Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pressing the Reset Button: Appreciating Life (and Happy Birthday, Mom!)

My mom and I at my brother's wedding (2009)
Today my mom would have been 71 years old.  71 years young might be a better way of putting it... although she wasn't into fitness and health, she definitely did not look her age (I'm hoping that gene awakens within me as I age too!).

It still feels surreal sometimes... the fact that she isn't here to experience life... she was so young and there are so many things that she should be part of.  Not to mention there is so much that has happened in the last 2-1/2 years since she's been gone and so much more is going to happen. 

After she died, I realized how precious life is and how much I want to take full advantage of it while I can. I remind myself often that 'life is short' and to 'live in the moment'... BUT, as I continuously discover, living in the moment is a hard lifestyle habit to stick with if you aren't practicing on a regular basis.

For instance, my Fitness MoeJo blog was started as a way to document and share my experiences on maintaining a healthy, fit lifestyle... something I love to do. 

However, I was looking at my blog posts this morning and realized that I haven't posted anything in 7 months.  Actually, my posts dramatically dropped off after I started my current full-time job, a little over 2 years ago.  I've made a few valiant efforts to dust off the cobwebs but a typical workday leaves me mentally exhausted by the end of the day...  Blogging quickly took a backseat.

So today, I decided to take a mental health day- partly to reset my emotional wellbeing and give my brain a break from work, but specifically chose this day to make time to honor my mom too.  I've been a bit a ton stressed out with work for a while.  Its tough to live in the moment when long work hours, an overstuffed to-do list, and emotional exhaustion are constantly weighing on you. 

The stress has slowly trickled it's way into other areas of my life... health, relationships, sleep, gym time... ironically, the very same lifestyle habits that I coach with other people.  How can I expect to be successful with others if I'm not successfully achieving these things myself on a regular basis?

My mom would've encouraged me to take a break and come sit by the pool today, so I took the day off...  Unfortunately, it wasn't a pool day but that's ok ;)  I sat with my thoughts instead and brainstormed ways to gradually start living in the moment.

I could list out all the things I thought of but they really all boil down to one thing... taking action...

What does this mean for me?  I'm starting small... everyday I will commit to doing one thing, no matter how small, that simply brings me joy, makes me focus on the present, and makes me appreciate life instead of just being in autopilot all the time. 

Sounds simple, right?  But it's not enough to know I need to do it... I need to actually do it.

Today, having the day off and all, I actually did a few things that fit this category... enjoyed coffee on the deck while my Rocky snuggled my leg, walked in the rain without an umbrella, took a detour to drive along a route I used to run on when I lived with my mom, emailed an old friend... but I'm only committing myself to one thing a day to start. 

Rocky helping me appreciate the little things this morning... especially cute, black and white, cuddly, furry things...

I'm not anticipating my world to change asap but I am predicting that one thing will lead to two things, which will continue building so that living in the moment becomes my norm instead of the exception. 

I'd give anything to have my mom back.  Since that's not possible, I'll do the next best thing and live my life in a way that she'd be proud of, while honoring her memory.  Appreciating the little things in life is the first step :) 

Happy Birthday, Mom! 

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