Off & Running
a Blog of Life on the Run


"I've gotta finish writing this email. Someone just tweeted me. What about that proposal? Crap, have the dogs been walked? I've gotta get some yoga on the calendar. And now a friend wants to do brunch. How will I ever finish it all? Gah! Why do you want me to play fetch with you now? Great song - I should write this one down. Have I prayed yet today? Have I peed yet today? I can't remember the last time I ate something. Have I had my 64oz of water yet today? Aren't I supposed to be reading? Relaxing? Isn't this my year of self-care?"

Sound familiar?

This year, I didn't make resolutions. 2014 is the year I take care of myself. It's a full year of truly finding a balance between taking care of myself and running a business while taking care of others. A hard balance to create. 

This morning ended 36 hours of doing nothing but watching movies, sitting on a couch, and being anxiety-free. What a breath of fresh air it was to stop worrying for a moment. And then I woke up with all the anxiety flooding back. "I have to get to the gym so I can get to church so I can get to brunch so I can get to yoga... but what about the dogs? What about all the relaxing I'm supposed to do? What about the writing I want to do?" 

This anxiety had me laying on my bed ridden with panic after hitting weights and getting ready for the day doing some serious self-talk. "Melanie, you can YouTube a sermon, go to brunch, and spend the rest of the day relaxing and writing. Why don't you give yourself a break?" This is new for me. Normally I'd try to just pack it all in and end up exhausted at the end of the day. This kind of peaceful self-talk is really not something I'm good at BUT having named 2014 the year of self-care, I have to work at it.

Bad habits are not easy to break. Good habits are not easy to start. Here are a few of the habits I'm changing so far this year: 

  • Turn off internet at 7pm and on weekends: this one has been really rough and I've faltered a bit but feel pretty proud that I've mostly stayed off posting on social media during the times I've promised. I plan to work on this harder and actually stay offline altogether as I promised. One step at a time.
  • Create a prayer warrior team: check! This is set for Sundays at 8pm for 30min. Some awesome ladies have been joining me and it feels like we're there for each other all week after sharing our struggles and joys. 
  • Get a yoga membership and attend: check! I joined Fusion Yoga on their Flexible monthly plan so I can start a new one in Denver when I get there. The hard work it takes to rock a yoga class along with the mental benefits of staying focused and learning how to breathe have been incredible.
  • Walk the Camino de Santiago: I am booking my tickets this month after a talk with Jonathon of Walk2Connect. The plan is to be gone the whole month of September. WHEE!
  • Fast & pray for 7 days in a row each month: My pastor, Mark Batterson, is kicking off the year with the Daniel Fast the last 10 days this month so I've decided to make it mine also. Jan 22-Feb 1 will be basically Paleo and really focusing on moments with God.
  • Keep up my 5 year journal: This has been fun since I've already been doing it for 1.5 years. Reading what I did last year really helps me want to write what I did each day. It's only 6 lines, but the one thing I added was a line of THANKFUL FOR. Keeping a little bit of the gratitude in each day has been really helpful.
  • Start therapy: check! After terrible experiences previously with therapists, I finally pushed myself past it all and made my own decision to get help in order to learn how to create boundaries and work through some of the stuff my mind won't let go of. I have a business to grow and a life to live and it's time to shake the water off my wings so I can soar.
  • Get acupuncture: check! Joy Andrews is fantastic, makes it easy to understand, and really works with your goals. I was a bit scared to start but now I'm addicted.
  • Take vitamins daily: check! Thanks to Cheryl of Pow-Her Chiropractic, I'm rockin' my antioxidant levels.
  • Stop being a recluse: I really like staying in, especially when I have a ton of stuff to do, BUT I've been making a concerted effort to accept invitations to spend time with friends.
  • Live without a home for the entire year: It's been almost 5 months without a home and I see no end in sight. It's quite freeing. More on that some other time.
  • Log 1500 miles running or walking: I upped this one to 3000 miles after getting a fitbit. I had no idea I log 5-7mi a day without running. Goodness.
  • Write one small prayer daily: This has been generally good but I could do a lot better. I even bought a compact Message Bible so I could spend more time with the Word. Something I've never made time to do.

Looking back at this list, my Type-A personality thanks myself for doing such a great job of accomplishing things I set out to do. The patience-in-progress side of me is happy I'm doing good things for myself. The side of me that hates all of the "I" and "my" words in this is disgusted at myself. But... this year, it's all about me. 

And if my oversharing makes you want to do something good for yourself, that's the whole point. I don't care that you know what I'm doing, I write this in my journal anyway - but then I wouldn't reach that one person who needs to take care of herself. The one reading this saying "I need to do ______ so I can finally do _______." 

What's the one good habit you want to start?
What's the one bad habit you want to get rid of?

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