Spring is almost here and with it, new beginnings. This is the first spring in 8 years that I’m not pregnant or nursing incessantly to meet the demands of an infant (still nursing but now that she’s nearing 2, the relationship is much different…not nearly so demanding). It feels good. And I want to feel good because it’s been awhile since I’ve felt good…between fluctuating weight from having babies, dealing with anxiety and panic and an overwhelmed state of mind, suffering from a lack of spiritual life as I deal with the daily demands of my vocation, and the universal lack of sleep that plagues all parents, I’m ready to feel good again.
So my focus this spring? Exactly that…do things that make me feel good. I’m not talking about pleasurable things…like taking a vacation without the kids or spending the day at the spa or lounging about eating Godiva and reading romance novels (although all of those things would be lovely!). I’m talking about the things that just make me feel good….things that make getting up each day less of a chore and more of a joy…the things that fortify my body and mind. You know the things that might not be easy, but are completely worth it. Things like cleaning up my diet, making my workout a routine again and feeding my soul and brain. I’m going to fill my spring with things that nourish me because this mothering thing…well, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And I need to fuel up if I’m going to keep going.
I love that the end of Lent coincides so beautifully with the beginning of spring…it just seems natural to begin to reshape myself at the beginning of Lent so that by Easter, I am reaping the benefits of this “new” me.
Physical: Physically, my goals are to do the Whole30 and to make working out a REGULAR part of my routine again. My goals for the Whole30 are first, and foremost, to break the sugar addiction and to finally be free of the sugar demon. However, I have some fun, little goals too…I want to learn to make my own bone broths and curry. I want to try meat 3 new ways (or maybe 3 new meats…bison, maybe? lamb?) and incorporate veggies that I rarely ever use (rutabagas, bok choy, brussel sprouts, just to name a few). I also want to visit the farmer’s market a little more often and find a good source for our meat (yep, you guessed it…I finally watched Food, Inc.). As for working out, I’m going to reincorporate weight training (I am finally thankful that Daxson has lugged that Bowflex with us all these years) and stay consistent with some form of cardio (walking, running, chasing my kids).
Mental: I’ve always read to my kids. Always. But in the last few years, I’ve only read for myself late at night after the house is quiet and all those little interruptions are limited. I thought that seemed logical until the other day. I realized that here I am, trying my best to making reading (and reading-aloud) a culture and a way of life over here, yet I’m cheating my kids of one of the greatest examples…me as a reader. Reading isn’t just something we do only as kids…it should be a habit that follows us into adulthood. And for me, it is, yet my kids aren’t seeing that…all they’re seeing is me reading to them. So I spent the last week with a book in my hand during every spare moment (the moments that weren’t spent in the kitchen or folding laundry) and you know what I noticed? They started picking up their books and toting them around JUST LIKE ME…we were reading everywhere and much more often…outside, at the beach, first thing in the morning, after lunch, all together in bed at night. So my goal? Read. Read. Read. I’m always reminding the kids that every moment is a choice. When you choose to do one thing (for example, when I check Facebook or email), you’re choosing not to do something else (like read). Hmm. Wisdom noted. Advice taken.
Spiritual: It’s time to reread the Bible. It’s been awhile since I’ve read it cover to cover (I think maybe the last time I did that was when William was a tiny baby and life seemed considerably less busy). So it’s definitely time. This time I’m going to journey through the Bible with C.S. Lewis using this Bible.
Emotional: Time for myself. Seriously, that’s my goal. I’m not talking about carving out days or weekends here. Minutes will do. An hour would be extraordinary. Whatever it is, I need it. And I’m not talking about minutes after they’re in bed at night and I’m exhausted. Whether it’s Daxson offering to take over for a bit of time or while Katie takes her nap (and the boys have some quiet time), I’m taking it. And I’m not paying bills or preparing dinner. I’m breathing. I’m relaxing. I’m rejuvenating. Not because I deserve it. Because I NEED it.
That covers the basics. I could continue with a list of goals in all the other areas of my life from my marriage to my relationships to housekeeping, but I won’t. I have a million lists of books I want to read, things I want to do with the kids, conversations I want to have with Daxson, but listing it all would be overwhelming and it would begin to feel like a bit of a burden when this whole idea is meant to lessen my burden (because making yourself FEEL GOOD makes life much easier). That’s why I only focused on the four areas I listed. My final thought to share is this: I just have to keep in mind that as long as I stay focused on the moment and make those four areas my goals, I’m bound to reap the benefits in ALL areas of my life. Sometimes life just needs a little re-prioritizing. When I make a conscious effort to be present in each moment, all the other areas of my life flourish.
Nothing here is earth shattering, but all of it is life altering. Nothing here requires you to add more hours into your day to do (maybe re-prioritize a few things, but add extra hours? Nope). You can do this and you’ll thank me (and so will everyone else in your life!) Care to join me?