As much as I am all about promoting balance in life, food, and wellbeing, I find myself hopping on the stress wagon every now and then. There seems to be a never ending list of things to do, people to see, articles to write, business cards to be made, grocery shopping to be done, the list can go on and on forever.
It’s not until I take a step back and realize that there is no end destination that I have to reach, and the greatest gift I can give to myself is to stop and appreciate each moment and all the little things that come with it.
Something that I have learned along the way is that no one and nothing is out there to spite you, its there to teach you. No matter how bad it may seem, try taking a moment to find the lesson.
I’m going to let you in on something very personal to me. My dad was diagnosed with Spinocerebellar Ataxia about 10 years ago. I wasn’t really quite sure what that meant but as I get older I am starting to see it more. He is deteriorating. His speech is slurred, his balance is going, his sense of reasoning is compromised, and most recently, his eyes are becoming affected by even the smallest amount of light. I have spent countless nights wondering why this is happening to my dad. I’ve found myself angry, hopeless, sad, and confused as to why it was in my cards to watch my father go from a driven businessman to someone who on most days can’t even walk the dog because he cant keep his eyes open in the sunlight.
It is easy for me to fall into feelings of guilt (why am I being selfish in feeling anger when he is the one who is sick?) or feelings of anger (why is this happening to my dad?). More often than not I have asked the universe, what is my lesson here?
But then I stop, realize that I cannot change anything except for how I look at this situation.
I can enjoy who he is at this very moment and appreciate the little things him and I can do in the here and now. Because let’s face it, when someone is sick you never know what tomorrow if going to bring.
My dad loves to eat (Italian through and through) so taking him out for dinner is something that doesn’t seem like much, but to him is something that we can bond over.
I share this story to bring perspective. Life can either be a horrific ball of stress and sadness, or with a change in perspective, can be a delightful adventure. Try not to overlook the person who let you check out first in line at the grocery store, or the little dog walking by wagging it’s tail. Take awe in the beauty of the lake, or the weird shapes and sizes of the rocks surrounding it. Laugh when you trip, dance when you hear a good song, drive around town blasting music feeling the wind in your hair.
Do whatever you have to do to remind yourself that you are living this life and that it’s up to you to make the best of it!