It seems pretentious, at 25, to say that I’m rediscovering myself…but I am, and I’m having a lot of fun doing it.
Since slowing down on the blog front, hours I forgot I had have opened up. I used to wake up on a Saturday morning with my day scheduled out to include all the things I had to get done. Laundry, blogging, cleaning, freelance. The devotion to work–to the feeling of productivity, even when I wasn’t perfectly productive–got the better of me, and I wasn’t making the best use of my time. I don’t want to get too optimistic too early, but lately I’ve been taking better care of myself and my space: using free evenings to reorganize my tiny bedroom, tracking my spending, sinking into hours of cooking-as-relaxation, and creating a better bedtime ritual.
I’m reconnecting, too, with my body, and with those habits that make me proud. More sleep. Less sugar. Long walks. Less after-hours contact with my laptop. I’m working on my routines and priorities, and I’m trying to find ways to make the good habits stick.
All day long, I’m mentally engaged, focused on work and dedicated to problem-solving. I feel powerful each time I puzzle out the most efficient solution or plan out a strategy. I lean in to new challenges and opportunities, and outside of work, I pursue new chances to grow. I spend my commute listening to podcasts: on business, on spirituality, on food and pop culture. I write in a journal before bed. My spirit is nourished all day long.
Working an office job has been tough on my body. My new friend the chiropractor never fails to mention that my neck is tense and my shoulders are turned inward. I’ve caught the dreaded desk spread, coupled with the effects of too many delicious dinners out.
Movement helps me balance the equation.
The bend of my legs, the tension in my torso, the sweep of my arms up in a stretch: all these movements bring me back to my center. They activate a grace that I forget when I’m sitting at my desk, and a physical power that can’t be replaced by intellectual stimulation. When I’m moving, I admire the way my arm curves and the strength in my legs. I don’t think about aesthetics, but about ability.
That’s one way to love your body: to reconnect. To dig down to the place where you are focused on action, not appearance, and on celebrating all that you can do. It isn’t only about exercise. Reconnecting means listening when your wrist hurts, or your back’s in knots, or your nails are brittle, and then thinking about how you can make it better. It means identifying lifestyle changes that will help heal your body and prepare you for a long and healthy life.
To me, that means spending less time on a laptop, taking short walks throughout the day, regularly going to the chiropractor and masseuse, and adjusting the way I drive for better back health. It means recommitting: affirming to myself that health is one of my top priorities, right up there with relationships and career, then making choices accordingly.
I’ve written about choosing health plenty in the Love Your Body Resolution series, but ironically, letting go of the writing is what’s helped me do just that. My focus has swung to the “lifestyle” piece of “lifestyle blogging,” and I’m working every week on making mine better: acknowledging the realities of my choices (food, drink, exercise) and the reality of my work life (sedentary) and finding that my hobbies need to include more movement. More sweat. On an emotional level, I don’t usually struggle to appreciate my body, flaws and all, but I haven’t always acted in a way that reflects that love.
I’m finally devoting my time to doing just that.
This post was inspired by one of the talented, creative souls I’ve met through blogging: Julie Walsh, founder of fitBallet. fitBallet workouts combine the grace of ballet with the power of circuit training and have heartily kicked my butt every time I’ve done them. Follow fitBallet on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up to date on free workouts, new offerings and really cute exercises like “baby curls.”
And just so ya know, this wasn’t sponsored in any way…I dig Julie and am thrilled to see her applying her (intellectual and physical) grace and power to such a cool new venture.