If I told you that for most of my 30s that my idea of relaxing was watching Grey's Anatomy whilst folding laundry and checking email simultaneously, would you empathize or tell me that I'm crazy? When my hubby would ask me to just sit down with him the question that would run through my mind was always: Who's going to do everything then? I'll tell you that it's sure the heck wasn't him. I've always been in awe of how little he cares about the "small stuff."
I vividly recall going through my days finding myself walking with my fists clenched, hoping not to run into anyone that I knew that would slow me down as I was on a mission to get things done. I was always consciously checking things off my mental to do list.
I would follow my nutrition plans to the letter, and be frustrated as hell if I missed my workout. I was so routine that everything had to work out just so, otherwise I was in a flap. Meditation was something that I considered so overly spiritual, so hokey, so foreign to me that I was actually scared to try. My mind was such a busy place, always analyzing, always planning.
Any time that was solely dedicated to me felt so indulgent that I would feel the guilt weigh on me and I'd find myself explaining why I was doing something that I actually enjoyed!
Somewhere along the way I lost the perspective, and the happy in my life.
Over the last eight years, I have really, truly started to focus, to slow down and to appreciate things so much more. I see the truth in that my inbox REALLY won't ever be empty and that with two kids (and a husband) that the laundry will NEVER all be done.
My daughters have been my greatest teachers. They really bask in the glow of life; stopping to look at the tiny roly polys and take them out of harms way into the grass, to shuttle a mama chicken and her babes off the road. The girls are these unique little beings and no matter how much people may say that they are like us, they are so much their own people that move at their own pace, with their own style, noticing everything, really listening. Being present.
As a fitness and nutrition enthusiast, working out and eating well are still important to me, however, my life is much different. I so enjoy being able to skip the gym guilt free and to eat mindfully. I love to taste things and drive my husband crazy with my little bits that have been tasted and are saved for another day. I don't every feel like I need to devour anything because nothing that I really want to have is off limits.
Mindfulness, gratitude, and meditation are all so key to my happiness. My "me" time is non-negotiable, as are my yoga classes. Oh the things that I would have told my 20- and early-30-year-old self if only I would have listened.
Trying to catch perfection really had me on the proverbial treadmill of life. I've learned that happiness is not something that can be caught, it's there all the time if we choose to indulge it. I've learned that I'm just as productive when I slow down and that everything is so much more enjoyable. I've learned that when I feel anxious and my mind is racing that meditation is something that I can access at any time. I always try to imagine myself through my daughters' eyes and think about whether or not I want them to follow my lead.
When they say you live and you learn, they weren't kidding.