What do a mouse, a whale, and an astronaut have in common?
I’ll be visiting all of them over the next eight days! 🙂
In about four hours, I’ll be getting on a plane to Orlando with the family. I’ve mentioned a trip but haven’t really talked about where because the Daughters didn’t know – it was one of their Christmas gifts and, therefore, a surprise – but that’s it. We’re going to Orlando. We’ll spend two days at Sea World, a day at Kennedy Space Center (and an evening in Daytona) and then five days at the various Disney World parks. We’ll spend New Year’s Eve ringing in the New Year in every country in Epcot’s World Showcase…we’ll have dinner at Hard Rock and dinner with Shamu…and dinner on the beach in Daytona. (We’re going to eat a LOT, I suspect. Though I’m going to try to be reasonably good.) We’ll ride roller coasters (WE being the teenager and her friend who lives in Orlando, who will be coming to spend a few days with us) and pet dolphins and soak up some lovely Vitamin-D-stimulating rays (with appropriate levels of sunscreen, of course, though the UV index is LOW-LOW-LOW) and we are going to have fun, dammit, if (as Mom says) it costs Dad a mule. (She’s from Arkansas, okay?)
I’ll admit I’ve been sort of worried about this trip, because togetherness generally results in conflict in our family. But now that the time has come, I’m excited. It’s been a long year, and difficult in a lot of ways…and I’m ready to bid it a relieved farewell. And what better way to do it than by consciously and deliberately escaping and rejecting all stress, obligation, stricture and routine and going somewhere that is all about FUN?
We do have a schedule (come on, you guys know me, I ALWAYS have a schedule) but it’s loosely structured, it’s flexible and it’s all completely optional. (Except for dinner with Shamu. That’s not optional. Though I do draw the line at plankton; hopefully he’s serving something a little more human-friendly.) We have a rental car and a GPS and if we decide we don’t want to do things in the order we’ve prescribed (okay, I’ve prescribed) then we won’t. We’ll go where the proverbial wind takes us.
I am ready to relax. I am ready to stop worrying and stressing over things. I am ready to Get Away. 🙂
I’m also ready to start the new year, in a big way. I do get really introspective at the year’s turning – I’m very predictable and traditional in that way, at least – and I spent a few weeks lamenting how badly I’ve done with living healthy this year. But this morning, thinking it over, it occurred to me that really it hasn’t been all that bad. No, I haven’t lost any weight since this time last year. Yeah, I’ve struggled with eating and my exercise has been wildly erratic. (In structure and regularity, I mean…I’m not, like, on the treadmill with my arms windmilling all over the place. Well, mostly I’m not. Some nights…)
Anyway. Yes, it’s been spotty. But looking back over the year, I realize that what I have been doing this year is a lot – read a million tons – of introspective, emotional work. And looking back at my posts from the end of 2007, I realize that I knew that would be the case. That’s where I was…that’s where I have been. And that needs to be done as well.
I haven’t “wasted a year”, as I’ve been telling myself for a few weeks. (And feeling crappy about it.) The health problems I am having right now – still undefined – are not a result of backsliding. They are problems I have always had, and events of the past few months have highlighted them and required me to pay attention to them. And it so happens that some of the changes I will have to make to get them under control are changes that will help me renew my focus on the physical aspect of my self-transformation.
I’ll have to completely eliminate sugar. Not just cut drastically back – which I’ve done in any case; I’ve never gotten back to eating it regularly or in large quantities – but completely eliminate it. The slightest amount of it is enough to trigger an episode of palpitations. So sugar goes. No great loss, to be honest.
I’ll (very likely) have to completely eliminate caffeine. Which means my morning cup of coffee will be history. 😦 I am lamenting that heavily. Actually, what I’ll probably do is just switch to decaf. Cause I love me my coffee. I can give it up…but if I can find an alternative, why not? And diet Coke is completely and utterly OUT. (Sob. Weep. Whine.)
I’ll have to strictly limit my carbs, and they’ll have to be exclusively complex ones – because even eating too much fruit will also trigger an episode. Eating things like potatoes or refined flours seems to do so as well. Again, this isn’t a great loss. This is the way I’m supposed to be eating anyway. And I’m honestly really excited to be back to it, knowing that it’s not just nominally a matter of life and death now – now it’s serious.
Exercise is a no-brainer. That doesn’t have to change, it just has to become consistent again.
Most importantly, I will have to – no options here, and no wiggle-room – get my sleep schedule straightened out and start getting a consistent amount of sleep every single night. This is a huge one…and the fact that I’m blogging at 5:00 a.m., when I’m only even supposed to be just getting up at this time, is an indicator that this will be the hardest one. I’ve been an insomniac this year. I know why, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. And I’m not entirely sure how I’ll deal with it, though I suspect the other changes will make this problem gradually disappear.
Which leads to the next one…and probably, to be honest, this is actually the most important. I have got to find some better and more effective ways of dealing with stress. The new exercise regimen has got to include daily yoga – and how I’m going to fit that in with the consistent sleep schedule is going to be a poser, I’ll admit. I am going to have to find a way to schedule regular, daily meditation. And I’m going to have to start letting some things go. Even if DH doesn’t end up taking another job somewhere else, I may have to change jobs. I don’t really want to – I’m the one who hates change, though I recognize its value – but I may have to. Because the other stressors in my life are not negotiable, so the job may have to be.
And I’ve got to get back to consistent, regular blogging and reading, because this keeps me sane and it keeps me connected to a healthy reality (i.e., all of you, who are my hope, my inspiration, my reality-check…in short, my lifelines).
So. Time management, stress management, and self-awareness, all built around a framework of healthy eating and regular consistent exercise. Hey, wait – isn’t that what I’ve been supposed to be doing all this time? Hm. So maybe my body’s just…sort of…upping the stakes for me? Definitely bears thinking about.
And that’s my New Year’s Non-Resolutionatory Goal-Orientated Thought-Processification. 🙂 Now, I’m off to shower and dress and finish the last-minute packing…and in less than two hours, off to the airport.
I will try to check in with all of you while I’m gone, if ED will kindly allow me the use of her new laptop (another Christmas gift…yeah, they’re horribly spoiled, but she’s going to college in a year and a half and this will have to get her through five years of that) which never leaves her sight. (That’ll be a trick on the roller coasters…) Meanwhile, I hope everyone has a lovely New Year’s celebration, however you’re celebrating, and I will see you all here next year!
MWAH! (That’s a big, sloppy New Year’s Kiss.)