Today was a good day. I had the best sleep I have had in months. After feeling like a zombie the day before, I decided I was on a mission to do whatever it takes to get a full nights rest. I turned off my electronics a few hours before bedtime, took a hot bath, read in bed for an hour and whenever feelings of anxiety or overthinking came up, I told myself softly, “stop.” Instead of focusing on on trying to sleep, I focused on relaxing and that seemed to work. It is amazing how a good night’s sleep, can make you feel like a whole new person. I woke up twenty minutes before my alarm went off and instead of grabbing my phone and checking social media, I cuddled with my dog laying next to me. I took a hot shower and played music from the 80s, dancing and singing in the bathroom. I made coffee, took my supplements and put on perfume. Wishing everyday could start like today, I am going to do my best to continue last night’s routine.
Feeling good, just opens my mind to other thoughts during the day, possibilities, ideas and dreams. Rather than just wanting to go home and lay on the couch after work, I am excited to go to the gym. Self care isn’t selfish, but allows you to be your best self, for you and others. Fatigue is a cruel monster that will rob your life of joy and being in the present moment. Goodbye sleepsnatchers, I am done with you.
I called my mom last week, like I normally do, right before the weekend and I could tell in the tone of her voice, that something was wrong. I asked her right away, what was going on? She told me that my aunt was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She said that my aunt had stopped smoking a month ago, but she always struggled with alcohol and smoking either tobacco or marijuana. She continued on that she always picked the wrong men and never found someone who loved her, the way my dad loved my mom. She finished saying this was going to be really hard for her and we will all just have to bear with her. Then she changed the subject and asked how I was doing.
At first I was a little irritated that we were talking about the faults of my aunt and that my mom would be the only one to struggle through this. But, then I remembered that we all process information and pain differently. I let my mom talk and that is what she needed to do. I reminded her that we were all family and would be going through this together. When I called my aunt, there was a different tone in her voice. She sounded hopeful, at peace and ready to take on whatever was about to happen next. She was thankful for her doctors who were already taking really good care of her. She joked about the vampires coming in to poke her again. The outlook she has, is that of a fighter. Although she may have not made the best life choices, she has always been a fighter; a person who strives to make the best of life. She said there is no point in being negative or sad at this point and she is hoping for a miracle. I agreed, life is full of miracles and even if that isn’t the end result, having a positive attitude is where I would want to be when I lived my last days.
It is amazing the strength that we can take on in times of uncertainty. When I asked my aunt if there was anything I could do for her, she said, this right here, hearing your voice. Be strong for the ones you love. Be strong for those who cannot. And if you can’t be strong, that is okay too. We are all doing the best we can on the journeys we are on.
I have been riding my bike more frequently and decided it was a good idea to sign up for a class at REI regarding bike care. A friend of mine was interested as well, so we registered for the free class together. I had never been to that REI location, even though it was close to home. Arriving to the store a half hour early, gave me some time to wonder around and check out their merchandise. I was instantly reminded how much I love being active and how lucky I am to live in the Pacific Northwest, where adventures are right outside our doors. For being a Tuesday, it was out of routine to go to a class, rather than the gym and I at first struggled with the idea. Class began and the instructor was not only informative, but funny as well. I learned how to change a tire, clean my bike properly and what items are good to carry on a bike ride. I realized there is much more to know, but I am new to the cycling world and I am still learning. I definitely recommend taking a class at REI, if you are interested in a new hobby, especially since many of them are free.
If we want to change things in life, we have to step out of our comfort zone. Doing something out of routine can introduce new passions and hobbies. Life isn’t meant to always stay the same and doing new things help us grow! I encourage everyone to try a new adventure or hobby… you may just find you like it!
All last week, I hit it hard in the gym, waking up an hour earlier, to fit in a work out. That left me with the nights, available to go for a bike ride or take my dogs for a walk. I was motivated and with the scale slowly going down, it was that extra push to get up each morning. I thought it would get easier, with this being the second week. I was wrong.
