At some point my life has become full of “before and after”. The first one that I remember was before I ever got an eye infection that would alter my vision permanently, and after. The next was before mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after. The most prominent for, well, everyone, is probably before COVID-19 and… well, is it really “after”? I think it’s just “the before times” and now.
It seemed like those before and afters just kept coming after COVID hit. Now we have before Ken was in the hospital and after he had part of his colon removed and tried dying on me. Before I realized that I needed more help to treat my depression and after I started medication. Before my mom died… and after.
Even though all of these things have happened over the course of a few years, it honestly feels like one long year of “before and after”. Last weekend was the first anniversary of my mom dying. Now instead of thinking “a year ago, mom was still here,” or “a year ago, we did this with mom,” it is going to be longer than that. It has been more than a year since my whole world changed. It has been more than a year since I kind of gave up on myself.
To the outside eye, to the readers of this blog, to the viewers of my social media it probably doesn’t look like I’ve given up on anything. I’m still running, after all. I’m still getting up every day, taking my medicine, going to work, living my life. If I’m perfectly honest, though, I have not felt like me. Everything feels harder. Everything feels less rewarding. I have tried giving myself grace because grief is really effing hard, and for the most part, I have. I’m not beating myself up for the way I have tried taking care of myself for the last 365+ days.
I just know that it isn’t really working the way I want or need it to anymore.
So today, I’m making the choice to take care of myself. I am going to make joyful movement a priority. No training plans or races, just moving my body in a way that makes me feel good, every day if I can. I am going to make nourishing my body a priority. No diets or rules, just making sure there’s delicious food around and I’m making less last-minute choices to pick up Starbucks on the way to work for breakfast, get lunch delivered or have takeout for dinner. I am going to take care of our house and keep my environment clean for my mental health. I am starting by decluttering things in every room of the house today and making it a goal to clean something every day going forward, even if I only spend 15 minutes on cleaning.
I have felt very overwhelmed by wanting to change my habits for quite a while. What better day to start than Easter Sunday to start making small changes that will make that overwhelming feeling be less and less.