losing track of tasks. (I should not answer work emails on these days. Lesson learned.)

Some days I limp around the house holding my back and hips or rubbing my hands with Aspercreme. Some days a migraine wakes me before dawn or ushers me to bed at night.

I’m jealous of my life a decade ago. At 30-something I had all the energy and a tiny, sexy bod. (And clove cigarettes weren’t contraband.

Four years ago, I had my gall bladder removed but retained a stone. When the doctors removed the stone, I developed pancreatitis. After being in the hospital that second time, I developed all the weird symptoms I’ve explained in this blog. The trauma of this health issue left me a lifelong thorn.

Today I have fibromyalgia, but it will never define me.

I am jealous for the Shauna of 2010. They say jealousy is green but you know what? So is LIFE.

I’m more thankful than I am jealous.

My life is GOOD. My God is GREAT. Jesus has been so good to me!

I am living my best life for who I am today. And I invite you to join me on the journey, here at shaunasmiethduty.com.

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