The past winter was long and drawn out. It was colder than usual, for longer than usual.
We spent the month of January taking turns fighting strep throat so basically didn’t leave the house for four weeks, and even after we were all better, I just felt drained. I thought I just needed to push harder, to snap myself out of it, to just keep on keepin’ on and things would feel better.
Also, despite my ongoing efforts to be active and work out regularly, I had put on a good five (erm, make that seven) pounds since the holidays and was just feeling blah. My usual tricks for getting back on track weren’t yielding results, and I was frustrated. I messaged a friend of mine who is also a personal trainer, ranting about my weight gain, and telling her all I was doing to try to lose the pounds, and I asked her what else I needed to be doing: what workouts should I add, what foods should I avoid? And her reply surprised me. She basically said I need to chill out. Literally. To stop pushing so hard, to realize that the past few months had perhaps created a “fight or flight” response in my body and that I should just do some yoga and not worry about it. What?! That’s what the personal trainer advised? I thought she would tell me to cut carbs and increase my cardio. But what she said made me stop and take stock. And I took the time to sift through the past few months: watching my husband blow up in a fire, tending to his burns, not sure if he would ever look the same again, while trying to be strong for him and the kids. Then, making a huge career change, one that involved the prospect of starting business on my own, and dealing with the stress of putting all those new things in place, while also feeling immense pressure (from myself) to not fail, but also to be ok with it if I did. Then, throw the winter flu on top of it all, and yeah. A recipe for a piping hot stress casserole. While I was walking through the stresses, I just kind of put my head down the did the work. But now that we have come through it, I think I needed to take the time to name the stresses, to acknowledge the fear and pain that we experienced. So. That brings us to spring. Life is crazy again with work, and a big replanting endeavour on the orchard, and I’m tired. But it’s good. I am giving myself more grace, more permission to say, “Wow, we went through some tough shizz and I’m still kind of working through it.”
I hope you’re giving yourself grace too. We are all doing hard things.
*Counting Crows, Long December