“How were your holidays?”
“Where did you go for Christmas?”
“What did you do for New Year’s?”
These aren't questions that normally cause anxiety for me… until this week. I returned to work this past Monday, after two weeks off, as a different person. Although I appeared unchanged on the exterior, my entire being and mindset had forever been altered.
The truth is, my holidays sucked. Christmas Day was predominantly spent in an ICU waiting room with my family. The week after is such a blur... I didn't even know what day it was most days. I kept forgetting that it was New Year’s Eve… didn't even ring it in. Not that it’s normally a big night for me but at the very least I’ll get together with friends… or at the VERY least, I’ll stay up until midnight thinking about all the changes and goals I want to achieve in the upcoming year.
The only thing on my mind this New Year’s Eve was that 2014 will be the first year without my mom.
|My mom and I at my brother's wedding a few years ago|
Sadly, my mom passed away the day after Christmas after a brief but critical illness that she wasn't able to recover from. Her health had declined over the years to less than desirable, although I never would have imagined that her life would end this young. Someday I may go into more detail about it but the particulars aren't important for this post.
To be honest, I wasn't even going to discuss my mom’s death in my blog at all. Although I share some personal tidbits of my life here and there, I don’t typically reveal TMI on social media… and this was a completely unexpected, difficult loss.
Not to mention, I didn't initially think that her death really pertained to what my blog is even about… fitness, health, motivation… until I realized that it has EVERYTHING to do with what my blog is about.
Fitness and health, or overall wellness, isn't just about the physical attributes. That is what most people primarily think of… but it also includes the mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental and social components as well as the physical. My mom was very strong in most of these but had somewhat of a shift in priorities when it came to taking care of the others.
I have to keep in mind though, as a good friend of mine told me, that my mom was a smart person… and a former Registered Nurse… who probably knew more than I thought she did when it came to her health issues. Her life and death has truly inspired me to do more in MY life to influence OTHERS to lead a better life.
|My mom after graduating nursing school|
My mom’s death has reminded me why I do what I do… I got into the fitness industry after experiencing my own health issues with chronic back and lung conditions because I wanted to learn how to improve people’s fitness levels. In the 6 years since I've been working in this field, my focus has gradually shifted to more of a wellness-centered approach, connecting all aspects of daily living.
Fitness MoeJo was born out of a desire to find my personal “moejo”. You can read more about it my very first blog post ever but essentially, I wanted to improve my life through setting new goals for myself… and then share my experiences with others.
As the focus in my professional life has shifted, I think it’s about time I incorporate that into my blog. My mom was one of my biggest supporters when it came to my training, competitions, road races (especially the Boston Marathon), jobs and this blog… it made me happy that she was so proud of me and I want to continue expanding on that.
|A few of the "mementos" my mom bought me after I ran Boston... she was pretty excited :)|
I was reading a Zen Habits blog this morning that included an important reminder about our days on earth being limited and we should make each one count. I couldn't agree more. My goal in life is to not only help others stay fit so that they can enjoy a longer, happier life… but motivate them to DO something on a regular basis to stay on that track of healthy living.
Throughout my grieving process the past couple of weeks, I've discovered that talking (or typing) things out is very therapeutic for me. Actually, I've realized that I don’t shut up when talking things out… who knew I turned into such a Chatty Cathy when in mourning. Also probably the reason for why this post is a bit lengthier than I anticipated...
Luckily, I have amazing, supportive, loving people in my life who let me talk my heart out. I couldn't have made it through the past two weeks without them.
It will be a while before I’m able to fully process everything that’s happened – and I’m sure I’ll be taking a few emotional roller coaster rides in the meantime. I miss my mom tremendously but very thankful to have many treasured memories of our times together. She will be with me always… and helping me to make each of my days count.
|One of many happy pictures of my sister, mom, brother and me :)|