Investing in the business of “me”.

Today, September 11th, marks the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country which took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people and affected countless other lives forever.  Like everyone else, I vividly remember every single minute, every single emotion of that day from the moment I saw the news report of the hit on the first tower.  Today, I will honor those who lost their lives, those who survived, and those who gave their lives to save others with prayer and remembrance.  I pray that my children and my country never experience anything like it again.

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I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time.  It’s been almost a year.  I did complete the half marathon in November, because I said I would, but it wasn’t pretty.  I was in a great deal of pain from my bout with plantar faciitis and walked just about all but four miles of it. It was a miserable experience until I crossed the finish line.  My time was 3:45 and I was the 3rd from the last person to finish.   I’ve committed to running that race again this year in November, mainly because I feel I have unfinished business on that course.  My goals are to go in uninjured and complete it in 3:00.  I have the uninjured part, but it’s probably only because I haven’t invested in training very much.  Training has been sporadic at best. So, the 3:00 is going to be a stretch.

The other thing that’s happened during the past 11 months is that I’ve gained weight.  30 pounds in six months actually.  Between taking time out for my foot to heal and “Dr. Quackovich” taking me off of the phentermine (which was managing my weight), the weight came on with a vengeance.  In February, I found a new doctor who put me back on phentermine, and while I haven’t lost any weight, I haven’t gained any either.  So, at least it’s doing its weight management thing.   But, I can’t shake these 30 pounds.  Yes, I’m still net 60 down from my original weight, but that doesn’t make my wardrobe fit. The good news is that I’m still very healthy inside: BP is great, no thyroid issues, cholesterols are in very good shape, no reason internally that I can’t lose this weight.

 Image result for neverending plateau
(credit: www.imgrum.net)

Externally…let’s just say that I’ve been under some stress.  Praise God that 2016 hasn’t been the financial disaster that 2015 was.  Geez, every time I turned around last year there was some crisis that was going to cost $1,000-$2,000 to fix.  We are far from being in great shape financially this year, but not having costly catastrophes has helped us regain some footing.  Still, this year has not been smooth sailing.   I’m finding that I’m pretty exhausted most of the time, fatigued even, and not investing much in to self-care.  We all know what happens when you don’t invest in something, especially when you keep spending out of that account.  It dries up.  Goes bankrupt.  Even if you don’t invest in something and leave it alone, bad things happen.  Nothing changes. Nothing grows.  Take a business, for example.  Let’s say I had a business and made some investments to get things going.  The business saw some early success and day-to-day operations kept it humming along nicely.  But over the years, I kept spending all of my profit on other things.  I didn’t make investments in the business to grow or improve or repair or refurbish. Pretty soon, my business becomes irrelevant, tired, worn and even broken.

Self-care is an investment in the business of “me”.  I need to do things for myself, to myself, that will grow, improve, repair and refurbish me.  A lot of people depend on me and I want to be able to give them 100% all of the time. But, I’m tired and worn because I’m not investing in self-care.

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” ~Parker Palmer

So, what are some of the things that I can do to invest in “me”?
1) Writing–the reason I’m back here is because I need to start writing again.  I used to be very good at putting thoughts and words to paper.  Not only is it a great creative outlet for me, but it helps me become a clearer and more effective thinker and communicator.  So, once a week, I will write a post for the blog.
2)Divest bad habits–when I’m stressed, I confuse self-care with comfort.  They are not the same.  Self-care often requires discipline and comfort is quite the opposite.  I’ve developed some bad habits which need to go; eating bread products (not excessively, but my body freaks out and puts on a pound even if I eat just one dinner roll), drinking white wine (sugar!), not eating at all until 2:00-3:00 in the afternoon, not getting any exercise.  All of these are unhealthy habits for me.  I’m not tackling all at once, but I am going to let go of one at time starting with the bread.  No more tortillas, buns, rolls, pastries, or rice for 40 days starting today.  After that, I’ll divest another habit.
3) Practice patience–Ugh!  My worst. I am not a patient person.  When I want something, I want it now.  This is probably where I get in to the most trouble when it comes to interpersonal relationships and self-expectations/accountability.   I have a constant rumble inside of me that makes me want to move forward and do it quickly.  But, this isn’t healthy in most situations and I have to learn to replace the rumble with a sense of calm. Practicing patience will be tough, but divesting my bad habits and writing again should help.

What are some of the investments you make in the business of “you”?  Post in the comments below.  I’d love to see what other people are doing.

“Invest in yourself.  You can afford it.  Trust me.”–unknown

Live. Laugh. Love.

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