Monday, May 9, 2016

Love : Heal : Declutter : Run - 2016 Intention Update

I know people say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions... but I think they're mostly of the religious orthodoxy set and I'm a MormonYogi so I'm pretty certain I get a pass from the couple upstairs.

Around December I decided that this was the year I was NOT going to set a weightloss goal. Because even if I made it, there was a possibility I would "un-make" it and that just leads to trauma. We could get into more of the back story, but I think it 'sufficeth' to say I wanted to take a different approach to personal growth and well-being in 2016.

2015 was plagued with injury and stuff. I wanted to be done with the stuff--and the injuries so one day it came to: "Just pick a mantra." And then I built on that, and instead of a word or a phrase I picked four words I wanted to infuse my life with: "LOVE, HEAL, DECLUTTER, RUN."

So here we are, about a third of the way into the year, and I think I'm due for an update.

What I wanted was to love my family more. Love God more. Love my body more. And it's been happening. We got a little gold bell in the kitchen that I ring as opposed to yelling for my children to "come." Call it old-school Pavlovian response -- but there's something different about our home when I'm patient in the mornings -- and the act of NOT raising my voice, helps immensely with that. I've also tried to just enjoy the time we're in. My kids are growing up -- they're getting more independent and life seems a lot easier to manage with them, but I don't want to fall prey to wishing they'd stay young. I'm really trying to enjoy "this" phase. Right here, and right now. It doesn't always happen, but I'm definitely trying to be mindful of it.

Danny and I have continued with our quarterly couple trips -- anywhere from a night away to a week. We had a wonderful trip to Ventura California last quarter and will be heading to Indianapolis for a work trip (his work, not mine but I get to tag along) and then to Cancun in September to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.

As far as my body -- that one has been a little more challenging. With my Plantar Fasciitis (PF) reaching an all time low in 2015, working out was not a priority and running was completely off the table. Even yoga and riding a bike was painful. Take that coupled with my love of sugar and chocolate chip cookies and there's going to be a few more layers of me to love.

Loving whatever skin I'm in is not an easy thing for me. But I try to continue to remind myself that my body can do amazing things and to practice gratitude for this skin I'm in. Reading more about intersectional feminism has played a huge role in shifting my framing and recognizing that #AllBodiesAreGoodBodies. And when I look for the beauty in all those around me, it's easier to see it in myself.

I set out at the beginning of the year to heal my heel and foot pain. The physical changes in my PF have come from lots of hot yoga (ideally four classes minimum a week), rolling out with a Yoga TuneUp or racquetball and getting deep tissue release done using the Lokte Method.

But what I've also realized this year is that the foot pain is a symptom, not just the problem. There's a lot of healing that's needed to happen within my religion (I'm talking to you Horrid month of November). I think belief is something that ebbs and flows -- and while I can't deny a personal connection to God, it's easy for me to see that there is Truth all around.

Healing my relationship with Divinity has been a major player in my year. Sometimes I feel like I'm best off treating the LDS Religion like a LeLeche League or AA meeting where they start with the disclaimer: "Take what works and leave the rest." I recognize that to many of my brothers and sisters in the faith will think I soundlike I'm not staying in "The Ole' Ship Zion"... but I'm a PostModern-Feminist member of the Faith... I'm not really fitting into anyone's paradigm with my belief system -- nor do I aspire to.

The good news is, as my philosophical foundation shifts and moves to something more tolerable and less painful (just letting go of all the cognitive dissonance is a real key), I'm feeling more grounded. And with that comes more healing in my body's foundation -- my feet.

I think part of the healing processes has come with decluttering -- physically and emotionally letting go of things that are no longer of benefit (or as the KonMari method would say "Only hold onto things that bring you joy.") The truth is, there is plenty in the LDS Faith that still brings me joy. And plenty to believe in (plenty to let go of as well -- wink, wink) and that has been the key.

