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Number 3 in the Program; Number 1 in my Heart.NUMBER 3 IN THE PROGRAM; NUMBER 1 IN MY HEART.

In my family, I’m number 3.  That’s the reality of being a step-whatever-the-heck-I-am.  

But I’m OK with it.  

christine mcdonough in a flower field

Before I found these two knuckleheads, I had done quite a bit of work on myself.  A textbook dumping resulted in a fair amount of self reflection.  Not easy when, in the beginning, all my finger wanted to do was point itself at “him”.  Grief and anger are funny that way.  Have you heard me sling a gym membership or transformation challenge?  I could have easily convinced you it was “all his fault” and I was the victim.

But in the spirit of being fair, as that’s what we all deserve, he gave our relationship what he was capable of giving.  The other 50% was mine for the taking.  

After it ended, it was time.

Time for a commitment to self. An oath. A journey inward.  A quest to handle my shit so that it would not continue to spill over into my next adventure.

What did that look like?

Therapy. Meditation. More solo workouts vs. group ones. Reiki. Journaling. Art. Holistic nutrition. Alcohol control. Personal self inventories. Forgiveness. Creative outlets. Long walks. Fasting. Evenings spent in silence. The list goes on…

What came out of it?

Honesty, acceptance, a FIERCE sense of who the hell I am, and love for my Goddamn self.

What I found was what I didn’t realize I had been searching for in relationships, work, friendships, social activities, partying, extreme fitness or nutrition plans…did I mention work?  This can, and likely will, be a completely different blog entry.  For now, just understand I was looking in all the wrong places for self worth.

Self reflection allowed me to take shape.  To dust myself off.  To release the guilt and shame I had carried for so long. To step forward with my head held high and blinders on.  To march forward.  To love myself before anyone else.  To accept the Academy Award for “best actress” and not a supporting role. 

Number 1 in the program.

I think we all have the ability to lose ourselves over time for one reason or another.  And it can look very different for each and every one of you beautiful readers. Essentially it’s loving so very deeply and fiercely that you lose yourself.  You can try so hard to please someone that you don’t realize you’re no longer happy with yourself.  

Now, it’s my belief that being in love is NOT about trying your hardest.  

It’s about loving yourself FIRST so that you can show up fully for others in your life. It’s about filling your proverbial cup.  It’s about saying “I” instead of “we”.  It’s about buying two types of coffee creamer so you’re both happy in the morning.  It’s about socializing on your own.  It’s about participating in hobbies and activities that don’t involve your partner. It’s about taking two cars sometimes. It’s about accepting the life-long journey of self discovery.  It’s about bringing your whole, beautiful, unique self to every relationship.  It’s about putting yourself and needs first.

So why am I number 3 in my fam-jam? 


Because I now understand and truly believe that in order to love me fully, Mr. Man MUST put himself and his daughter ahead of me.  In fact, I encourage it.

Number 3 in the program… number 1 in my heart.

Take care of yourself.  Your world deserves you shining bright in the center.

Be well.

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