29 January 2023

Finding my Why

 I believe that this is my biggest hurdle to mastering self-care. I don't have a huge, overriding why. I don't. I have a number of things I'm running from. But running from something has never really worked for me. I need to be working towards something. It was easy when I was racing. Easy. I had a race in X days so I needed to run X miles to be ready. Or swim X times. Or bike X times. It was easy then. I never realized how easy it was to have races as goals. If you have kids it's sort of easy too. You want to not only be around for them but to be able to do things with them. That means taking care of yourself. But what are the goals when you are looking retirement in the eye and racing or kids are not on your plate? What is the why then? 

I say things like I want to travel. Well, that requires decent health but not optimal health. I can travel just the way I am just fine. 

I say I want to do things like hike the Grand Canyon. But do I really believe that? Am I going to do that by myself? Would I like to do that? Absolutely!! But is it realistic. 

Okay, that made me think some. Is it realistic? It absolutely could be. There is no reason on God's green earth why I couldn't hike the Grand Canyon. No reason at all. Except my physical condition. I get ads for walking tours of Ireland and Egypt and all these amazing places and I think I would like to do that. But in my condition - at the moment - I couldn't do that. I couldn't hike for days on end. And I want to. I want to see the world. I want to experience the world. 

I look at people, people I know, and see that they hardly leave their house. Their entire world is encapsulated in this small, small area. I definitely don't want to live like that. But running away from something has never worked well for me. 

But, is wanting to travel and walk and hike good enough? I'm not sure. I know that I don't want to be dependent on anyone. I want to be independent for as long as is possible. So maybe that's it. 

Brutal honesty here. In many ways, I feel like so much of this is a pipe dream because of Hubby. Hubby does nothing to take care of himself. He doesn't seem to care that he is grossly overweight and struggles to do the simplest things. So I know that he will never go with me on one of these vacations and I'm not sure I could really relax leaving him alone for any length of time. His memory is not that great and it can be dangerous. So I want to do these things but will he be able to? I know that he won't hike the Grand Canyon but I know he will go with me and support me in the effort. But what about hiking Ireland? Is there a riding option? Or do I just have to do it alone? Go off and leave him home alone for 10 days or so, that is absolutely scary. 

So what is my why? I still don't know. Is my why to live as long as possible so I can experience all the things? Maybe. Is it to be healthy enjoy to do what I want and not need help? Maybe. Is it to be healthy enough to be able to experience all the things? Maybe. I think it's a bit of all of those but still nothing resonates with me. Until I find this why, I'm not going to be able to attack self-care as I should. But, I don't know how to go about finding my why. 

Let's do a little wool-gathering. I plan to retire in about 5 years. At that time I will be 68. When I retire I want to have my craft business up and running and making a little money but more importantly keeping me busy. I want to do craft shows - that will provide me something to work towards in my business. So I will do craft shows once in a while. I want it to keep me busy but not overwhelm me. I don't want to retire from one full time job to do another full time job. So what do I want to do with my time? Well, I will have time to work out regularly so I'll become a bit of a gym rat. I will want to travel and hike - not necessarily together. So I will need to stay active and healthy to do those things. I'm going to drill down on a day in the life or retired me: 

  • Get up when I want - no alarm
  • Coffee, meditation, journaling
  • Shower, walk the dog/morning walk/go to gym
  • Craft for a while
  • Lunch
  • Craft for a while more
  • Walk the dog again
  • Supernatural
  • Dinner
  • TV
  • Bed
So that would be a typical day in the life. It involves a lot of movement. It involves a lot of creativity. It involves a lot of mind work. Keeping my mind sharp and functioning at full capacity is important to me and will be important if I'm running a small business. Hmmm, I may have just stumbled on something here. 

Mental health. Something that I have not considered until now is my mental health. I want to be mentally sharp and focused as I age. In order to keep my mental health up, I need to keep my physical health up. Yes, I want to do all these physical things, but I want to be able to mentally enjoy them. To be able to plan them. To be creative in what I do and how I do it. Now this is beginning to resonate with me. Of course, it may hark back to my family valuing intelligence but if it motivates me, I don't care. 

I just looked it up and according to the CDC: 

 Physical activity can improve your cognitive health—helping you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance.

That needs to be my why, or at least play a part in it. See that really resonates with me. I think I'm not so afraid of getting weak or feeble, but I do not want to lose my cognitive abilities.

Okay, I feel like I'm coming closer to a solid why. I'm going to try out this and see if it works for me. 

So my why is:  To keep a healthy body and mind.  I think I like that, but let me test drive it this week and see how it goes. I'll check back in at the end of the week. 

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