One Healthy Thing, Just One

My goal this week is to do 1 healthy thing a day. I’m not limiting myself to one mind you, but rather I am doing something healthy everyday that I don’t normally do. So for instance, I drink a lot of water and eat a fairly healthy diet, so it would be a cop out to say cool, my healthy thing for Monday is I drank water. Not much of a challenge or a stretch. So I picked doing yoga everyday. I was doing it maybe once a week, if that, and I was always going to a class. This week however, I am going to attempt to do it everyday, here in my living room… with two toddlers.

Okay you can stop laughing now.

My doctor pointed out to me that maybe I should be stretching more and that it was indeed possible to do yoga in my living room. She doesn’t have children so she doesn’t get why I was laughing so hard. But her words did get me thinking. Maybe if I started my day off with a quick 20 min yoga session it would set a nice tone for the rest of the day. Better yet, if I could get my kids to try some of the poses or at least get them asking about the yoga process then maybe they would benefit as well. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to the practice of yoga or meditation on a regular basis actually have increased abilities to manage their emotions and outbursts. Hm, well that sounds like a good thing. I’m not sure how much a 3 year old can really get out of it, but it couldn’t hurt and he won’t always be 3.

I love the idea of my children growing up with an active family. I love that they will always think that exercise and moving your body is just what you do. My oldest already does the yoga breathing with me when he is stressed or crying, the dragon breath with the tongue out never fails to calm him; though arguably he is soothed by my being ridiculous with my tongue out, but it doesn’t matter why it works, just that it does. We practice his breathing multiple times a day, not just when he is worked up. This way he is sort of conditioned to mimic me without thinking and I have found he is much more likely to comply with the process when he is upset. Almost like an Pavlovian response.

I am excited to lay out our mats in the front of the TV and do our first downward facing dog- little people already got this one down like it’s their job. I am excited to incorporate something that makes me feel so good into our lives on a regular basis. I have always said it is best to baby step into things so they are easier to make a habit and stick too. I am hoping this small baby step of yoga will result in bigger steps of more hiking or energy depleting runs through the neighborhood. What little person doesn’t need to deplete some energy on a regular basis?

I really think one of the best things anyone can do to live an intentional life is to take care of themselves first. Our health and well being is so important that without it we can’t begin to live intentionally. It doesn’t matter what activity you like to do, remember this isn’t someone else’s life, its yours. You don’t have to feel pressured to do Yoga just because I like it, or run just because your sister-in-law does it, or join Crossfit just because everyone says it is amazing. Maybe your thing is Zumba, or basketball, or lifting weights. Maybe you enjoy hiking or walking or boot camp classes. It doesn’t matter. But this week, week 9, I challenge you all to find something you love to do, that benefits your physical being, and then do that thing every day.

Happiness comes when we take care of ourselves and we nurture not just our minds and souls but our bodies as well. There are too many studies to name that have proven over and over again the benefits of physical activity on the brain, emotional health, and happiness. So pick just one thing. Start with one thing. Do it today, then tomorrow, then the next day. Before you know it, it will be Monday all over again and you can pick a new thing. Or be amazed at lasting the week and keep on doing it.

 

Now moments of the weekend: Dancing to the song at the end of Shrek repeatedly for 20+ minutes with my boys… “I, Believe….”. Best dancing ever! Date night with my husband that included a free dinner thanks to rewards points, and no kids. Sleeping in on Sunday.

Go ahead, I dare you not to at least tap your toes to the music. :)

What I am listening to: Jake Bugg. Lightning Bolt. This kid can sing. Seriously, why didn’t I do something amazing by 19? Why have I still not done anything amazing?

What I’m reading: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella. It turns out I have either already read this book or I read so many books that they all seem the same because I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I know what is about to happen before it does.

What I’m watching: Dexter Series Finale. I won’t ruin it for anyone, even if you aren’t watching now you might later. Suffice it to say, it was a rough go.

Inspirations from the Ether: Mark Zuckerberg is going to meet someone new everyday, and actually converse with them in person! Shock and awe! It’s a cool goal for someone who almost single handedly created the venue to NOT do that very thing. It is sad that someone is so introverted that this is a goal in life. I am however inspired by his yearly goals of self-improvement. Just goes to show even billionaires need work.

About Me

When I started this blog 8 weeks ago I threw together an About Me page that was pretty straight forward. Later, when I wrote about the intentional life and intentional identifiers I was disappointed in myself because my about me was really just a list of roles I play in life as opposed to truly being a description about me. Sure, you may find it interesting that my occupation is a Technical Editor, but if that is all I tell you, then you might assume I am a grammar Nazi. It really doesn’t say anything about me, it just identifies a role I play.  Notice I purposefully didn’t say I “am” a Technical Editor. I’m really not, that is just my role when I clock into work and earn a paycheck. I don’t even have a degree in English, my degree is in Biology. See?  It’s a little misleading.

So in light of this revelation I am rewriting my About Wendy page in order to reflect a more accurate representation of me. I invite you to read it, and then write your own. I think if we all wrote an about me that didn’t include our obvious roles of job, spouse, and parent we might just learn something about ourselves. True introspection might just happen, and then we will be better equipped for the battle of creating an intentional life.

