I had a minor freakout this morning as I looked at the calendar, trying to schedule two lunch dates and a visit. There just aren't any holes in my calendar. It's overwhelming-- the "stuff" of this time of year.
Being a preacher means this is my manic season. I've never fared especially well, though last year I did better than other years. I just started my quest to a healthier life (yeah, that was a brilliantly timed plan.) I only missed one or two workouts. I didn't go nuts on food. I made better choices. I survived until I had an open house-- and when I didn't throw the leftovers away, I found myself grazing on them. One thing led to another. I said yes when I should've said no. I was exhausted and craving sugar to comfort my stressed brain. By the first of the year, I was knocked-down sick for over a week. Maybe it was two? Last Advent was an exercise in wagon-falling-off, and I just felt a little miserable.
I did it to myself. Frustratingly, I know better. Every year I make commitments to myself to take extra care of my body and spirit, but I don't follow through. I get sick-- every. single. year.
This year, I recognize that I have a lot going on. I'm smart enough to see that I can't change most of it. But I'm also determined that I'm not going to have to spend all of January recovering from a poorly handled December. I'm not going to make hard and fast commitments (except one--getting there! Patience already!) to doing or not doing. But here are my aims:
- Practice saying no. Hard for a people pleaser to do, but a good discipline some times.
- Quit eating out-- or at least drastically reduce it. It's a little about the money, and the health aspects, but it's more about the opportunity to eat good food that feeds more than my stomach. I'm tired of restaurants right now anyway. It will be inconvenient, and I'll have to do some planning and preparation. But I'll be happier in the end.
- Go streaking. (This one I'm making a commitment, not an aim.) I was reading Runner's World and it talked about a trend that's become a tradition to many. (I guess along the lines of No-Shave November, but having mountain man legs never appealed to me, so I'm not sure.) It's the Holiday Streak. The idea is that every day, Thanksgiving through New Years, you pledge to run (or walk) at least one mile every day. I saw this several years ago, and wanted to, but got too busy. I think I've actually considered it for several years in a row, but always drop the ball and never get around to starting it. I almost skipped over it again, but this year, it seems important. I don't think it will be about trying to sneak in some exercise-- after all, I am in a differenct place this year, and the gym is just part of my life. Going is a given, and I'll make it fit. But I want to do this as a matter of mindset, of reminding myself that I'm worth it--that my self care impacts not only me, but those I love, and not only now, but in the future too. I may not be doing a lot of runs because of the leg workouts I'm doing, but the way I figure it, even a slow mile could be a gift. (Maybe I'll make them intentionally slow?) That's twenty minutes of time just for me. (Making that a rule: no email checking, text reading or call answering during that time.) That's a mile of looking around and breathing fresh air and making my doggie smile. I think I'm going to document each day with a picture on my blog. Getting pedicures or reading books by the fire is more than I can do to take care of myself right now, but I am worth twenty minutes a day. I'm going streaking!