Saturday, September 6, 2014

Turning Over Some New Leaves

The start of the new school year is rough:  the schedule is suddenly crammed with a million things alongside a little too much work travel for Mr. ReddHedd these days.  Laundry management, better dietary choices and a little exercise are all choices that come at a premium these days.

But making the effort to make new and better habits stick really does pay off.  At least, it feels like it does only a few weeks into the new school year.

Just making sure that I am eating a lot more fruits and veggies -- some at every meal -- has made a world of difference in my energy levels the past week or so.  Not seeing the payoff on the scales, but hope springs eternal, right?  (Getting used to the chemo-induced menopausal metabolism has been a challenge.  This was way too early for me to have to adjust to this, let me tell you.)

For far too long, things have been completely out of balance for me, as I run, run, run from one goal to the next without really considering the long term ramifications of spending so much of my time being so driven in a concentrated fashion. 

What I learned in the chemo aftermath is this:  the unimportant noise needs to fall away, so that you have more of yourself to give to the things that are most important.  That includes making time to take care of yourself, even while you spend so much energy taking care of the needs of others ahead of your own.

A friend once told me that you have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can or should help anyone else.  Because if you aren't taking care of your own needs first and foremost, eventually you will collapse and be no good to anyone else.

Occasionally, something rears up out of the blue and teaches that lesson all over again.  Definitely one worth repeating to myself as I stagger toward the horizon of more on my "to do" list than I can reasonably accomplish this weekend.

So, what's a girl to do?  Practice acceptance, do what she can, and then let the rest go until later.  The world will not explode if I have missed some dust bunnies here and there along the way.  And that needs to be okay.

Today, I am practicing turning over a few new leaves:  better food choices, every time I take a bite; more steps and exercise wherever and whenever I can make that happen; and making a little more time to take care of me, so that I don't lose myself under all the obligations for others (especially those that are self-imposed by my internal perceptions and not actually asked of me -- I can be horrible about trying to anticipate needs that don't actually exist in a quest to do something perfectly instead of just good enough).

What are your goals lately?  How are you working toward them?

(Photo via Mauro Campanelli.)

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