I knew that life would never be the same when I lost my sister. But I didn’t realize that, in losing her, I’d also lose so much of myself. The weight of my sadness challenged the inner workings of my mind, body, and spirit in ways I couldn’t have anticipated. As the months passed, I allowed myself the freedom to experience any and all emotions as they came. I didn’t want to pressure myself into feeling one way or another. So I let myself fall into the fog. The world was turning, and I was wandering aimlessly within the passing days. I often noticed that I was going through the motions while my mind was elsewhere. I was very anxious, and I felt helplessly controlled by my racing thoughts. Other times, I felt like an observer to my own life. I felt like I was living outside of my body. My life was a story, and I was watching it unfold.

As the year anniversary approached, I was tired. Physically, mentally, emotionally… I knew that I needed the fog to rise. I couldn’t live in it forever. I was always living in my head or outside of my body, when I really needed to be living in the moment. I also knew that I needed to start taking care of myself. Between caring for two young children, and coping with losing Stephanie, I’d lost the diligence I formerly had with eating well and exercising. Factor in my lack of sleep and it was a trifecta of poor self-care. Between my need to be present and my goal to get healthy, my challenge was a mind and body makeover. 

I decided it would require a very conscious effort on my part to accomplish such a lofty transformation. And, judging by my energy (or lack thereof), I knew that I needed to keep my expectations realistic. So, in the spirit of New Years Resolutioning, I made a little list. And I figured I would share it here to increase my accountability.  
  •       Start running again. Nothing crazy. Two times a week. Just me, doing what I used to do all the time to find my head. Twenty minutes of fresh Scottish air in my lungs and sweet Stephanie-approved music in my ears.
  •       Eat three meals a day plus snacks. Munching on the boys’ leftovers might appease my appetite, but it won’t gain back the weight I lost last year. Weight that my naturally small frame couldn’t afford to lose. 
  •       Practice mindfulness. Whether through yoga, meditation, or simply forcing my thoughts into the present moment, I have to get myself out of the fog.

And there it is. A little happiness project for 2015. For me. For my sister. Bring it on.  

Peace and love, Sarah

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