Figuring Out What Matters

By Gabby Reece

Feeling like you are behind the 8 ball? I was telling my husband that I never feel ahead or caught up on anything any more. Maybe it was due to naiveté, having less to do, or just not having any kids yet, but in my 20s, I had some semblance of feeling organized. Things had their order, and I was in “control.”

What a laugh. Control. It has really started to bother me. I’ve been feeling like a dog chasing it’s tail, and I’m sure it’s fun to watch. Since I don’t like to admit to or react to stress, I just carry a little extra pressure that seems to go to my eyeballs.

Last week I had a “let go” moment. I saw myself overreact to a no-big-deal situation, and I realized that I was letting it get to me. I also noticed that because I was extra busy and wasn’t getting the time I needed to work out, I began to slip ever so subtly. I was on the road and out of my routine. If I don’t consistently get the time I need to work out, I feel it defeating me in all the other areas of my life (food, sleep, I was a tad more grumpy, and even watched more TV).

I see how easily it becomes a downward spiral. How you could feel like you can never get a leg up one day, and then it turns into weeks, months, and years. Not to mention when we don’t get our time, we eat crap to soothe ourselves, waste more time watching TV about other people’s train wrecks of lives to make us feel better, and are just less pleasant to our loved ones. Cause when I have pressure in my eyeballs, I’m just not as nice.

So I took a step back and asked myself how I could better deal with things. I’m not going to sacrifice my health (physical, mental, or emotional) for anything. So there is a commitment. Now I’m going to take the emotion out of it since I used that to make the commitment. I have decided. This is a priority.

OK, what about the stress? My husband said that it was human to react. I thought it was foolish since the situation was not life or death. Let’s face it, sometimes it just feels good to let it out. Yell a little (if it’s not hurting anyone) or even go in the bathroom and have a good cry. Wash your face and charge.

Who said I was behind? I did. I’ve been creating the stress. As long as you don’t forget your kids at school, how much of what you run around to get done is really that vital? If everyone is fed and clean, isn’t it OK if I don’t worry about every house detail until the morning?

I realized that if I didn’t get up first thing and go exercise, it was going to get harder and harder to get things accomplished as the day went on. Some mornings I just get up, put my gym clothes on, and GO! Take a shower, brush your teeth, and call people back after you exercise. Even if you just get in 30 minutes, that’s the way to start the day. Take a walk and meditate at the same time. I’ve  even heard of people who talk to God on their morning hustles. It starts you off in the right direction so you can face the rest of the day.

Of course we have stressful lives. We live in a fast-paced world that can be crazy. I stand by the idea that exercise and eating well actually armor you to defend yourself during the hectic navigation.

I am going to keep a short list of things that are important, and I’m going to make sure those get done. I have to let go of every detail and not list everything with equal importance. Sometimes just stopping and realizing what’s going on is the most important step. I just want to keep trying to be the dog that wags the tail and not the other way around.

Life isn’t perfect and neither am I, so why do I keep trying to make it all just so? Why not just enjoying myself and the people I love? Have I been doing that? I gotta believe that there is no finish line, so maybe I should pace myself and enjoy this process of living.

I made my list:
1.    Be thankful for everything, even the hard stuff.
2.    Take care of my health (eat well and exercise).
3.    Be the best mom and wife I can for my family.
4.    Try to be kind, and add something to this place I’m living on.
5.    Work hard and stand up for what I believe.

So that’s my short list. If things fall under one of those umbrellas, then I’m dead serious. Everything else, I’m going to try and keep perspective on it. Hey and if I blow it, the great news is I can keep trying.

2009 Gabrielle Reece . All Rights Reserved.