Move Every Day: For years I lived as if my mantra was simply to survive everyday… do what you have to do and get to the end of the day. But these past two years, where I have been on somewhat of a fitness journey, my fundamental rule is to Move Every Day. First thing is best for me, but actually anytime works… do something every single day. If you are just beginning don’t worry about it, start where you are… It doesn’t matter if it is easy or hard, crazy or mundane, just whatever you do… move. It’s a thing, it needs to be done.
Eat the Rainbow: By the time you are reading this blog, you have reached an era in your life when you do actually know what is good for you and what is not good for you… do the right thing… And whatever you eat, make every effort to eat your way through the rainbow… again and again and again. There are certain people in my family, that want everything in separate little servings, rather than tossed up in a bowl… however they like it, you are sure to find, without too much effort, something in every colour of the rainbow that they will like eating… and often.
Sleep Your Sleep: It took me two years to sleep train myself, out of the up all night because I have toddlers stage (long after I had toddlers). You know when it gets to the stage of the day when you are actually too tired to get to bed, so you sit on the couch and veg… well long before that you have to get up and get yourself to bed. My secret trick is to make going to bed pleasant… I make sure I have an enticing book to read waiting for me, make sure the bed is nicely made and my room is tidy and pleasant (It sounds so simple – but these are the days I am in… In fact, I make sure there are no piles of kids’ stuff or piles of kids, anywhere near my bed right before dinner… that way I have no reason to avoid bed. And… if one of my kids offers to make me a cup of tea after supper, then I make sure that they leave it next to my bed for me… I don’t even venture to the lounge… straight to bed, before I am too tired to get to bed.
Make time for Friends: Good friends can be miles apart, weeks and months and even years apart, and yes… the next time you see them you will connect and it will feel like you were never apart. In fact, if like me you are overwhelmed by trying to keep up with all your friends all the time, then stop it!!! Counter-intuitive, but I make time to see a friend every week… sometimes its the same friend, sometimes its different every week… just a friend, and a quick coffee… its good for the soul. Nothing fancy, sometimes I go out and grab a coffee, often its at the kitchen table while the kids are lingering about, it can be done. And where I spent years running myself to the limit, trying to make sure that my kids each had a playdate every week, I realised that I needed to make myself part of that equation… So: make the time, fancy or functional, get yourself to see a good friend. I challenge myself to once a week… often it’s only once a month. Make the effort, go the extra mile… its so worth it.
Plant your Plants the VERY Day You Get Them: This might seem like a strange rule, but how many punnets of plants have you bought, looked at for weeks and never got round to planting. Planting things in our garden really Sparks Joy for me, I get actual joy from a garden with happy plants… and to be honest, it takes less than five minutes to pop a plant into the ground. So… I made it a rule… if I get a plant, then I will plant it out on the day. That way the plant isn’t just money handed over at the till, but it is a little gift of time in the great outdoors as well. This is an over-riding life rule to the “Do it Now” lifestyle… some folks choose to read the book they buy, today… others like a to-read-pile, others like to fill their playlists with music, their audiobooks app with books… the point is: pick one of those things and deal with it on the day. Plant the plant, crack open the pretty soaps, light the candles… gift yourself, with the gifts that are in your space already… don’t wait for a special occasion, now is the special occasion.
When in Doubt… Walk the Dog: Who knew that getting a pup would be the best thing ever, I definitely needed a companion dog this last year… With all the ups and downs, of raising several kids, having five teenagers in the house and losing my dad, this was the year I needed a pup and to go for lots of ambles, surrounded by all the boundless energy and love that is a Border Collie.
People Before Things – Always: We live in a world where it is very fashionable to get all your things in order, sort your stuff folks and I have devoted hours of my life to organising our home… truth be told, nothing gives me greater joy than organising a space in our home and it stays that way for more than a minute all the better. But if you have planned to sort the book case out “once and for all” and a friends calls you for coffee, or you mom needs to chat, or a child needs to read a book with you… then all those things are more important than having an organised home. A tidy spice rack is lovely, a sorted closet is spectacular… but when your friends need some time, then give it to them. And if nobody needs you, then make a plan to volunteer, get out there and help folks… find away for you to put people before things… I am not saying live in tumultuous chaos, but often times we get our priorities mixed up… a summer weekend spent entirely sorting out your closets is going to last about three seconds into Monday, and leave you exhausted but a lingering picnic with friends followed by a nap, could uplift your spirits for weeks.