Catching My Breath on the Banks

You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it. ~ Paulo Coelho

Wow, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I knew the first few weeks of June would be crazy with two work trips and two family trips — with a lot of work in between. It was all that and then some.

The trips have been great, but I’m a little worse for the wear. Just about the time I got back from one trip, it was hurry up to get ready for the next one. At home, there are clothes unwashed, mail unopened, food spoiled. At work, there is email backed up, reading materials stacked up, to do lists unchecked. I haven’t done as many gym workouts, but I’ve done a lot of walking and made sure to always take the stairs, even to my seventh floor room.  And I ate well, especially in Asheville, but still steered clear of processed and fast foods.

The result? I’m tired. I’m stressed. I’ve had a few headaches and a mouth ulcer, things that have all but gone away with my new healthy lifestyle. I have some gray showing in my hairline. And my weight is up.

During the craziness, I looked ahead to this week – the end of the madness. On the plane, I thought about all of the ways I would officially reset on Monday, June 18. I scribbled notes, came up with catchy slogans, set goals to achieve, thought of ways to motivate myself.

Strangely, now that the “reset day” is here — a day late thanks to a ‘fridge on the fritz — the notes, slogans and goals seem a little less important. I want to make more time for myself,  gym workouts, meal planning and prep — and thanks to Traci and the folks at Doctors Wellness Center, I know how to do that. The stress will decrease, the weight will come back down, and I’ll feel better. But the once dead set goals — like 135 by my 46th birthday — seem a little silly.

That “all or nothing mindset I’ve had — especially over the last few weeks — is counterproductive. The last few weeks have been crazy, and I may not have handled them perfectly, but in the course of my life, those weeks will happen again. I shouldn’t punish myself for a so-called slip-up, but come back out of it stronger, smarter and a little more focused. Instead of cursing myself for a couple added pounds, I should celebrate the fact that I confidently wore a swimsuit for the first time in years. And perhaps I’ll replace those slogans with notes on where I experienced trouble so I’ll be more prepared next time.

In context of the opening quote, I’m reframing the past couple of weeks:

Toward the beginning of June, someone pushed me in the river, right at the rapids. I was wearing a swimsuit, so I wasn’t totally unprepared, but didn’t have a life jacket or canoe. The strong currents carried me for miles. I got drenched, but I kept my head above water. Today, I hit more peaceful waters and made my way up to the bank. I’m still a little damp, and it may take a few days to dry off, but next time, I’ll be more careful when standing so close to the rapids.

Perhaps a bit too much waxing poetic, but it works.

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