Moving Forward With Your Redefinition Goals After "Life Happens"

redefining after 50 self-care Mar 30, 2022
Taking a step back when life happens

Life was going along great!  I had found as much of a stride and balance as I possibly could between my various roles which included:

I was even walking 4-5 days a week!

And then, life happened. 

Two Major Stressors - One Good and One Bad

The Good

We put a contract on a beach home about 6 hours away from where we live and it was accepted!   Super super exciting (and scary too!).

But, there were some questions and issues with the closing paperwork and appraisal and we literally did not find out the closing was happening on schedule until the day before.   

I was sure it wasn't going to happen.   Because, that's what my brain does.    But, it did.

The Bad

 At the same time all of this was going on, our granddaughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.    

Watching her and her parents having to navigate this new normal was a lot for me.    If there was a way that I could have removed this from their plates and put it on mine I would have done it in a heartbeat.

Watching our babies suffer is too much - it doesn't matter how old they are.    And there was nothing I could do to change any of it, except to read and learn as much as I could on my end.    Which, of course, I've been doing.

And Then, I Got Sick

This happens....we're under enormous stress, we don't take care of ourselves, and our immune systems give way.   Particularly this year after being out and about after not being exposed to stuff as I had been in previous years.   

I contracted some sort of infection which landed me with a headache, an earache, and paralyzing fatigue.    I literally could not get through a day without lying down throughout.  

This NEVER happens to me.

Coping In the Moment

The old me, pre-redefinition on The Right Side of 50, would have pushed through.   Or tried to.   And, in the process of doing that would have created more stress and put more pressure on myself if I wasn't able to achieve my goals or cross the items off of my various "to do" lists.

This time, I decided to take my own advice.   The advice that I always give to my girlfriends, my daughters in law, and the women in this community.   

I decided to give myself some grace, listen to my body, and do what I would tell my loved ones to do.

I leaned in and took care of myself.   I tried working, and if I couldn't I didn't.

I lay down and took naps when I needed them.

I rescheduled things that I knew I wouldn't be able to give my all to.  Those decisions did not come easily to me, but once I made them, I felt good about them and moved forward.  I didn't dwell on the fact that I may have let people down.   

I realized that I would have let them down more by pushing through and not being "present" because I felt so sick and stressed.

And, everyone was understanding, supportive, and flexible.    As would I have been had it been any other member of my community.

Now, To Pick Myself Up By the Bootstraps

I began feeling physically better last week, but found myself struggling to get back in the saddle of the busy and balanced flow that I had going on before everything went down.

Very normal phenomenon but one that could not continue.  I needed to get motivated.   Or did I?

No...I Did Not Need to Get Motivated

If I waited until I was motivated before I did anything ever, I would only get about the half of the things done that I needed to do.   

I just needed to do SOMETHING.    ANYTHING.   Energy begets energy. 

I Got Outside

I started by taking the dogs out more frequently throughout the day than I had been while I was sick.    We went outside every hour for a few minutes and I forced myself to take several short walks, as well, on my own.

On the nicer days, I went outside barefoot.    (I keep reading how healthy it is to walk around in the grass and dirt barefoot - I figure it can't hurt!) 

And, as I ease back into my walking routine, I am making myself first walk daily for at least 15 minutes.   

I Started Small

 Each day that I began to feel better, I had one thing on my "to do" list that I needed to get accomplished that day.   These were typically tasks which were "past due" because I'd been out of town and then out sick.

Once the task for the day was done, anything else I got accomplished on that day was a bonus.   It was amazing how quickly these tasks got done and how taking action on these items took away my stress at what I hadn't done while I was out.

Put Your Phone Away for 45 Minutes And Focus on One Small Task

This goes hand in hand with "starting small."   

When I sat down to do my one thing that needed to get accomplished that day, I consciously set my phone in another room and focused only on the task at hand.    I did not allow myself to be distracted by emails and texts for that period of time.

The project that I was working on got done in easily half the time than it would have otherwise because I forced myself to be distraction free for a seemingly short period of time.

Journal

I continued my journaling habit throughout my down time.  It helped me to carry on some semblance of my routine without expending too much energy.   It enabled me to keep my goals and mission statement at the forefront so that, even though I wasn't actively pursuing them each day during that time, I wasn't letting them fall through the cracks.

In addition, it was an outlet for me to be able to process my feelings about my granddaughter as well as to remind myself of all that I have to be grateful for.

By virtue of being women in this community, we continue to juggle life's roles.    Life is going to happen.

We need to give ourselves some grace, roll with it a little bit, and slowly but surely pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and carry on with our goals, plans and the things that bring us joy on the Right Side of 50.

 

 

 

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