Total Pageviews

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Mental wardrobe

Idaho winters are typically wet, snowy and stone cold. The only way I make it through is having a good winter coat. However, shopping for a coat overwhelms me—I go back and forth between severe function and whimsical fashion.  I’m so glad my husband has this sixth sense and can pick the perfect coat for me. He uses simple criteria: it needs to be warm, water-proof and when I put it on, I still look like a woman.
Proof positive that he picked a great coat for me was after I wore it, I received many compliments. The plum inner shell really popped within the wintry, glossy white outer shell.
One comment that I heard the most was “I could never wear a white coat, I’d be too afraid it would get stained up.”
I never considered the color of the coat to be a deterrent for wearing it. However, I had to admit this coat was the only item of white clothing I had recently. I do tend to steer clear of white clothes, believing it would somehow be a magnet for stains.
I made a conscious decision to stop avoiding white clothes.  In fact, I purposing bought a sparkling white sweater. When I wore it, I consciously swept out any thoughts that I could get it dirty. I reasoned if I did get a stain, it was machine washable, so why worry?

This got me to thinking what a great metaphor for life—how many times do we hesitate trying something new because we’re scared to mess up?  Do we focus on what could happen, that it hinders us to enjoy the here and now? Also, do we let our past mistakes stain our future, instead of letting them wash off?  Maybe it’s time to change our mental wardrobe.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year's Resolution on Repeat

With the New Year upon us, it reminds me that I need to keep one resolution I made a few years ago in the forefront.
I have had lower back troubles throughout my adult life. It plagued me whenever I would vacuum, lift something heavy or put my socks on. All of a sudden, I would feel the searing snap above my hips and my back would lock up. I was literally down for the count.
It’s just plain awful when a part of your body is out of commission. It wasn't bad enough that my lower back was in spasms—soon, the pain would radiate down my leg and cause this limb to shudder. For a period of two weeks, I had to completely modify my usual routine in order to heal. Even a simple task like getting a glass of water was a torturous ordeal.
It’s times like these when you really appreciate your family. My husband was terrific—he took over my domestic chores without a fuss. Also my son pitched in and was very concerned about me. When I would slightly adjust my position on the couch and groan in pain, he would cry out “For the love of God, Mom, don’t move!”
A few years ago, I decided I was too young to be in this ritual of pain, and my doctor prescribed physical therapy. The physical therapist was very patient and down to earth. She gave me regiment of therapeutic exercises to strengthen my core. After a couple of weeks, I started to notice a difference. After a session, when I got into my car, I had to adjust the rear view mirror because I was sitting taller in the driver’s seat. I hadn't realized that I had been slouching until now. Muscle memory was alive and kicking!

I am so happy I made that decision years ago. I have not thrown out my back since then. I’m listening to my body and carving out time to exercise, a simple, but powerful solution. It looks like perfect timing-- I now have a New Year’s resolution custom made.