Get Busy Living…It’s a Wonderful Life.

Exactly one month ago today, I found myself at a major crossroads. I came home from work, sat alone on a bench in my apartment, and thought about my life. It was one of those moments where I thought, and this is straight from Shawshank Redemption, “I’m going to get busy living or get busy dying.”

Everything that had happened in my life over the past few months was swirling around my head in the darkness of the room–the clinical depression, the marriage separation, moving out of my house, moving into an apartment, loneliness, very little money with a lot of bills, consoling myself with full plates of empty calories, and a solid 15 pound weight gain. I felt like I was drowning. Suffocating. Gasping for air. For life–any life but the one I was living.

If you can call it that. I didn’t feel like I was living. I felt like here I was, approaching 36, and I was going backwards in life–in every aspect. I had a husband, I had a 4 bedroom house in the country, help wading through the sea of bills, and my body was on the verge of rockin’, the best its ever been. And then, it was all just slipping away. Going, going, so far gone. Everything was gone. I felt like I was disappearing, too. And a failure.

no man is a failure who has friends

I won’t go into details, but other than the death of my mother, that was the second worst night of my life. That’s pretty high up there in the ranking of bad days, folks. But just like George Bailey had Clarence, I had so many dear friends, my own Clarences if you will, watching over me. They came to my rescue like angels and showed me that it is indeed a wonderful life that I had, have, and will have and I needed to get busy living it.

The “Clarence event” snapped me out of it. I started to appreciate my life, as dysfunctional as it was at moment–and know that it wouldn’t always be this way. I had to grasp that my life cannot always be rainbows, lollipops, sunshine and puppy dog tails. I had had so much “good” happen during the beginning of 2013, it was almost as though I forgot what it was like to experience the “bad” and how to handle it. I don’t think I was jaded; I was just accustomed to every thing going my way and one thing topping the other, haha. I mean, Fitness Magazine, Women’s Running Magazine, CNN, the best shape of my life evahhh–I was having a pretty good ride.

So when my “ride” got a couple flat tires, I didn’t adjust well. But I needed it to happen. Just like in 2010, I NEEDED that teacher to call me Precious and light the spark under me and remind me of the promise I made my mother, I NEEDED the bottom to drop out now. Whether I like it or not, I still stick to my belief that everything happens for a reason. I sure as sugar don’t necessarily know why, but it does.

Had my mother not gotten cancer and made me promise her on her deathbed that I’d lose weight and had my teacher not called me Precious and jolted that promise to the forefront of my mind, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I didn’t know why she had to leave me or why that teacher had to embarrass the hell out of me but it led to something great. One month ago today led me (and is leading me) to something great, too. I just had to trust and believe and know that there’s a reason I’m here and why I need to keep going on.

Haha, I don’t want to sound like a self-help book, but the moment I started to think positively and believe that a very wonderful life was indeed possible for me after all, things started getting better. I started getting better.

In the span of a week, the most awesome series of events began. You know how I had to quit my membership at Snap Fitness because I couldn’t afford the gym any more? I applied for a reduced price membership at my local YMCA and ended up not only getting a free membership, but offered my very first personal trainer job! They even want me to lead classes for the members about nutrition, so now I can also put to use my new NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist creds! I’ll be working part time very soon! So yeah–that totally was going to help with the financial sitch. But to help it even more, I got a promotion and raise at my day job! No longer am I a Leasing Consultant, I’m the Assistant Property Manager. Then, I got an email from a producer in NYC who wanted to come to NC to film me about my weight loss story for a NASM promotional video. What?! AND then pay to fly me to Los Angeles this month to film at the taping for the NASM video. WHATTTT?
video shoot
β€’ NASM video shoot

Ok, that alone being cool, it was EXACTLY what I needed to kick my rear into gear and get back into my norm. The norm meaning the Cherie who comes home and cooks healthy, clean meals, and works out. Yeah, because that Cherie took a 3 month hiatus. You caught the part above about the 15lb weight gain, right?
carolina girl
β€’ I was seeing the weight gain. Not pleased & it was time to get back to norm!!

