Friday, March 25, 2011

The woman I am. The woman I aim to be.

"I'm not good enough."

A common phrase that can run through my mind sometimes daily...or maybe a few times a day. An automatic thought that can spring up when I catch a glance of myself in the mirror, look at my dirty dishes and un-made bed, forget to call a friend, achieve code-level "disaster" with dinner, or even when I make a mistake at work. Let's not talk about reading over my "goals" for this year...because that's just depressing.

And at night, after I've had a long day, I find myself on my knees asking Heavenly Father "Did I do anything right?" I do a recap in my head of the past 24 hours and count up all the things that went "wrong" and all the times I fell short. And I come to the conclusion:
"Darn it, I'm just not good enough."

And just when I'm about to give way to discouragement and frustration, I feel the hands of a loving husband wrap tightly around mine and I look up to beautiful blue eyes and a cheesy smile. I start giggling because I can't help but feel so much love and tenderness for this person.

My mind goes through flashbacks:

*I remember looking at wedding pictures earlier that day and thinking how I would have done my hair differently and grimacing at the "thinning spot" on the side of my head, my extra chin, and the smudge of make up by my eye. Then I remember the look on my husband's face the minute he met me after our sealing ceremony and he saw me for the first time in my wedding gown. I will never forget that look.

*I remember the yoga class I went to on Wednesday. I was sweaty, smelly, and blobby. I couldn't touch my head to my toes. I couldn't hold my poses. I doubted myself on my decision to come back and "stick with it". Then I remember my friend saying to me as we walked out "You did so good Meg! I'm so proud of us for doing this." And as I walked through the door to our little one-bedroom apartment, I looked at my husband and warned him of my strong stench and sticky skin...but was pleasantly surprised with a big smooch on the lips and firm hug...regardless of sweaty, smelly, and blobby.

*I remember the dishes sitting in the sink, the laundry waiting to be done, the unorganized pile of shoes sitting next to the bathroom counter, and the mounds of papers, folders, boxes, and knick knacks that are sitting around, which I have yet to put away or throw away. I am angry and frustrated with myself, when my sweet B asks me to sit on the bed and read a couple chapters in the Book of Mormon with him and wants to do nothing but cuddle the rest of the night.

When we exchange "I love you" 's as we turn out the lights to go to bed, something inside me whispers "You're alright Megan Johnson. You're doing just fine."

If each woman were a magnificent painting of her life, she might find it very easy to notice the beauty in her friend's portrait and admire the way the strokes fall perfectly on the canvas and how delicately each detail is expressed and portrayed. But, when it comes to her own, it might be easy for her to pick out the little blotches in the corner, the unevenness in the paint, the skewed images, and the dull colors. And when she compares the two paintings, hers consistently falls short and is never "good enough".

Ha! Are you kidding? I specialize in this! And I would be lying if I denied that a majority of women everywhere have this same uncanny ability. As I look back on my life...through my childhood, teenage years, and even into college and adulthood, I think about how easy it has been for me to compare and contrast my life with other's. If only I had hair like that...or I could dance like her...or was as smart, funny, outgoing, spiritual, or hardworking...maybe, just maybe I would be "good enough".

I have something to say about the annoying little "good enough" phrase. It's SO OVERRATED! I have fought it all my life and it's just plain exhausting. I am a woman, and just that fact alone holds so much power, strength, and possibility. I am a wife, which is a role I cherish so, SO deeply. I plan on being a mother, which is another role I admire and look to with the utmost respect. I am a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister, and a friend. I am a returned missionary, a college graduate, a state worker, and an American. I am a slow runner, a yoga newbie, and a chocolate lover who is trying to up her intake of carrots and broccoli. I am a VERY amateur photographer, who loves to write and loves a good movie. I am a brown-eyed, brown-haired, size 10 shoed human being who is trying her hand at cooking and crafts...and is actually enjoying it!

I am a child of God. And that is absolutely good enough. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Brandon Johnson, the stud.

1. He stays up until 11 pm (on a work night) at my parents house as I snuggle and sob over old and dying family dog...only to find out the next day that Yoda (old and dying family dog) is running around, happy as a clown and execution has been stayed.

