I am in a place that envy is a real temptation.

I’ve gained more weight in the last month, in addition to the weight I had already gained (I stress eat). I am spending all of my free time (and then some) taking care of my family while my friends run amok enjoying summer and new relationships. I frequently change plans because of my family’s needs and schedule or curtail my time out and about to accommodate them. Like I said, envy is a real temptation.

Envy is also a bad way to go. It benefits no one, least of all me, and the dissatisfaction, depression and lack of motivation that come from comparing my life and myself to others is not a place I want to be. It’s not a place I’m willing to be. So I choose not to.

Because I have choice.

I am not required to be here, I choose to. I am not required to skip out or be single, I choose to. I am not required to gain weight or dislike myself for my eating habits under stress, I choose those too…or choose not those. Sometimes what we choose not to do is more powerful than what we choose to do.

Understanding that I have choice is very freeing. It takes the burden off of me and puts responsibility where it belongs – on me and not on other people where I can’t control it.

If I want to work out, I can. If I want to change my eating habits, I can (and am, as of this morning for the first time in a month). If I want to spend more time out with friends, I can, but likely won’t, and if I want to choose to take this time to put my energy into my family, I can.

No shoulds, shouldn’ts, shaming or guilt. Just choices. And I am choosing to be content with mine.