As you may remember, instead of making resolutions or setting goals for 2014, I decided to set an intention (a la yoga class) and let that intention guide my decisions and actions this year. My intention for 2014 is: A Better Life. Basically, I want to take the already-pretty-great life I have going and make it even better. Here’s how I’ve been working to create a better life for myself, hubby, and Peanut so far this year:
- Started a new habit of drinking a glass of warm lemon water every morning. This was an idea I saw in Giada’s Feel Good Food and I wanted to give it a try. Lemon is great for the liver, and warm water is a little less shocking to the early-morning system than cold water is. I’ve tried, in the past, to get into the habit of drinking a glass of water before I eat or drink anything else, and it’s finally stuck. (The lemon flavor really helps – and that’s coming from someone who loves water and has no trouble getting 64 ounces every day.) I keep lemon wedges in a Rubbermaid container in the fridge and every morning, the first thing I do when I get downstairs is pop one in a glass and fill it with some warm water. It’s such a nice, gentle way to get going and I love that I get two cups’ worth of water in right away.
- Experimented with a gluten-free lifestyle. I sometimes feel a little silly trying out new eating philosophies – like, am I a sheep? Am I succumbing to trends? But I’ve been doing some reading about gluten sensitivities, and gluten was the only food that gave me trouble when I reintroduced it after my last Whole30, so I think it’s worthwhile exploring whether eating gluten-free might benefit me. By asking these kinds of questions and looking for the answers, I am working on saying YES to myself and tuning out my worries about what others might think. (Since going mostly gluten-free, I have fewer headaches and less digestive distress, and I’ve noticed other health improvements, so I think there might be something to it. I also notice that I feel considerably worse when I am less disciplined about eating gluten-free. I’m hoping to visit an allergist at some point and get some more concrete answers.)
- Ran my second half marathon! Seriously, I’ll bet you’re all sick of hearing about it by this point, and I promise I’ll shut up eventually. But this was a big thing for me this month. I loved having the training time be something “just for me” and it meant a lot to me to know that I could chase after this big goal and achieve it. Running definitely makes my life better in so many ways – it’s good for me, it’s something I can do for myself, and it lets me work to improve. Now I’m looking to the next step, but more on that later.
- Started juicing. I’ve been wanting a juicer for awhile, but neither the budget nor the kitchen cabinets have space for it at the moment. So I decided to give juicing in my VitaMix another whirl. I love the VitaMix for soups, smoothies and baby food, but the one and only time I’d tried to make juice it just didn’t turn out very well. When I found out that our Stroller Strides instructor had been making fresh juices in a blender, though, I thought I’d better give it another whirl. (<– See what I did there?) I’ve come up with a formula for a fresh green juice that I really like, and I’ve been drinking a cup most mornings with my breakfast, and occasionally as an afternoon snack. I love fresh juices, and I’m so glad I’ve found a way to make them inexpensively at home. So far, I’m the only one who is really enjoying the homemade green juice. Hubby says it “tastes better than it has any right to,” but he won’t drink a glass, and Peanut will occasionally take sips from me but she prefers to pirate my morning lemon water. They’ll come around.
- Visited the Buffalo Botanical Gardens – twice! Hubby planned a Valentine’s Day outing (actually, it was the Saturday after) to Night Lights at the Botanical Gardens – basically, a seasonal event in which the Gardens are kept open late and light shows play in each of the greenhouses. We all loved the event, but Peanut particularly had a ball. She discovered the koi pond and was completely entranced by the fish swimming around, and “Pond! Pond! Pond!” is pretty much all we’ve heard since. So, since she loved it so much, we went back the very next weekend during the day. Of course it was fun to see her big eyes take in the majesty that is the koi pond (LOLwut?), but I also found it to be a good winter survival tactic (a la my pal Katie). Spending a couple of hours wandering around in the heated greenhouses, with the winter sun baking down through the glass ceilings, was absolute bliss. It felt like summer for the afternoon. You can read more about our Botanical Gardens adventures here, and I’m sure we’ll be going back many times – but especially in the winters.
- Started a new job! Although it’s been tough to leave Peanut, she’s in good hands during the day and I know that me bringing in an income is a good thing for our family, and will definitely contribute to a better life for all of us (starting with enabling us to finally start looking for a permanent home, and it’ll feel great to be settled again). It’s also good for me to get back out there in the legal community, and I’ve been lucky enough to find a position practicing my specialty with a well-regarded firm. I couldn’t ask for a better situation and I think this is going to be a great thing for our family.
- Taken several family walks, including one at Tifft Nature Preserve and one with Grandma and Grandpa at Chestnut Ridge (the same park we visited with Zan and Paul back in December). Even though there was still snow on the ground for most of the month, we were so over the indoors. It was good for all of us to get out and breathe some fresh air.
Have you set an intention for 2014? How’s it going?