Today I Choose Joy

I was awakened this morning by my dog, Roxy. She just had to go outside and would not accept “No” for an answer. My husband always gets up early on the weekends so I decided to do dog duty today. Roxy was exited and running in circles as I put on my shoes and her collar.

I opened the door and she was off, smelling every inch of territory she covered. I just meandered along watching her in a zombie-like state. Suddenly she stopped. I looked in the same direction as Roxy and saw some robins on the ground pecking for morning breakfast. As soon as she moved the robins flew away. I kept looking in the direction of where the birds had been to keep watching the beautiful streams of sunlight. They were shining on the grass, the plants and through the tree branches. I just stood and stared. And then it happened; I felt myself smile. I was awake, alive and happy. But how could that be? It was only 25 days until the anniversary of my mother’s death. I was supposed to be mourning.

Roxy and I came back into the house. I was awake and couldn’t go back to sleep. I could still feel the smile on my face. I remembered Mark and I have plans to go to the beach with Roxy today. And then zoom! I remembered something else. One of the few pictures of my mother that I have is of her at the beach, sitting on a blanket. I smiled again. Without consciously knowing it, I was smiling. I had experienced joy in that moment and decided to choose joy for the rest of the day. I am going to celebrate my mom’s life while at the beach. My heart is already lighter.

Swan at W. Dennis Beach-2

To everyone that read’s this, I wish you a joy-filled day.

Gratitude…it is so under rated

As I sit here on the eve of our 15th wedding anniversary to the love of my life I am so grateful to have him as my partner in life.  Just three short weeks ago, I was racing home from Cape Cod to be at his side in the emergency room.  He had called me to tell me he wasn’t feeling well.  After I pressed him a little he admitted he was having “discomfort”, code word for chest pain.  I told him to call “911” and frantically started on my way home.  It was a long ride home with so many thoughts going through my head; making deals with God for everything to turn out OK and trying to keep my composure while avoiding getting a speeding ticket.  Tonight, nothing gives me more joy than to see him on the couch with Roxy and know he is recovering and still here.

About two months ago he and I both started eating healthier. His doctor had told him to stop eating flour, eliminate sugar (except naturally occurring sugar) and to just eat meat/fish, vegetables and fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and apples).  In essence, we were starting toward the road of eating Paleo.  Since starting cardiac rehab we have both really gotten serious.  It has been a tough but a necessary shift in our eating.

As I said in an earlier post, the sugar break is hardest for me.  I thought I was doing OK until I wasn’t feeling well yesterday, morning.  I didn’t feel hungry when I left the house and didn’t pack a lunch.  Just before noon, I began to feel hungry.  I ordered a sandwich in a wrap and potato chips.  I don’t each chips often anyway but yesterday they did taste good.

Immediately after eating my lunch I was upset with myself.  How can you just lose perspective for those few moments and eat what you will regret 15 minutes later?  It really wan’t worth it.  When I got home and looked back on my day I realized what I had eaten and then realized two of my triggers…being tired and not planning. Wow.  How many times have I heard that when we get tired or run down we can start to crave carbs!  I guess it must be true!  I stopped beating myself up at that moment.

What a difference a good night’s sleep can make.  Today was better.  Tomorrow I will wake up and try again.  It is so much easier to make an error, self-correct and keep going.  Starting over is much harder that just straightening out my path.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to start and end each day with my husband by my side.  I am also grateful for the ability to change my perspective of “not starting over” but instead “self-correcting” and continuing.  God is good.  Life is good.