As far as the actual physical stuff, I bought the book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" after multiple recommendations from friends and it has been a wonderful blueprint to get rid of stuff. More than 30 bags and boxes of "STUFF" has been sent to the Road Home, a friend, the recycle bin or in some cases the trash. What a wonderful feeling!

This one's a little harder. We had signed up for the Ogden Half Marathon last year and it's just two weeks away. While I started the year with some mornings where I couldn't even walk -- I have managed to get in multiple 2-3 mile runs (ok, jogging really) which sounds like nothing when I remind myself before Z was born I used to run 30-40 miles a week. But I guess everyone starts somewhere. I don't think I'll run the 1/2 marathon -- it's now only a week and a half out, and although it's more than likely I'll finish, I still need a couple of recovery days just for the shorter runs. I'd like to take it slow and start up again when I'm a little more on the up-and-up. But it's progress.

And 2016 is all about the journey -- not the destination.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

This weekend, and what didn’t show up on my iPhone...

 Getting a late start on our road trip to Upstate Utah – but stopping in Ogden for beignets and waffles at Pig in a Jelly Jar on Historic 25th Street, and then heading to Scruds for milkshakes where Holden climbed up to the bar and proclaimed: “We’re not here for beers or alcohols!”

I didn’t snap a photo of the kids arranging flowers for their two “Greats” and Grandma Stevie, or cuddling with Holden in his bottom bunk-bed as we whispered Math Facts into the darkness.

We ate meals around a giant table with four generations present and I watched Holden escort his Great Grandmother to the table and then (with no prompting from adults) watched him pull out her chair kindly and proudly.

She later would tell him about her Mother driving a car pregnant – and he would listen… and then later in a quiet moment to her reflect and remark “It must be hard having your husband gone.”

Zoë would make pictures for the Greats – with pictures of pianos, soccer, and flowers with petals leaves and pollen.

We would jump on the new trampoline – play ‘crack the egg’ and roast smores on the gas fire pit at “The Barn.”  We found pauses in the rain to shoot hoops and walk along the river with Danny’s parents while the kids rode bikes and stopped to look at a tree, a poinecone, smell some flowers or in Holden’s case – discover a snake.

When we stopped at the park he was convinced he found tadpoles – his Grandma and I thought they were a lichen on the river’s rocks, but on closer inspection they were actually some form of worm.

We made it back to The Barn. Holden leading the way and not complaining once about hauling his bike up the hill.

The rain would return but  that wouldn’t stop Zoë from her time on the tramp. At one point, the kids jumped nonstop for almost an hour.

We cuddled. We read stories. Holden started The Jungle Book with his Grandma while I finally got a shower. Danny tried to watch baseball. We all had naps – except Holden. He worked on art projects and spent time drawing comic books and working on art projects.

Stevie and I moved in synchronicity on food prep. Some how bobbing and weaving but not having to say much to one another and she mastered  the grill and we produced massive amounts of food for another meal before catching the Derby race.

The next morning Danny presented me with a flowery card that included purple butterflies. I saw it an immediately knew he had;t picked it out. “Where did you get this card?” I said, chuckling. “Zoë insisted you loved purple butterflies,” he said. He didn’t have to, but I loved we were both in on a secret joke – that was more sweet than silly.

We’d head to Snowbasin for brunch with 15 other family members. And still, I didn’t have my phone for pictures. I was just still taking it all in.

On the ride home, the Great Gradmas would join us, and before the kids settled into games on their electronic devices, Holden suggested we play the “Movie Game” where we’d recite lines from films and the rest of the car members would try to guess where they came from.

After that, the Greats shared a bit about what life was like before television – or even radios in Marion’s case. Holden wanted to know what football was like in Barbara’s (“G.G’s”) day and the most popular sports that Marion (“Nana”) enjoyed.

I thought a lot about my own Mother over the weekend (who is traveling overseas.) I thought about my Grandmas and my sisters. 

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. But sometimes I also think, it’s better to leave the camera-phone behind.