2016: How did we get here?! Happy new year! Does anyone else feel like they blinked and the first 1/2 of the 2010s was over? Alas, we are in the early days of another new year. *Sigh…*
Everyone around me is either in the midst of a cleanse or made some sort of resolution involving healthy eating and/or exercise. Positive energy and a spirit of perseverance coming your way! Whatever your resolutions are: good luck.
For me, exercise and diet are not where I struggle most. Slowing down and remembering to breathe are where I often utterly fail. So in some ways, diet and exercise are my enemy, but I certainly won’t be cutting out my love of cruciferous veggies, yoga, or running this year. Rather, my husband and I have agreed to prioritize restorative practices in an effort to re-energize our bodies and minds.
For us that can mean a few different things, but one of them is the power of day trips! A day of adventure and getting out of our typical routine is a practice we have found to be one of the most mentally refreshing activities we do together. We have resolved to do at least one “adventure day” every month. We used to rock at regularly planning day trip but fell out of the habit this past year. Instead, we allowed work take over our entire beings. As a result, we have spent much of the past year in some never-ending and unnecessary endurance test of long hours and weeks. Needless to say, we are burnt out. Vacations should not be viewed as a luxury. They are a necessity, people! Even if they are the stay-cation variety! So while we are hoping to put a real vacation on the calendar very soon, in the interim, day trips it will be!
In the spirit of our resolution, we started the year off with a New Year’s day trip adventure snow shoeing in the mountains. It was a wonderful day of clear sunny skies, beautiful mountain views, deep powdery snow, and a meandering scenic drive home. All in all, the perfect winter day trip.
The second facet of our resolutions are restorative weekends! After an incredibly over-scheduled and exhausting year and holiday season in general, we are determined to invest in and even schedule some relaxation time! Sure, weekends must include necessary evils like some housework, laundry, etc. but even though there is always something that could be done, we aren’t committed to not over-doing our weekend chore loads. We want to leave mornings wide open for dog-walks or breakfasts and afternoons available for such pressing tasks as reading, gentle old-lady style yoga, documentary watching, cooking some delicious simmering-something for dinner, or even napping! Life will undoubtedly get in the way some weekends, but we are promising to prioritize restful weekends and limit scheduled events! Sign me up for a whole lot of nothing and I will be a happy, well-rested girl!
And now, our final resolution…. As a self proclaimed foodie who loves to cook, this one kind of kills me. In keeping with the prioritization of restful practices theme, I am not going to kill myself over weeknight meals. I am trying to stick to simple 15-30 minute meals that are easy to prep and easy to clean-up. (I will be posting some of my easy weeknight go-to recipes in the coming weeks, so watch out for those.)
The second prong to this resolution is if I get home late, am exhausted, or don’t feel like cooking, that is OK. Although it goes against every grain in my body to give in to the urge to rest rather than make the meal I had planned, I need to learn that sometimes freezer pizza or takeout is just what the doctor ordered. Therefore, if I need a break from mid-week dinner prep for whatever reason, I am resolved to take it!
The third and final prong to is that regardless of my weeknight meal schedule, Tim and I have decided that Friday nights are fun food nights. During the work week and honestly most of the time, we eat fairly healthy meals (much to Tim’s dismay), but friday nights will be reserved for something fun. Either an at-home splurge meal like extra cheesy pizza, or something along the lines of Chinese take-out, one of the ridiculously delicious gourmet burger establishments, the authentic Neapolitan pizza joint down the street, etc. This will keep my husband happy, me sane, and also give us a nice easy opportunity to catch up at the end of the week. (Since I am writing this on a Friday afternoon with a relatively empty stomach, I am pretty psyched to put this “third prong” into action TONIGHT!)
So while to me this post feels like way too much of an over-share, busyness has become such a status symbol that I am pumping the brakes on the exhaustion that ensues. This American race to to stay-ahead/get-ahead is an unsustainable pace. Look at Europe! They have known this for years! In my opinion, if you feel like you have to have a quad-shot americano to wake up in the morning, you should probably take a hard look at your lifestyle.
So after reflection and exhaustion, I am listening to my body and it says to slooooww doooowwn. As such, I am challenging myself to incorporate more simplicity and restful-ness in my life this year! Anyone else feeling the need for something similar?