Here's to You, 2016


  
In January I set out to do more of what makes me happy. I set out to consciously take time for me, everyday. I set out to walk, every day of this year. And I decided to share it too!
Well, not too long into it I very honestly missed some walks. Some days, between work and me and husband and sons and life in general, my walks just didn't happen. That's okay. That's called balance. And that's exactly what 2016 and my Walking 365 challenge became. 
Balance between being a mom first and being me first. I've discovered that it truly changes in as quick as a minute.  One minute I have my shoes on to head out the door for a walk when one of the boys wakes up with a fever. Or my husband ends up stuck at work on overtime. And other times it is a choice. It can be easy to be a mom first as a reason to not go do something and this year I consciously tried to evaluate each time I said no, or thought about putting off my walk. Some of the times it was my own inclination to try to excuse it with mom-obligations, and so I acknowledged that and went for my walk.
Prioritizing hasn't only happened at home. Early in the year I had the opportunity to return to work part time. Returning to work has been one of the best decisions of 2016. Going to work - i don't even like calling it that - it's more like going to spend time with another family. A weird, loving, caring family united by a cause. It's a truly rewarding thing when what you do for work is actually something that you live for. I live for healthier generations. I want to see people choose to be active, be together, be joyful and happy, supportive and kind. It just so happens that the place I work, Vivo, wants just that same thing. Spending time each day, in my personal life and professional life, to help advance that cause has reminded me of who I am. My core values that shape me, that have defined my parenting style and my life choices. 
And speaking of life choices... One of the most interesting parts of this journey - and I had figured it would be - has been phone usage. GAH! If you have read this post on parenting and phone usage then you know what I am talking about. And the things in that post still ring true for me. If I am on my phone too much and I am not being present in the moment, I feel it. I feel it fast. Very soon into this challenge I let go of my intention of posting daily because to be truthful, it didn't feel good. And when things in my life don't feel good, I don't do them. Walking started to feel like a chore - knowing I had to remember to bring my phone with me and to stop and snap a photo - it interrupted my walk and more importantly my connection to nature. That combined with the posting of said photos which became in interruption to my life with my boys, once I was home from my walk. I still have days with too much phone, but that's reality, most days, I have found my balance.
Not to make social media and phone usage look all bad - I couldn't write this post without mentioning the amazing, supportive community that has rallied round this challenge! Sharing it publicly was the best decision I made - even if I wasn't sure about it. So many people joined me for walks or shared photos from their owns walks. More than anything - if you didn't read it above - healthier generations is my jam. Knowing that in some teeny-tiny way I may have encouraged someone to take their kids for a walk, go for their own walk or even just to do something for themselves has meant the world to me. To everyone who showed their support in whatever way that meant to them - thank you.
This year I saw the return of me. For the first time in nearly four years I am finally feeling like myself again - not the 'old me', because I'll never be the 'old me' - but a 'new me'. And I like this me. The transition from 'old me' to 'new me' hasn't been easy and it's taken time. This whole year has been a year of messy, amazing, uncertainty and becoming but it sure has been a good one.

- lovefrommaria

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