How are you doing so far? What accomplishments do we need to celebrate? Celebrate them all, big and small! In today’s blog I’m combining my check-in on Week 2 – Family/Community, and Week 3 – Our Well Being.
As part of my effort to meet more people and feel more at home here in Stuttgart I’ve been very busy. I was honored to get to be the guest speaker at last week's IWCS
evening meeting. I've been to lunch, joined a belly dancing class, have dinner plans tonight, book club tomorrow night, and am hosting this month's Stitch-n-Bitch gathering next week. Maybe too busy and wondering whether I should have tackled this one in Week 6? At the same time, it hasn’t escaped my attention that this is indicative of a common trend to let personal things slide, while letting work and other commitments take priority. I think I’ve done more here in the last two weeks though than in July & August combined! I’ve very much enjoyed all of it, and at the same time can feel the pull of the things I’ve let slide at home. But overall I see progress, which is always motivating, and I feel happier about all that I’m getting done. For me, it is now a matter of how I continue forward and bring it all together, making sure that the things and people that are most important to me get my attention. And at the same time, letting go of the things (and people) that I’m spending time on that don’t give me energy back, help me grow or make me happy.
Which leads us to Week 3 – Our Well Being. All that we’re doing over the six weeks applies to this area really, but we’re going to focus and dig deeper here on our health and emotional balance. It’s tough to have the energy for all the things we want to do when we’re run down, not taking care of our health and emotional well-being. To be truly happy and successful we need to give this area of our lives priority, but we often don’t. In the few years leading up to my move to Germany I had several health issues. A broken ankle required multiple surgeries, months of being on crutches, and moving back to my mom’s house for a while because I couldn’t drive or navigate the stairs to my condo in the winter weather. It was January when I made my temporary move. I was depressed over being immobile at a time of year that is already depressing, in my mind my husband was over in Germany living it up, I was in a pretty decent amount of pain for the first several weeks especially, and never really could get comfortable to sleep well. Let’s just say I was not terribly pleasant to be around at times. I did however gain an appreciation for walking and my health like never before. Then I had another health scare about 3 months after my last ankle surgery. This one required more medical attention, more weeks of doctors’ offices along with the physical therapy I was still getting to get my ankle back to full strength. Oh, did I mention that I bugged my ankle surgeon until he agreed to release me early so I could at least work remotely, and I was promoted to a new position during this time that I was happy about, but would have been an incredibly stressful situation under normal circumstances? After all the surgeries, stress, and medications I was exhausted, my hair was falling out, I couldn’t do my normal type of exercising, and well…I was a bit of a mess. By October of that year I hit my limit and realized that I had to turn it around. I had just experienced all these things that made me aware of how important my health is, but wasn’t doing all that I knew I needed to in order to get myself where I wanted to be. Nothing else matters when we don’t have our health. Yet so many of us live a life that puts our health and emotional well-being at a lower priority until we reach critical mass or something finally gets our attention, often existing and living with less energy and happiness than we know we’re capable of.
It’s been two years since I had that turning point moment, that reminder that life is too short and I’m not getting any younger here (although I feel younger now than I did then). I have a bit more to go to my goal, but I’m down 20 lbs, losing 10 before I moved and 10 since. Not exactly speedy, but I have remained focused on my priorities of health and happiness…which for me means I’m going a little slower than most. It’s wonderful for me to be able to report that my hair is back. I still have problems with my ankle from time to time, but I hiked 107 miles around the Tour du Mont Blanc a few weeks ago and I ran 5 miles yesterday. These are things I wasn’t sure I would be able to do again and I am incredibly thankful that I can. It has finally clicked with me like never before though that this is about a lifestyle, and my happiness and energy to do all that I want and love to do, while I still can. I am reading more, I started a belly dancing class this week, I am learning to knit, I am learning a new language, I am working in a new business, I am getting to travel and see places I only dreamed of getting to see. I am healthier and happier than I’ve been in a very long time because of bringing more focus and making this area of my life a priority.
So while some weeks it can be a struggle to get everything in, I know that without my health & emotional well-being none of the rest of it will be as happy and fulfilling as it can be. I feel better than I have in years. So now it’s your turn. Are you giving this area the time and attention it deserves? Or are you doing pretty well, but ready to step it up a bit like me in my final push to reach my goals? For those of you that are already registered, your worksheet is on its way. Want to get started? Click here
to read Week 1 and get started.