2. He will join in on ridiculous Shaw family traditions, like birthday balloon wishes and other crazy expressions of celebration. And I think he kind of likes it.

Dad's 50th Birthday: 1/9/2011
(p.s. I don't know what Park and Whit are doing.
I think he's doing what he does best: being gross.
And I think she's doing what she does best: threatening to punch him.)

3. He'll wear tight and uncomfortable khaki pants to a wedding reception of someone he doesn't know. And he'll do it with a smile.
(He'll even wear his BYU polo in support of yesterday's game...although his beloved Aggies lost. Such a trooper.)

4. He would do almost ANYTHING for these two. Even driving them to the store so they could pick up m&m's, chocolate milk, and potato chips. (He'll even pay for the m&m's if you ask nicely.)

5. He loves, loves, LOVES me. To the moon, is what he says.
I mean, any guy willing to sit down on a weekend night and watch "Emma" with his lovely wife is bound to be pretty much the "Stud of all Studs".
I love you B! Love, your Mrs. Johnson.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Don't "sweat" the small stuff...unless it's Bikram Yoga, then sweat til' you drop dead. Like me.

Friday found me at Bikram Yoga studio in Sugar House. A friend (mind you, a VERY in shape and athletic friend) invited me to "try" it out. It wasn't until about 1 day before our exercise date that I decided I should look it up and get an idea of what I was getting myself into. As I read aloud to Brandon what this entailed, his eyebrows continued to raise higher and higher.

1. Heated room
2. 26 poses
3. 90 minutes

couldn't be that bad.
I even woke up at 7 am Friday morning (which I try hard to NOT to do, usually) to shower, shave my legs and armpits, and comb my hair just right. I ran to Target and picked up a mat, drove to Sugar House, and pulled into the parking lot exactly 15 minutes before class started so I could register. I paid my money and listened to the instructor intently discuss things like "nausea" and "fainting", "keeping your eyes open", and "not talking when you get into the room". Yeah, yeah, I got this.

As I followed my friend into the room WHAM!!!! ... it hit me. Hard. The extreme heat, the sweaty body smell, and the all the people lying on the ground, apparently relaxed, with their eyes closed...looking as if this were just another day in paradise. Of course, there's no talking, so I decide to "follow the crowd" and unfold my mat and towel on the floor...and lay down with my eyes closed and arms sprawled to my side, trying to convince myself that I'm a total "natural".

As I lay there, tiny drops of sweat start to trickle down my forehead. Then the instructor enters, advising us to "Come alive!" I follow the others and get up on my feet, awkwardly clasping my hands together and lifting them under my least I think that's what I'm supposed to we breath in through our noses and loudly out through our mouths.

As we do these "breathing exercises", the instructor comments "Looking good, Megan." Now, you know she probably had to get this comment out at the very first, because I KNOW she KNEW there was no way that comment would hold any sort of sincerity or legitimacy at the end of these painful 90 minutes...with me on the ground, literally sucking air.

I could go through my body's reaction to each of the 26 poses, but I think I'll save you the gruesome details. Let's just say, it wasn't pretty and I definitely wasn't pretty. About 15 minutes before the class ended, I'm laying on my mat like a limp noodle, sopping wet, and pleading in my head "Cooooommme ooooooon clooooock....cooomme ooooon cloooooooock!!" I couldn't even think in a straight line. I was pathetic.

After the class ended I "jumped" up and wobbled outside. When I sat down on the bench in the lobby area, my friend came "bounding" out, along with the instructor. They so graciously asked "How do you feel?" How do I explain to them, like the ever-hilarious Brian Regan, that "Everything on my inside wants to be on my outside." without feeling like a total wuss and a "Debbie Downer" to their excitement and love for this intensely insane workout? So, I just nod, quickly changing the subject to my friend's super-human ability to make this ragged exercise look easy and her natural athleticism. Hoping I have avoided the one question I didn't want to answer, I grab my bag, slip on my flip flops, and pull out my keys just as I hear "So, we'll see you again?" Looking back at the instructor and my friend, I hear "You can't give up after one try. It'll only get better."

And just like the the sissy I am...I simply say "Yeah, I guess I could give it another try..."

My body had a few words about that...all. the. way. home.

BYU vs. Wofford
Thursday, March 17th 2011
I'll be there. Will you?