I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this past week.
October is a milestone month for me. Fall has always been my favorite season, and October is the height of fall. The last two Octobers I wasn’t able to leave the house. Ok, I managed to get to two wakes in 2012 and once to Panera Bread for an egg sandwich, and in 2013 it was a short trip to Whole Foods. As I recall we bought some ‘artisanal soap’ (my hubby & I still crack up at that description) that day.
No need to recap all the gorey details, but surgeries in January 2012, October 2012 & October 2013 really stopped me in my tracks, especially the back to back October funfest which left me out of commission for several months at a pop. But enough about that. What matters is what happens next.
Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of my October 2013 surgery (or more accurately surgeries, since since I had three in one day last year).
All I can say, is what a difference a year makes.
This October I’m savoring every single second and spending as much time as outdoors as possible. I’ve also chosen MAJOR changes in my business and practically every area of my life. There are probably topics to blog about on that subject, but in reflecting this morning while mediating I was thinking about how intentional I’ve become about how I spend my time. I was already doing a lot of healthy things regularly when I hit the wall with this medical crisis. I was probably working out more than most Americans and eating my share of kale :). But I was also jam packing my schedule to the hilt. I was over commited, over scheduled, stressed and exhausted.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still busy and I like that. But looking over the last year of my calendar I’ve noticed clear new trends on what I choose, in fact, what I require, on my calendar each week to stay healthy and whole.
1. Time with my husband – This isn’t really a huge change, we’ve had date nights for the last ten years, but I’ve become even more conscious of not only making sure they happen, but of the quality of them as well. There are many times when it seems like we’ve spent time together, but it was at a family or social event with lots of other people, OR it involved sitting in front of the T.V. watching a movie. I’m talking about REAL QUALITY time where we DO NOT talk about the logistics or domestics. Consequently we’ve had even more awesome conversations and lots of fun dates including a few local overnights, a bunch of concerts, frequent Friday night Happy Hours on our patio, and long walks in the nice weather.
2. Time with my friends – Again, I’ve always been a fan of ‘girls’ night out” and regularly see my friends. Now I’m much more deliberate about it. I cherish my friends and want to be sure I invest the time and energy in those relationships. Whether it’s breakfast at our favorite place, grabbing a cup of coffee or glass of wine to chat, or getting in a workout together, my time with my friends is priceless. Two of my closest pals and I use email, sometimes almost daily, to stay a close part of each others’ lives even though we can’t see each other in person that often. It really can be very simple. Recently, while texting a friend and I realized we both had a small window of free time and she happened to be in the area, so she stopped by about 30 minutes for a glass of water. Seriously, it doesn’t take much! And I think we both were feeling pretty good after that quick break!
3. Time with myself – THIS is the biggest shift in my time. I purposefully set aside time to be by myself AND to take care of myself. I was the kid who always wanted the other kids to come over to play and hating having to entertain myself. Now I relish it! I make sure I have time EVERY DAY to do the things I need to care for my health as well as the things that nourish my soul. No more saying, ‘as soon as things slow down, I’ll…’ I’ve read more books, gone for more walks, and mediated more. Enjoying your own company is a gift!
Turns out many new things have opened up as a result of being more intentional and deliberate with my time.
I have spent much more time with family which has been incredible! For example the Rzasa cousins have been on a dozen hiking adventures (that pic was taken on a recent hike where we are showing off our green bands – yes bands were made for these adventures, and a family FB page, and a spreadsheet (obviously more than one accountant in the group!). I’ve also traveled more, from Philly to Pittsburgh to Florida to Jersey to visit family this year which has been a HUGE blessing.
Finally, by being more selective about how I invest my time, I’ve opened up the space for many new wonderful people, projects and experiences this year.
I’m more grateful than ever for my health and for my family and friends. I couldn’t have made it through the experience without them. I’d like to say this has been one of my favorite years yet, but the lessons and scars (both literally and figuratively) of the past years have ended up to be pretty awesome too.
What a difference a year makes!