I question if I will ever naturally be a morning person. I have had multiple attempts and have came to the conclusion on several occasions that I am a born night owl. Who am I kidding? I was the girl that like to stay out all night and party, sleep in til 11 and not set my alarm. But, there comes a time, a few times out of the year, where I get the urge to give this morning routine, one more shot. Although I appreciate my free evenings, with the choices to do whatever it is I please, without the pressures of having to make it to the gym; I find myself lost at a decision as what to do with my extra time. Last night I made dinner, laid out with my book and a glass of wine until the sun started to go down, continued my book in a bubble bath and felt it was bed time. The problem was it was only 8:45pm and still light outside. I somewhat forced myself to go to sleep, since I have been beyond zombie like tired all week, but woke up feeling the same as a late night bedtime and pressed snooze for forty-five minutes before getting out of bed.
Is there any hope for me?
It makes me question if this waking up early and going to the gym thing is really worth all this tiredness? In addition to not knowing what to do with myself after work, I am too tired to stir up any motivation to be creative. Will this tiredness pass? Shall I continue to be a zombie in hopes of eventually becoming the desired morning person? I will give it a month, any more than that, and I don’t think I can handle the brain fog and fatigue any longer. If this all works out and I can become one of those consistent earlier rises, I will need to figure out what to do with all this extra time!
I went from being a lazy couch potato to being active again, this past weekend, just like that. I was literally sitting on the couch with my laptop, watching a movie and eating pizza, reading about how to get your mojo back. I read about being in the bad habit of sitting on the couch with your laptop and watching mindless television, looked down at myself and decided enough was enough. Although I was not feeling like doing anything, but being lazy, I forced myself out of the house. I took the dogs down to the park and went for a long walk. I immediately felt better. I’ve have been wanting a more passionate life, but one cannot seek passion- action creates passion! I created a list of all the things I have been wanting to try. I had no reason to be lazy and plenty of things I have been wanting to try. The next day, I made a healthy breakfast then got in the Jeep for an adventure. I drove out to the mountains and hiked Squak Mountain with my dogs. I started to feel alive again and could feel my “mojo” coming back. I went to the store and bought healthy foods to eat for the week and prepared them in easy take away bags. I made a choice that I no longer want to wish for more energy and passion, I am going to make it happen. I packed up my outfit and make up for the next day, set my alarm and was at the gym at 6:30 am this morning. With summer coming, I don’t want to spend my evenings in the gym, I want to get that out of the way, so I can go on bike rides and walks in the sun.
Anything we want in life, is just one choice away. Each day we can decide what we are going to do with our time and if the choices we make take us closer to our goals.
The mind is a beautiful thing. There is so much beauty in learning and growing as a person. It really is what is inside that counts the most. But, there is something to be said, about they way you feel, when you look your best. When you are eating healthy, working out and taking care of yourself, there is a confidence that comes with that, that defuses into other parts of life. I know for myself, when I feel good about the way I look, I seem to do better in other areas of my life. I am more confident when meeting people, I feel less intimidated to speak in public, I feel I’m treated better by other people, as superficial as that may sound! But, like myself, many people appreciate beauty and when someone takes care of themselves, there is a certain admiration for that. The last few days I haven’t felt well, and just BLAH inside. I’ve been working, coming home, putting on sweats and being lazy in front of the television. Instead of cooking healthy recipes, I have been ordering take-out or heating up a frozen meal. My exercise routine has been sporadic, more based on how I feel at the moment. Compared to my normal healthy lifestyle, I just haven’t felt myself lately.
It is time to get my groove back! I miss my yoga class! I miss getting my nails done. I miss the feel of soreness after a good cardio or weight session. And I really miss fitting into most of my jeans. It’s all fun and games until the jeans don’t fit anymore! Even though I am trying to be frugal, doesn’t mean I need to let myself go! Even though I think everyone is beautiful and looks aren’t the most important thing about a person, I do think it is important to take care of yourself and your health. On the quest for good health, looking good is just a bonus. It is the feeling you get from being healthy, that makes life even better.