Monday, August 28, 2017

Healthy Living Challenge: Being Present in the Busyness

Welcome to our first Monday Morning's Healthy Living Challenge (and Encouragement). As I reread that sentence I realize it sounds a bit like "Let's all do yoga and eat salad together, friends!" No, yoga is great and I like a good salad (avocado is everything) but this is not a healthy workout plan. This is more like "Hey, my life is messy, is yours? Awesome. Let's look at that". I think I may need to rework what it's called. One reason I write here is because I enjoy sharing what I have learned in my conversations and reading. The older I get the more concerned I am with health; this includes areas such as mental health and self-care to nutrition to our kids' emotional well-being. Each week I hope to discuss a topic and provide a weekly challenge which we can engage with! You in? Of course you are. Please be in. If not, this will be the only one and I'll just "forget" to do another one. You are all a wealth of knowledge and experience and I look forward to learning from each other. Let's get started on this week's topic of being busy.

I have learned a lot over the years about things like making creative dinners with ingredients on hand and how to shop on a budget but the one thing that never ceases to escape me is balance! Just when I think I have it all figured out, life happens and something extra is added to the mix so that there needs to be another readjustment. In part of Jen Hatmaker's introduction in Of Mess and Moxie she talks about how there is no such things as "Someday", she writes "I've learned that we don't outrun our circumstances, nor do we simply outlast them; we just trade them for new issues, new struggles, new challenges."

It's funny (but not) when I look back at the instances in which I thought "Well, once this happens, then it will be easier." We may leave some hard things behind but new ones always seem to arrive – isn't life "fun" like that? Although this may sound hopeless, it actually provides some peace to not try to rush through the tricky stuff and just appreciate where we are at; try to learn what you can (although there have been times when I've said "Nope. I'm done learning!"). I understand that valuing where you are at is often hard to do especially when health is at stake.

Part of balance is trying to decrease how busy we are. I have tried to pare things down over the years but with three kids, jobs, fostering, owning a home, it just seems that you can't cut out enough. Seriously, how do people who work full time fit in doctors, dentists, orthodontics and any other specialists? I sometimes dream of running away into the woods like the The Wilderness Family and being free of all obligations but then I'd be without WiFi and I'm sure my kids would need the dentist or something.

In Anne Lamott's book Small Victories she says "...I had the disease called 'More!' and absolutely could not feel gently satisfied. Nothing can be delicious when you are holding your breath. For something to be delicious, you have to be present to savor it, and presence is in attention and in the flow of breath." How can we be more present? I do want to savor where I'm at. I have kids ages 5 to 11, I only work very part-time, I have a husband I love and I'm healthy.

I would love for you to think of one way to work smarter not harder this week; a way to be more present. Maybe making a double batch of a meal so you have one for later? Maybe limiting social media time to a timed block in your day instead of checking throughout? Maybe running to the bank so you can cash that cheque and get exercise at the same time? Is there something that you can cut out completely? If you have some tips, please share.

My goal for this week is to meal plan. I don't like it (at all) but I know it saves me time and trips to the grocery store. So, that's my plan for tonight. What is something you can do to work smarter and be more present? Please comment and we can touch base over on Facebook too!



  1. Good question! I can't think of anything off the top of my head right now... BUT! I find life overwhelming sometimes and its just Edwin & I! (oh and Chucho ;) ) But with work, appointments, and a social life between family & friends for 2 of us, it gets busy. I am going to check back here for peoples tips! I also meal plan, FYI. Otherwise, I come home after work and stare at the fridge and get stressed about what to make. I am much happier when meals are planned. Actually, when life is planned! (I like to plan)

    1. So busy with appointments in there! Most tips people gave on FB were meal related ;) Good job meal planning, do you enjoy it? I love planning in general but hate meal planning because I like to see how I feel on that day, close to dinner. Ha. Do you plan on Sundays too? Hope you're doing well, Shannon!