Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Pursuit of Happiness: Slowing Down

I love taking the boys to story time every week. Apart from the obvious reasons of loving story time, (bubbles, stamps, Wiggles "Hot Potato"), I love checking out a new Oprah Magazine every week. I know it's cliche to love Oprah, but I really do. Especially her magazine.

Recently I was reading an article from the November 2011 issue featuring Ann Curry on SLOWING DOWN.

It's a super short article and definitely worth taking 2 minutes to read.

Brief summary=her doctor suggested she take time once a week to "connect" with herself. She took the challenge seriously, and now finds time to do something every week just for herself, and loves doing that with photography.

Here's the article:

A few years ago I found a lump in my breast. My sister had had very aggressive breast cancer, so when I felt it, an alarm went off in my head. I rushed to the doctor and had tests done immediately.

Afterward I waited in a panic for the results. The doctor came in looking grave—then told me that I didn't have cancer. But that wasn't the end of our talk. He told me, "Every day I have to tell a woman she's got a disease that might kill her. Each one of them says, 'I didn't get a chance to do this,' or 'I should have done that.' I don't want you to be one of those women." He suggested I take one day a week to "connect"—not just with family or friends or God, but with myself. He said I ought to make sure I was setting aside time to do what fulfilled me.

At first I told him, "I'm a mom—I can't spend a whole day on myself!" But deep down I knew he was right. At that point in my life, I constantly felt as if I needed to prove my worth, and I was working way too hard to do it. People close to me called me "Curry in a Hurry." I was moving through life at 100 miles an hour trying to further my career and be a great mom and make everyone happy. But this conversation brought me to a screeching halt. My doctor wasn't just saying that I needed to find a hobby; he was saying I deserved to spend my time doing what I truly wanted to do.

Photography had always been on the top of my "shoulda coulda woulda" list, so once a week, I started telling my family, "I need 30 minutes to go shoot some pictures." I gradually upped the time, walking around my neighborhood snapping photos. My two kids protested my absence at first, but when they saw the pictures, they began to understand. I also started taking better care of myself—working out, eating my greens, and giving myself a breather when I need it. When you treat yourself right, you run better and more efficiently. Which means you don't have to go 100 miles an hour to get everything done.

In the time since I had that chat with my doctor, I've learned to be deliberate about how I spend my time on this Earth. I choose to fill my days with what I'm passionate about, and live with purpose. In the end, I want to be able to say, "My life was what I made it."

Isn't that a great read? It goes hand in hand with the goal Zach gave me for 2012.

Some things I enjoy doing for myself:

1. Blogging!! I love taking time during the boys' naps to work on my blog.

2. Getting a pedicure: Of course I like my nails looking great, but I love sitting in a chair, by myself, and reading a magazine cover to cover. It's incredible.

3. Teaching/taking dance: Life-long passion that I love to nurture.

4. Watching my "shows" with my hubby: I am a big supporter of early bed times. The boys get the sleep they need, and Noel and I can enjoy some time together. We have so many shows this season, Bachelor, Modern Family, American Idol, Grey's Anatomy, New Girl, The Office. (Most of them are my shows that Noel tolerates.)

I hope you take some time weekly to do something you are passionate about. You will be so much healthier (physically and mentally) if you do!


Emmy said...

Yes, huge fan of bedtime too. Love Amwrican Idol. And yep, blogging is definitely something I do for me.

Cecilia said...

So much fun! I love my pedicures, & I just started going again. It was so nice to bring my magazines & read! I know what you mean about bedtimes as well. I love that time to be with my husband & I love taking that time to watch my shows as well. I have gotten addicted to the Bachelorette & now the Bachelor...we will have to talk.

Thanks for your post.


Ashley said...

@Emmy, Who are you liking this year on Idol??

@Cecilia, Yes!! Let's discuss Bachelor asap!

Jenna // The Life of the Wife said...

Gooood for you!! Take some me time..we all need it!!

PS..I can't respond to you when you comment on my blog! :( Cause you don't have your email linked up? I just wanted to let you know so you didn't think I was ignoring your sweet comments!!!

Karen said...

A good reminder. Moms are especially likely to live with a lot of stress. Taking time for ourselves teaches our kids that we all are worthy of time to ourselves.

Megan said...

It's definitely important to set aside some time for ourselves daily just to relax and do something we enjoy. :) Great reminder!

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