A Few Small Thoughts on Renewal

The word “renewal” always held big connotations for me; renewal always seemed to go hand in hand with major life events, like renewing your vows, or renewing the house (via renovations and redecorating, neither of which usually end up being small undertakings), renewing one’s outlook on life, and so on. 

But then I came across this quote, which got me thinking about renewal on a decidedly smaller scale.  

Since the start of the new year, I have been playing with Gretchen Rubin’s #rest22in22 year-long challenge (in which you rest in some way for 22 minutes each day), along with other new rituals meant to help me refocus each day, week, month, on what is really important to me.

Perhaps these small acts that have been helping me come back to myself and allow me to start again each day, week, month, are actually my daily, weekly, monthly acts are in fact self-renewal.  And perhaps, by thinking of these little things as little bursts of renewal, I will feel even better when I’ve done them.  

What We Do Today…

Do you ever do something and then immediately wish you could undo it?  That happened to me this past weekend – when in my excitement of downloading all of our photos from our vacation last week, I decided to compare them to photos taken on previous vacations to the same resort. 

Let me clarify.  In previous years (aka pre-COVID), I worked out a lot.  During COVID, I didn’t workout a lot.  In fact, I barely worked out.  At least not the way I had before.  I did lots of yoga.  And pilates.  And sometimes I ran.  And sometimes I lifted a few weights. And never did a single one of those workouts remotely resemble anything I had done and loved before.  

And, not surprisingly, I stopped looking the way I did before COVID.  While I understood this intellectually, the photographic proof of the results of my choices were startling.

Of course, my immediate reaction was to create complex and detailed plans for how I was going to find my way back to that smaller, fitter me.  But somewhere down the path of trying to decide between a ½ marathon or full marathon training plan, if I could work in a weight training program amongst all the running, and where the yoga and pilates I’ve come to really love could also fit in, I gave up and decided that maybe I was going to just be ok with how I had come to do things over these past few years.

But, with the dawn of this sunny Monday morning, with spring in the air, and the promise of better days ahead, giving up doesn’t seem like the right answer. I can’t un-do the choices I made over the past two years. And I can’t leap back right to where I left off (if that’s even what I want to do). Rather, today seems like the perfect day to re-awaken and renew the joy I found from my daily workouts, because, after all, what I do today is what matters most. 

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