Nourish

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If someone asked you how you nourish yourself, how would you answer the question?

Would your thoughts automatically turn to the food you eat?  Or would you think about the things you do for yourself, the things you love, the things that make you come alive?

As the pace of life speeds up around here in what seems like an exponential fashion, with the plethora of end-of-year plays, presentations, recitals, competitions . . . I’ve found myself saying to the Husband, “I just need an hour to myself”.  Evidently the Husband grew a little tired of my refrain and finally asked me point blank “How in a day do you not have an hour to yourself”.

And then, in that funny way the universe has of delivering exactly what you need when you need it, I came across this article, “The Busy Person’s Lies” in the New York Times.  To paraphrase wildly, turns out I, along with pretty much the rest of us, have more “free” time in a day then we think we do.  Which means, the Husband is right.  I most definitely do have an hour to myself in a day – it might not be 60 consecutive minutes, but those little bits of time here and there most definitely add up.

Which brings me back to the title of this post . . . Nourish.

For the past 42 days, I’ve been taking a picture of the sky, pairing it with a quote that appeals to me on that day, and posting it on Instagram.  I’ve been LOVING this project.  I’ve found myself slipping out of the house, often walking a block or two, or sometimes just out on to the front porch, to capture something in the sky that’s caught my attention. These little “outings” (they take less than 5 minutes usually), nourish me more than you can imagine.  And while I might spend more than a few minutes reading quotes to find the best one to go along with my photo, these are not minutes I dread . . . in fact, it is quite the opposite . . . I have loved and learned and been reminded of so much in the words that I have read.  Put differently, and much more succinctly, this little project that takes just a few minutes each day, makes me happy.  Really happy.

And when you’re happy, your likely to enjoy doing a lot of other things too – ok, household chores may still be a well, chore, but they seem to be so much more enjoyable when you’re in a good frame of mind.

Of course, when you’re in a happy state of mind and things are ticking along nicely, you might just find you’re not desperate for that glass (or 2 or 3) of wine at the end of the day.  Or you’re not raiding your cupboard for something sweet or salty or “not good for you”.  Instead you might find yourself choosing to physically nourish yourself with more nutritionally dense foods (you know, the foods that are “good” for you).  And as you eat less of the “bad” and more of the “good”, you start feeling even better . . . . lighter, happier, energized . . . and so the cycle continues.

My point in all of this is this . . . we likely all have more time in a day than we think we do. We likely all have at least 15 minutes, if not an hour (even if it’s not all in a single 60 minute stretch) do to something that nourishes us.  If we can take that small amount of time, and really appreciate the fact that we are doing whatever it is that we want to do in those minutes, we might just find ourselves a little bit happier.  And from that, over time you may find yourself making most more little changes that bring you even more happiness and nourish your body and your soul.

And on that note, I promise to no longer utter the words “I just need an hour to myself”.  Because I now know, that I don’t need an hour.  I just need a few minutes to connect with what brings me joy and to show gratitude for those few minutes and all will be right in my world.

 

 

 

 

A Moment of Gratitude

I was mid-workout at the gym today when I saw something out of the corner of my eye that struck me so deeply I needed to pause and take a moment of gratitude for where I am in life, and the fact that some days I am blessed with, and can appreciate, moments of pure unadulterated joy.

To backtrack for just a moment, I feel like I have to explain a few things here . . . I haven’t been writing much, mostly because I’ve been away.  We just got back from (another!) trip to Disney.  This trip was special though . . . this trip was a real family trip . . . my parents took my family and my brother’s family for a week in the Magic Kingdom.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  I can’t remember the last time our whole family was so happy.  I will forever remember my parents walking around the Magic Kingdom holding hands wearing ear hats.  I will never forget the Husband and my brother pushing strollers wearing ear hats around the Magic Kingdom either!

But I digress.  Five years ago, our little family of four made their first trip to Disney.  Five years ago, on that trip to Disney, I was forced to face the fact that my symptoms were not getting better, they were getting worse, and it was after getting back from that trip that I started in earnest down the path that would lead to my diagnosis, and everything else that followed.

In 2 weeks, I have my annual follow-up MRI and checkup  And after that’s done, my 5 years post-treatment will have passed, and I will officially be declared “cured” by the medical community.

I will admit that going into this trip I was thinking that the timing of it had worked out pretty perfectly … What better way to mark the end of this chapter of my life.

But looking back, this trip didn’t feel like an ending … It felt like a celebration of a new beginning.  A lot has changed in the last five years …. (I know it’s gratuitous, but I had to throw in these before and after photos – the dress my little one is wearing in the first phot was given to her by my amazing friend that she is named after, making this a very special photo for me) ….

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But most of all, I’ve changed.  I know now that things change.  All the time.  And that it’s not always good to hold on to the past or what is . . . because some really good things can come from change.  This has really been reinforced over the last few weeks as I’ve been working gone my #the100dayproject.  The sky is constantly changing, sometimes it gets cloudy, sometimes the clouds give way to clear skies, and sometimes, there is just a sea of blue sky.  Just like life, sometimes bad things happen, but the bad times do end, and give way to happier times.  And sometimes, there are nice stretches of happiness.

I also know now that I know how to take care of myself when things aren’t so good.  I  know how to properly nourish myself and my family.  I know what my, and my families’ sleep needs are.  And I know how to take care of myself and my family on an emotional level.  And so, when something that’s “not so good” happens again (we’re human, it will) I have an amazing set of tools to rely on to get me and the family through the tough times in a much better way that I ever could have before.

In my old role as a banker, I would be taking this time to sit down and plan out the next five years.  To envision where I’d like to be, what I’d like to be doing, and to think of the steps that need to get taken in order to get there.  But what these last 5 years have taught me, since none of it was planned, mapped out or premeditated,  sometimes, it’s just better to go with the flow; to do what feels best for you in your gut/heart/soul, and that as long as you come at things from a place of love, things will be ok.

And as I finish up this post, I am again faced with that deep sense of gratitude.  I am so very grateful for all that has happened since that trip 5 years ago.  And I am so very grateful for the place I find myself in today; a place of pure joy.

 

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