The title of this blog post says it all. In my 2015 quest to devote one month of the year to goals that will improve my quality of life and overall happiness, there are bound to be setbacks, right? Well, while my goal of devoting February to getting healthier wasn’t an epic fail, it wasn’t a total success either.
- I did sign up for 40 days at my yoga studio. And, in some small measure it helped get me back on my yoga mat and practicing meditation again. But, I didn’t meet my goal of practicing yoga 3 times per week nor am I meditating 5 times per week…yet.
- I cut my drinking and started focusing on adding vegetables (non-starchy ones) into my diet. At my check-in with the doctor yesterday, my blood pressure is normal again (yay!). I am imbibing more than twice a week (the February goal), but am okay with the frequency (it’s usually 3 nights per week). I do on occasion drink more than the allotted two glasses of red wine, so that’s something to think about. For Lent, I also gave up all meat except for seafood. That puts my diet more in line with what my doctor has been prescribing for a while (the Mediterranean Diet). It’s usually tough to get enough veggies when one’s husband is the primary cook, eats Paleo and every meal is centered around meat. So, when Lent is over, I may remain pescetarian much to my husband’s chagrin.
- I came nowhere near my February goals of walking the dog four times per week or adding another form of exercise. I blame it on the epic and rather late winter that’s hit north Texas (as I write this, I’m snowed in for the fourth day in two weeks). I’ve never been good with winter. In fact, long dreary winters were one of the top three reasons I left New York. The last month in Texas has been insane and my desire to venture out in the cold is comparable to my desire to have a root canal without anesthesia.
- I’ve done a so-so job on getting to bed early. I’ve usually made it into bed by 10:00-10:30 (not the 9:30 I’d planned on). I read for a bit before dozing off, so I’m getting more sleep than I was (most nights I’m getting 8-9 hours), which is good. But the later bedtime means a later morning the next day. So, I’m still trying to shift that so I have mornings to get things done before the day gets going.
- Finally, Brett and I have followed through and devoted one night a week to date night, a tradition that will stick. Ours is Wednesday and we’ve had movie nights and game nights. We’ve both been good about saying “no” to other things that come up on those nights.
Each month’s goals are meant to be cumulative, so it’s worth noting that I’m doing fairly well with continuing January’s intentions around creating time for solitude and eliminating mindless media. I’m still well below my allotted television each week, I’m reading more books than I have in a long time (in February I read four plus one play), and I’m still pretty good about only checking email three times per day. I have fallen back into logging into Facebook more than once a day. It’s a dilemma because with the launch of the theater company, I rely on social media for all kinds of things related to it. So, I’m trying to just be mindful and intentional about when I’m logging on and what the goal is (rather than getting sucked into a wormhole). The one thing I’m really sad about is that I’ve let the “create one thing each week” lag. Again, with so much happening with the theater company, it feels a little gratuitous to take time out each week to do something creative like drawing a comic. But, I know that practice feeds my soul and my brain (when I was doing it, it was meditative and I worked out all kinds of puzzles related to work stuff). So, I’m going to work to add that back in.
And what’s been the outcome of focusing on getting healthier?
First, my blood pressure has normalized after being elevated for the last 6+ months. Yes, it involved upping my blood pressure medication. But without at least the intention of getting healthier, I don’t think the numbers would have improved.
Second, I had brunch with some friends about a week ago. They both commented that I looked calmer and at ease than I have in a while. I then ran into some former co-workers at the theater this past weekend. Several noted that I look calm, happy, and radiant (I love that word!). I will take it! I do feel calmer, happier and healthier than I did one month ago. So, while I didn’t perfectly achieve every health goal for February, I will chalk the month up as a win.