My out of routine what the fu@k
Being out of routine can create all kinds of what the fucks.
This past week my husband and I traveled across the country to see his parents. It was a week full of connection, and in addition to leaving our four teen/young adult kids to their own devices for the week, it was the first time I was meeting my new mother-in-law and the first time in several years since my husband had seen his parents.
It was lovely.
I set 4 key intentions I set before we left:
Have meaningful connection with my husband’s family, get to know them better, and assess how they are doing in their respective states of aging.
Protect time to take care of myself.
Bask in the beauty of the East Coast as it was my first time there.
Manage my business from afar.
Being out of routine is hard on our heads, hearts, and bodies.
I realized I’ve reached that golden horrible age where aging parents is both a gift and scary as fuck. Brimming with gratitude that they are still here, seeing their health, mobility and cognitive clarity deteriorate is still quite alarming.
It creates so many what-ifs and worries as medical conditions mount and mobility decreases.
Some challenges are able to be addressed now, others will be a waiting game. That part sucks ass.
Aging parents also is a reminder that in 30 short years I will be their age. It made me reflect on how I want to be living my life at not only that stage of life, but every damn day between now and then.
I remembered: All we have is now. THIS is the time to make it the best.
When I left, I decided that I wanted covet my basic needs while I was away. As a recovering perfectionist, I still struggle with the tendency to want to control the shit out of what I can when there feels like so much less control.
And in this case, that control was simply routine.
So I decided I was going to do the things I normally do, just do them there!
What the actual fuck?
It was a lesson in grace. While it would have been lovely if I had been able to do the things I normally do at home to take care of myself, I quickly realized that I simply needed to work on two things: presence and movement.
Presence was about connection with other souls, supporting my husband in his reconnection and the emotions that come with that, and leaning into love with my new family members.
It is also about me.
Presence was navigating eating out for most meals, and making choices that supported my highest good.
Sometimes that was fries, just so we are clear!
Eating when hungry, not depriving and restricting so I became a miserable bitch, and trying to create harmony between the good food (they really do make the best damn fries to go with that fish!), and the best choice – a healthier option than fucking fries- is presence at its best when out of routine.
Presence is also moving my body meaningfully. That doesn’t mean the walks between shops (Nonia hand knits is a place I could have lived in!), but also exploring the coast, the city, and the parks and monuments that are the history of the oldest city in Canada.
Letting go of all of the things I had HOPED to control while away provided more head, heart, and body space to be present and actually return feeling okay with how I had showed up for myself.
How many times have you come back from a trip and been so disappointed and frustrated over what you had eaten, drank, or chose to (or not to) do – and feeling like the fun had been tainted by failure.
I can’t tell you how many times I have fallen into a fuck it slump on the heels of a holiday.
I DID gain weight while I was away. So be it.
But the amount that I gained (0.3 lbs – which is less than a really good poop!), was not my measure of success or failure.
The success came from feeling like I had let go of what I needed to, leaned in to what I could, and enjoyed the space that was living in the present.
The upcoming holiday season may include travel, a change in routine, more opportunities to eat different foods, and demands that take you out of your routine.
Escape that what the fuck by taking care of you through the holidays so you can start the New Year with a new outlook!
In Newfoundland they have these great little things called “tuits”. Don’t keep thinking you’ll get around to it! Make it happen for yourself!
Hugs, Hip Bumps, and stay present Founding Member,