I don’t usually write a post about the past year and resolutions for the new one. I just bore myself writing it. This time is different. I find myself needing to share, possibly because M seems sick of hearing me talk about it. Be forewarned. This isn’t about sewing or knitting and there won’t be pictures. That squirrel is just there because it makes me happy. It’s gonna be wordy too. #sorrynotsorry #IcantbelieveIhashtaggedinmyblog
I usually take the time to sit and think around New Year’s Day, even when I don’t write about it. Somehow, last year, I didn’t. I felt like I didn’t have the time but it was more that I didn’t have the mental space for it. And then, I felt off balance and without direction for most of 2018.
I only started feeling better in these past 2-3 months and my introspective nature came back with a vengeance. In early 2018, the kitchen was finished but nothing had been put back yet. I would say only 1/3 of the job of getting everything back in place got done last year, in large part because I didn’t have the energy.
Anyway, I’d stopped my usual home workouts because of lack of space and access to my equipment. I went back to yoga instead. I was a little nervous about it because I’ve hurt myself doing it before, using my hypermobile joints instead of my muscles. I wanted to do it right. I found a website that sold course series and bought a beginner bundle. The instructor, Dylan Werner, knew his stuff and gave great muscle engagement explanations. I did the program last January, learned so much, and gained strength. By the time I finished it and wanted more, the website had switched to a subscription model. I signed up. It’s AloMoves (it was called Cody back then) and no, I’m not sponsored. I just love it that much.
I had a moment of pushing myself a little too much and my shoulder started giving me trouble. But then, we went on vacation and I only did gentle yoga 2-3 times while we were gone. I came back with renewed attention to form and what my body was telling me. Since then, I’ve done yoga every single day. Some days, it’s a high energy, sweat filled workout. Others, it’s quieter, restorative. And everything in between. If I don’t have much time, I just do 15-20 minutes. Eventually, I started adding in meditation and/or pranayama (breath work) everyday. 5 to 15 minutes, depending on what I need.
The effects have surprised me. The first thing I noticed was this Fall. The girls caught colds. I didn’t. I did get that scratchy throat that tells me I’m about to get sick but I didn’t. I had one day in December where I felt off. The next day, I was fine. And this is huge! I’m always sick either before or during the holidays. And I wasn’t! I suspect the meditation in particular has had the effect of lowering my cortisol (stress hormone) so that my immune system wasn’t weakened. (I checked with a biologist friend of mine who used to study stress and she said that, while we can’t say for sure that’s what happened since we didn’t measure my cortisol levels before and after, it’s entirely possible that that’s what happened.) More recently, I was feeling anxious. 10 minutes of meditation and I felt that knotted ball in my stomach just dissipate and I breathed freely.
And then, I’m moving more. Just stretching, moving around, working through my range of motion. It’s gentle. Sometimes, I’ll even throw an arm balance in there (the only one I can really do is crow). I’m also noticing which foods my body enjoys. Meals and foods that aren’t just healthy delicious but that also feel nourishing. When I eat a meal like that, I feel satisfied on a deeper level than after a bowl of ice cream.
Finally, in the past month, I’ve found joy more often. It’s usually a small thing like discovering I can go further in a pose. Or just having fun with the girls. Yesterday, it was E’s lunch bag being found and returned when she forgot it on the bus. These little things sustain my mood during the day.
And for 2019? I just want more of this.
I want more nourishing meals so I’m paying attention to the foods in those meals and using them more. I’d like to add in a bit more cardio and pull strength. And I need to be better about doctor appointments. It’s been a source of anxiety for me before and I just didn’t go. I have the energy and desire to go now, just to be as healthy as I can be.
At home, I want to finish up our home office so that it can be a productive space where we can focus. We’ve already ordered a table for my sewing machines. I think I can get this done by Summer. Possibly even by Spring. I’ve also realized that all the stuff I have weighs me down. I need to clear space. That means using up or donating fabric and yarn and not buying anything unless I need it for a project right now. Not in month. Now. I also want joy in my crafting. So no rushing through projects to get through my fabric and yarn and to get something up on the blog. Last June, I made V a T-shirt she requested and never put it up because I didn’t like it. She finally wore it this week and it actually looks super cute on her. But no more of that. I want more sewing like my jacket. That was fun.
I guess I lied. There was a bit of sewing/knitting and one picture.
And my knitting machine is going to come back out. It’s been packed up way too long and there’s something I want to make…
I’m going to call 2019 the year of self care. The real kind. Not the chocolate, wine, and bubble bath kind. (But there will be wine and chocolate because I wouldn’t be me otherwise.)