So Week 8 is to write an accurate about me. Write or Rewrite your about me, revise as necessary until you have something, anything, that identifies you without identifying your roles. :)

As for this and my belief that all life’s moments can be directly traced to a Friends episode (Zen and the Art of Friends), it reminds me of the first episode where Rachael is on the phone with her dad and tries to use a metaphor for her life that her father completely doesn’t get. She describes feeling like her entire life she was told “You’re a shoe, you’re a shoe, you’re a shoe…”

What I’m Reading: Family Pictures by Jane Green. I love her, absolutely love her. She creates characters that you can identify with, even if you are mad at them. I recently discovered through FB that she is just as honest, warm, humble and fallible as any of her characters. I would love to have lunch with this woman. :) Just the thought gives me goose bumps.

What I’m Listening to: Let her Go by Passenger. I knew I loved her before. I just can’t seem to let her go, and I simply must. I need to let her go, and while the song isn’t truly about my situation, just the name reminds me, if I’m ever going to move forward, I need to let go of her loss.

Inspiration from the ether: None. Too much sadness and despair online this week. With floods, murder, death, bleh… its been a rough weekend, and I am inspired by little of what I have read online lately.

Sunday’s Now Moment: No words can describe my Sunday. Okay, maybe one word- lazy. I won’t apologize. I haven’t slept in like that since before kids were here and I haven’t done absolutely nothing- with the exception of alien creation crafts- in 5 years. It was a thing of pure magic. The whole day. Thanks to the rain for giving me a reason to sit still- sorry everyone about the flooding it caused. Thanks to the husband for letting me do it.

Monday’s Now Moment: Having a long discussion with my son about why his baby brother can’t sleep with him even if he made him his own spot and pillow on the top bunk.

 

The Now Moments of the Week- by Request

My week goal was to live more in the now and to make every attempt to just focus on one moment or task without worrying about the next moment or what I should be doing but aren’t. For the most part I succeeded with a few helpful reminders from others and a few nasty internal monologues where I always won. Here are my favorite Now moments of the week.

Monday: Rocking the little one to bed at nap time and having him sing along. He makes requests and spends a lot of time smiling at me and giggling. He likes to request songs that don’t exist. His favorite request is “The Nemo Song” which does not exist but makes him laugh every time.

Tuesday: My mother usually helps me wrangle the Fraggles during the day so I can accomplish working from home. She had to go to the dentist last-minute and it was just me and the hooligans. I had a conference call mid morning that I knew I would have to speak during so muting out the screaming banshees I call my sons was not an option. So I put them in the bath… big mistake. And so while it was not a good idea- envision all the water from the tub now on the floor- I could not have been reminded, in a more obvious but not fatal way, that I can’t do everything and next time I need to just make my apologies, skip the meeting, and live in the now. Thanks god we had new absorbent towels.

Wednesday: Doing squats. I love working out, but I love leg day even more. I love having visible quads and strong hamstrings. Wednesday I didn’t have time for a proper workout so I thought I’d just do a few leg exercises and get back home quickly. Leg day really is the most bang for your buck because if you lift like you should you can burn so many calories and build so much beautiful muscle that it is addicting. I killed it. It was awesome, the strongest I’ve been since before both children. I couldn’t have been more in the moment, knees shaking, muscles quivering pushing myself so I didn’t make a fool of myself by dropping the barbell.  And I could really be in the now because I wasn’t thinking about what exercise I was going to do next or how I was going to be hurting during cardio. Nice.

Thursday: Standing in the rain. When I was younger I loved the rain. I can remember sitting outside under a big clear umbrella and watching it fall all around me for the longest time. Or we would have Popsicle stick races in the gutters. When I was in my twenties, I would dance in the rain and take every opportunity to just get wet (lightning permitting). As an adult we tend to run through the rain avoiding the drops that used to make us smile. Why? Thursday I stood in the rain. Just stood, eyes closed, face to the sky, and I got drenched. It was cold and it was windy, and I shivered like hell. It was perfect.

Friday: Taking a bath with my boys. Now that my kids can manage a bath without drowning I have a tendency to get things ready for bed time while they bathe. Before you judge me our house is very small and an open floor plan. I can hear and almost see them from anywhere, no one is dying on my watch. But Friday night I sat in the bathroom with them watching them play with the bubbles and practice physics in the water. And for the first time in a long long time, when they asked me to join them in the water I did instead of saying I was too busy. We had a great time and miraculously all those “things” I normally do when they are splashing around, still got done. :)

Saturday: Gymboree. We took three months off of Gymboree to save money for all the wee one’s medical bills, so the kids were super excited when we got there and they realized what the day’s surprise was. It was so fun just watching how much they have changed since we were last there and seeing how brave they have both gotten. It was also fun to be thrown around by the hubs like a rag doll because they have soft play mats to throw me on. We played, just really played as a family being carefree and super silly. For 1 hour I didn’t think about bills, errands, celiac disease, or work. Just Love.