Life is now so full, so busy. Six months ago, I went to work but did little else. The recliner was my support. My connections were contrived through my i-phone and FaceBook, e-mails and messaging. Least of all there was little connection to myself. There were ample distractions of little importance.
One thing I had no idea about was how much work and time I require. Each morning now I wake thinking about my daytime walk with a friend winding through the thick evergreen forest. We pad along the cushion of pine and inhale. Date night is walking arm and arm under the stars along the shore; some nights the ocean is placid like a lake. My husband and I are spinning on Wednesday nights. Date nights. Simple, but meaningful. We are nearing our next chapter in life determined to enjoy it; not bound by the limitations of our physical strength or stamina. I prepare foods, mostly whole foods and search for new possibilities. Keeping a food diary has been a key behavior contributing to my success. My thinking and the way I talk to and treat myself has become gentler, kinder and filled with increasing patience.
Self-care is big business. Books, websites and videos flood the market. Why does this not become easier as we age? Why do so many including myself struggle with this. In nature mothers linger with their babies-teaching. My mother became a woman who while loving food did so in moderation. Through my teenage years much of the processed foods previously eaten were no longer purchased. When I was young Koolaid and Spaghettios were a convenience. Instead the house was stocked with fruit, veggies and lean protein. We began drinking skim milk. My mother and a few neighbors would regularly walk around the block and gab. She was a model mother in so many ways.
As I pack my sneakers and gym clothes to work out later at the Y, I reflect on how much I have learned over these months. It is never too late to take care of yourself. Somedays it is challenging, but I try my best to stay positive. I am not sure it will get easier and take less time. Right now though, I am the priority. Period. And....there is no need for guilt.