Carol’s Reflections on Health and Wellness in 2016

rock-1573068_1280This time last year, I was reflecting on my interactions with Order, which was the one word I chose to guide 2015.  Order, in the sense of priorities, may have been just as appropriate a word for 2016, but as I was recovering from a back injury this time last year, I chose health and wellness.  Looking back, I think I’ve done reasonably well by those markers too, although not in ways I could have predicted.

I, with a lot of help from Time, have successfully nursed my herniated disc back to health. After 9 months of rest and weekly osteopath appointments, I upgraded to doing modest (and unique) back exercises, and three months after that, I am walking 4 to 6 hours and doing some light yoga each week. I have had to work fairly hard at all this. My back is still sore, but I have my old life back, and it is pretty great. We raise a glass to back health!

Also on the agenda was wellness, and I was reminded in 2016 how much my own wellness is intertwined with that of my family. So when I discovered on our trip to Malaysia (and here we raise another glass to how travel often opens a unique space for communication) that the job my husband loved was also exhausting him, I immediately decided to return to work after a four year leave of absence. I’m into my third month back into lawyering with my husband at home and all is well – no one is looking back. I will forever cherish my time at home with the children, but am also content to share that wealth with my spouse through a return to work that both interests me and sustains life at home. As it turns out, if daddy ain’t happy, mama ain’t happy either.

And then there are our little people. One of my peeps has struggled, really struggled, at school. My husband and I watched this, unsuccessfully trying this strategy and that one, until it became unbearable. Despite the best intentions of everyone involved, that kid couldn’t be there anymore, and we took the kid out.

In that unexpected way of things working out in ways that we couldn’t have foreseen, my husband, who is newly at home, is now homeschooling our child. Both of them are having a pretty good time. We’re discovering a lot of resources for families for whom the school system either doesn’t work, or isn’t desirable or optimal. What’s more is that our child, the one whose well-being was so eroded in a school environment, is thriving once again. The child is back! Which means that my own heart can unclench and remember what it’s like to breathe deep.

I still have my eye on that health program that my friends have undertaken and are positively glowing from. I’m still balancing that promise of new energy with the requirement of time and energy to make healthier choices. There’s a solid dose of feeling overwhelmed in the daily patter of my life, as I suspect there might be in yours, so I think twice and twelve times before embarking on new commitments. My health could still be improved in a big way.

But overall, I’m satisfied with the ways in which I’ve met my health and wellness on the dance floor of 2016. I’m on my feet again with a stronger back. My family members are standing alongside with choices that are working better for them as individuals, which unsurprisingly means that they are working better for us a family.

As for 2017, if I had to pick one word for the year fast approaching? The word that keeps knocking around my mind is Acceptance. Remember my earlier reference to feeling overwhelmed? I also get the feeling that the tinder for that roaring fire isn’t going away anytime soon, so it might be best to find a way to enjoy its heat and light and even brilliance without being set ablaze myself.

On the agenda for next year.

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