Leave yesterday in the dust

A funny thing happened while riding my bicycle Sunday morning. It was such a subtle shift in thinking I almost didn’t appreciate the gravity of it.

John and I have a tradition of riding our bikes to breakfast on Sundays. The little restaurant we go to is the Summerland Beach Café, which is about eight miles from our house. There are some pretty good hills along the route, especially the last one, so it is a good way to earn breakfast.

I usually look forward to our ride, but this Sunday I woke up feeling terrible. I had a headache and felt tired. We had been on the road the last week and I was beating myself up for not eating as well as I should and for drinking more wine than I normally do.

I kept thinking what a shame it was I wasn’t doing better.

When I looked in the mirror and saw the rosacea on my cheeks had flared up I thought, “Well, that’s what happens when you eat this way!”

By the time I got on my bike, I was in a foul mood and wondered how my out-of-shape-over-indulgent-fat-self was even going to make it the eight miles to the café.

The first part of the ride was easy as we careened down the hill towards the beach and onto the bikeway. Making our way past East Beach and taking the turn past the cemetery, we pedaled up the first big hill towards Butterfly Beach.

As we crested the hill, my mind wandered to my family.

The day before, I received news that my niece was in trouble and was rushed to the emergency room. While we waited to find out if she would be okay, my job was to keep her mom (my sister) calm.

My sister lives 1500 miles away from her daughter and I knew it was agonizing for her to not be there. She also has a heart condition so I spent the better part of the day chatting with her to help her stay calm. I’m good at that and I was happy to take on the task.

We messaged each other until late in the evening, keeping our phones close for any news about her daughter’s condition. I don’t sleep with my phone in my room, but did that night.

The first thing Sunday morning I checked in for an update.

I was thinking about all this as John pedaled next to me and asked how I was feeling. I told him I was okay and was just feeling the stress of worry for my family.

As soon as those words left my mouth I started feeling better.

My head still hurt but I no longer felt the weight of my self-condemning words. I forgave myself for being tired, having a headache and a rosacea breakout because stress was an acceptable justification.

By the time we arrived at the restaurant I was contemplating how my own thoughts had dictated how my body felt. One thing I knew for sure was I needed to stop beating myself up for perceived shortcomings. Life happens and I want to enjoy the ride.

I also want to see my wins as easily as I see my losses.

When we headed back home after a healthy breakfast I noticed I was making much better time than usual on my ride and didn’t have to reach for my puffer even once.

I pedaled even harder realizing each day is a gift to be started fresh without doubts carried over from the past. I think the best way to achieve that is to leave yesterday in the dust.

Butterfly Beach

Reader Comments

  1. Rebecca

    Yap. You needed this catharsis. I am a bit of a self-critic, and you put it well. You are tearing at yourself. Bravo and please enjoy your excesses without too much guilt. You are incredibly hard working and need to “play” a lot too…

  2. Nancy

    Hope all is okay with your family!

    And why is it we like to beat ourselves up . So I try now to just know… if I do my best at exercise, eating healthy most of the time etc. I can have some fun days! And I try to be positive about ME!

    Your IG post made me go for a bike ride! I was working in the yard… but told myself. I need to get my cardio up!

    Great post!

    • LeAna Bui

      Hi Loretta: Not sure what I did on the previous comment, but there should have been more!

      Thank you, Loretta. With your writing, you manage to catch the essence of how I often speak to myself. What is remarkable about that is that we’ve never met! It is a good reminder that the best way to deal with the negative self-dialogue is to get out of my own head and focus on doing those things that I know are healthy for me like spending time outdoors with my family and doing those things that most bring pleasure.

      • Loretta Sayers
        Loretta Sayers

        Thank you, kindly, LeAna for stopping by and commenting. Isn’t it interesting that we do this to ourselves? I have to wonder why. You are right that the best thing to do is get out of our heads and change the focus. I ended up having a great ride despite starting off on the wrong pedal 😉

  3. Amy Kennedy

    This is so inspiring to me, Loretta! I have been in that same place, and you are right! We suffered the struggles of yesterday already. No reliving it! Move forward leaving yesterday in the dust!

  4. Peta Sklarz

    oh wow Loretta, I can so relate to this. Trying to help the people close to you, but also try and take care of yourself. I am glad that you recognized it at the time and you were able to make adjustments. This is something that I am working on. Great post!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Peta, thank you! I was so struck by how differently I felt once I had an “acceptable” excuse for being tired. Ugh! Really helped me see just how those self-debasing comments are so damaging.

  5. sherri preston

    First I hope your niece is recovering and doing much better now…so easy to relate to what you said, I am easily my biggest critic and tend to forgive other people but forget to do that for myself. I am usually in my own way:)) But the best way to deal as you said to remember each day is a fresh start and we are so blessed to have that!!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Sherri, thank you for reading and your lovely concern for my niece. She is still in ICU but heading in the right direction now.

      It’s amazing how we let those thoughts drag us down. I love what you said, “usually in my own way”…boy does that sound like me too. XX

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Kristine, thank you so much. She is doing better every day. Still in ICU on a ventilator, but improving.
      When she was little, she lived with me for a few months. Love that girl. X

  6. Christina Daggett

    We do have to often be reminded to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our loved ones. Maybe it was the reminder you got from your husband when he asked how you were doing. those of us who have someone like that are blessed. Love reading your inspiring posts Loretta.

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