Well, knowing that I was going to be on video snapped me right back into my old self. No more being lazy and coming home from work and making three grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner with a bowl of chips as a side and two chocolate-icing-covered brownies for dessert because I’m living the new bachelorette life and too tired to make a healthy meal. YES, YES, SEE–IT HAPPENS TO ME TOO, PEOPLE. I say I’m not a health-bot and boy did I mean it for the past three months. I was the opposite of a health-bot. I was a couch surfin’, Dorito eating, depressed-bot.
β€’ Happy to have salmon back in my life!

Going into the bathroom at work to cut the lining of my skirt because it was too tight and I couldn’t walk/breathe should’ve been a wake up call. It wasn’t–the call about being on video was, haha. But whatever works, I’m back. πŸ˜‰ {But we won’t discuss the part about me being deathly afraid to fly. Oh snap.}
samsung galaxy note 3
β€’ This phone is awesomeness. And free. Free is pretty cool.

And that wasn’t the only awesomeness. I participated in a FitFluential Twitter chat mid month and wound up winning a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Umm, yes. That’s a $300 phone. $700 w/o a contract. It’s a wonderful phone!

carrboro gobble and gorge 8k
β€’ Thanksgiving Day race! Smiling and happy to be back at it.

Now, I don’t know where any of this will lead. Only He knows. Could Jillian spot me in LA and want to hire me? Maybe. Could I end up being a full time personal trainer and I could quit my day job? Maybe. Could I start using the gym at the YMCA and build an even better body that I was starting to build months ago? Quite possibly. But if none of that happens, I’m still happy with what I already have received. I’m happy for the bad, so I can fully recognize and appreciate the good.
love you more
β€’ Love ME more. Note to self!

I’m especially thankful for the angels out there watching out for me. I’m thankful I chose to get busy living. And I’m thankful for my wonderful life.

Comments 12

  • Yasss, I love my Note 3 – even though I had to pay for it, lol.

    Glad to see the tides turning for you! Joy always comes in the morning. πŸ™‚

  • That was the most moving and beautiful post I’ve ever read. So happy for you…

  • I am so glad you are on your way out of that dark place. You have so much to give and I have been very inspired by you! Keep smiling Cherie! We are cheering for you! ps you need to add writing a book to that list πŸ˜‰
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  • Great post! So inspiring!!! You are so great at what you do Cherie!!!

  • You deserve the happiness, my friend!!! Way to go!!
    Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run recently posted..Recommitment, PRs, & Thanksgiving RecipesMy Profile

  • I needed this!!!!!!! Just thinking to myself I could just take a hiatus from being the best me ever!! That’s not going to happen by a long shot, thanks for always being true, honest & inspiring!!!

  • Great blog / article Cherie!!! It’s good to know that it’s not just me and other people have the same emotions I have! Most times, all people see is the result, not the daily disciplines it takes to get the awesomeness and to keep the awesomeness! If they don’t know you, they just assume you were born that way. They don’t realize the daily commitment and dedication you take errryday to achieve the desires of your heart! Thanks for sharing because your story inspires others like me to keep going! You run this!
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  • Cherie, I am today where you were a month ago. I am just crying reading this, especially the “It’s a Wonderful Life” reference. I hope I can make as much progress in a month as you have πŸ™‚

  • Setbacks happen to us all. After all, we are not perfect, just human. Above all else remember, A gift opens the way for the giver, Proverbs 18:16. Your gifts will enable you to fulfill the purpose God has for your life and will make a way for you in life. You will find fulfillment, purpose, and contentment when you exercise your gift…Amen!!!

  • I sat down with my marshmallow popcorn to read blogs and loathe about life. I saw yours first on FB. I can’t tell you how much this touched me (and is me!). I am overwhelmed with appreciation right now. Thank you for being transparent, this inspired me like nothing else has. I am so glad things are looking up for you.. you’re gonna be alright, Cherie. Peace πŸ™‚

  • Cherie,

    What a great post! Congratulations on all your recent successes. You deserve them! When you fly to LA, remember that Clarence’s reward was the ability to fly. πŸ™‚

  • TRANSPARENCY – that is why I appreciate you! HONESTY – that is what I admire about you! PURPOSE – is what you will find and will be included in the book you are going to write one day – yeah put that English degree to some more use in the near future! Thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for making it plain. Congrats on your growth through the rain and for the many blessings you have received, and those to come. I am not going to say flying will be easy, because as much as I fly, I still hate it! But I pray you will have an uneventful flight out west and back. Love ya sista girl!