I'm a bit overdue writing a Thanksgiving post -- this year, for the first time, I spent the day BEFORE Thanksgiving at my parents house, helping my mom prepare for the big meal. It's something I"ve always wanted to do - I have a love for cooking & entertaining - and while we were cooking, I thought to myself, "why have I never done this with her before?"
The answer? I was always working!
But this year I outsmarted the holidays and took a whole WEEK off of work -- in fact, I took Friday, M-F, and Monday off of work. 7 blissful work days with 2 weekends in between. SO basically, I had 11 work-free days in a row. And it flew by. FLEW. There were a lot of things I didn't get done, but the most important things were accomplished:
1) Had a wonderful, stress-free holiday with my beloved family
2) Got a lot of sleep
3) Caught up with some friends
4) Focused on MOVING my body as much as possible.
I always think that the most telling lifestyle is the one we choose to live when faced with endless options, and this week was definitely proof of that. In the face of tons of free time, unscheduled mornings, and no need to be anywhere at any time, I was productive. My house is clean. My laundry is done. I had a few meals out, but mostly, I cooked at home. I drank a lot of water, and most importantly, I spent several HOURS at the gym. Long, leisurely workouts -- not interrupted by needing to rush back home, get on a conference call, or race to a meeting. I never felt like I was packing anything in. I just did what I wanted, on a schedule and pace that felt natural to me.
The result? TWO workouts on Thanksgiving morning (hit the gym, then took Gracie to the dog park, but nobody was there, so we walked around the lake and THEN spent a bit of time at the park). I pigged out with the best of 'em on Turkey Day, but the next morning, snapped immediately back with the routine I take comfort in: healthy foods and lots of water. My post-Turkey weekend was spent at my family's lake home, and dinners are usually quite an affair up there. My mom and I both love to cook, and the whole family enjoys a good bottle of wine. So our huge meals usually result in wine-soaked conversations by candlelight and jazz, and this past weekend was no exception.
BUT -- when the dishes were done and the wine was corked, I went to bed pretty early. And each day included about a 60 minute walk / hike through the peaceful wooded neighborhood. When I woke up on Sunday, I gasped when I looked out my window and unexpectedly saw the snow-covered treetops, and enjoyed some quiet meditation & simple yoga poses before the rest of the family woke up.
I came back to the city on Sunday feeling FULL -- not calorically, but spiritually.
It's when I feel the most filled up with love and life satisfaction that those healthy choices become habits and routines rather than chores. It's like brushing your teeth -- you don't have to talk yourself into it, you just do it, because the alternative is not only gross, but it just doesn't even occur to you. That's how I feel about exercise right now. It's not a question of whether or not I'm going to do it -- or WHY I'm going to do it -- just a question of when, where, and what.
Today, my first day back at work, I'm trying to figure out the W's in that equation -- I have a conference call at 11 AM, but since I spent a little time last night catching up on emails, I'm not totally struggling to catch up. I have another conference call at 12, and I have to be somewhere at 6 PM. That leaves me from the hours of 1:30 - 4:30 to squeeze in some exercise, whether that's a trip to the gym or a cold-weather run.
It's an attitude shift I'm grateful for -- because loving to move my body certainly makes the rest of my life easier. It results in a peace of mind and blissful state that makes me more conscious of the other things that are wonderful about my life. Although this "gratitude" post is overdue, I thought it was an important one -- I have so much to be thankful for in my life, and while I try to never forget that, it's not often that I take the time to express it. Most of all, I'm grateful for my family.
On that note -- it's time to get out of these loungey clothes and into something more suitable for sweat.
Off and running,