A Moment in My Life – Thursday, January 7, 2021
Continuing from yesterday—trying to decide which category to tackle first wasn’t easy. Everything from work to personal life needed attention—some areas more than others. My initial plan would have me working on one area of my life until I saw it through, but if I did it that way, then everywhere else would continue to fall apart, and I would still be unhappy and stressed out. Another realization I faced was the accomplishment would be short-lived. For example, during my winter break, I finally attacked my closet and drawers taking everything out and deciding who lives and who dies. I was thrilled upon completion, but the joy I felt from the closet project faded when I moved onto another project.
That’s when I decided to try the piecemeal method. From each area of my life, I picked one thing that I could incorporate into my lifestyle change concurrently. As I became acclimated to Shelter in Place, I started to see—my good habits morph into sloppy habits. If you think about it, all the bad habits sprung up around the same time while I wasn’t paying attention, so it’s logical to address them together. I know what you’re thinking. This sounds like I’ve gone back to my old all-or-none thinking. You got a point there, but things aren’t always black and white. In this case, it makes sense to address them together.
I remember telling someone during the first phase of Shelter in Place that I was disciplined enough to maintain my good diet and workout habits while many people complained about weight gain. I was sure, then, that wouldn’t happen to me. If only that remained true. With Shelter in Place extending out longer and longer, my resolve waned little by little. Between the panic shopping frenzies and trying to support the local eateries, eating right was a fascination of the past. And, working out? What’s that?
If you don’t like doing something, you won’t need much to discourage you from doing it. Unlike some of my BFFs, working out was not a thing I enjoy doing, and being alone endlessly, I had no resolve to do more than my daily walking, per doctor’s orders, and I happened to enjoy doing that, so it was no problem.
In preparation for launching my writing career, I began turning in earlier and rising at 6:00 to start my workday and developed an excellent discipline. My writing life remained fruitful, and I churned out column after column. That’s all I was producing, but I was content with that. The column became my day’s work, which was good, but being a full-time writer meant writing way more than just a column a day. As the days got shorter, it became a challenge to wake up early, too. “It’s so dark out there!” a little voice complained inside my head. I got sloppy.
Shelter in Place is a new way of life that didn’t come with a manual. We live and learn as we go with the flow. This different lifestyle should have a warning that we need to be vigilant not only to avoid adding to the pandemic problem but also to be vigilant with maintaining our lifestyle and remaining true to our values. In other words, don’t get so comfortable being “at home” that you drop your guard and get sloppy.
What’s done is done, but it’s not too late to make changes. I’m getting back to the basics. Starting with hitting the sack earlier, every night, even on Friday nights and the weekends. Don’t laugh, but something about the weekend, the kid in me comes out, and I stay up too late. Sleep has always been the magic ingredient for a good life, but I never appreciated it as much as I do now. With a lack of sleep, I can’t think well, and I drag through the day. It’s painful! Sleep heals us from the inside out. It improves our attitudes. It helps us think clearer. It even stabilizes our weight, too, and it does so much more.
After having enjoyed many naughty foods in recent months, I’m ready to return to basics with my diet, which means a considerable reduction of sweet treats and restaurant meals. Instead, I added more plant-based whole foods back into my life. Immediately, two pounds fell off my scale the next day. It’s incredible how a little change could make such an immediate difference. Food is the nourishment that makes or breaks us, period. It’s scary how so many fun foods are damaging to our wellness.
Then comes the most challenging area that I must improve on, and that’s my workouts. I’ve tried different things to inspire me to get a move on, but when my day gets busy, this area is the first to get side-swept. Ideally, I want to get back to my basic 30-minute workouts with cardio on MWF and toning on TTH. I’ve done this before, I fell off the saddle, and I am having trouble getting back on. My first step towards this discipline is, don’t laugh—line dancing! As I mentioned in Monday’s column that I’ve gone country, so line dancing is right up my alley. I figured it would be fun, a great workout, and an excellent way to get back into the basics of working out.
These areas make up the core that keeps me functioning each day, so it was pertinent to improve them first to fully reap the wellness benefits immediately. Besides the scale going down, I feel like a new person just days after starting this plan. It doesn’t require more of anything except the desire to just do it.
Continuing with getting back to basics, I revamped my writing goals to include more writing goals than just the daily column. This plan requires a lot of discipline to work my aggressive writing plan, but having my core wellness in place affords me the energy to execute this plan.
I started this series with a celebration of life in remembrance of Mark and because God gave me a second chance to live my life, which means every day that I wake up, is a celebration of life. In my devotion reading this morning, I was reminded that we must take each day seriously and live it well. I got sloppy over the past few months, but my eyes are opened, and I am making changes to live each day better and accomplish more. There are many other categories that I am working on improving, but for now, I wanted to share the main areas that perhaps others may benefit from as well. After all, I don’t want to be the only one living well. I wish every one of you a wonderful 2021, and I hope we can all be healthy and safe and make every day a masterpiece of a day well-lived so that every day is a celebration of life.