with AHMFC Staff
The changing seasons ignite an instinctual drive in us to want to shift with our surroundings. We find ourselves inspired to get rid of the excess in our lives. What is no longer serving us is either transformed, or let go of, just like the falling leaves in autumn; they've served their purpose and it's time for them to move on.
This month the AHMFC team decided to share one thing we're all doing to clear out, simplify, or mindfully transform in our lives.
I am working on cleaning up my lifestyle. I was a smoker for thirty years and today is day 138 without one. Some medical issues have come about from quitting and I am working to clean those issues up. With the support of my Adirondack Health Doctor and the services our health care system provides, I am working towards finding out what it is next that I need to do to be 100%. Going to a doctor appointment and having tests performed on me has been really hard since I am not use to having to do that, but it has been made easier cause of the wonderful support I receive from our colleagues and members here and my family/friends at home. This by far has been the hardest thing for me to do but the best thing I have done.
The thing that I have been working on cleaning up this year has been my running form. I was reading an article about how most professional runners stick to a cadence of around 180 steps per minute, and that a faster cadence can help decrease injury risk by keeping impact forces lower by decreasing stride length and increasing tempo. When I measured my own cadence, I found out that I was plodding along at a sluggish 145 steps per minute. So I made it my number one priority while running to work on my cadence. I started out by listening to a metronome at 160 beats per minute and tried to sync my foot steps to the beat. At first, it was really difficult and felt super awkward, but the more I did it, the more natural it started to feel. So then I jumped the tempo up to 170 beats per minute. Again it felt a little awkward, but I soon found my stride at this higher tempo. Now I naturally have a cadence of 165 without any cues or listening to a metronome. Still a ways off of the 180 mark used by the pros, but it was a big jump to raise my cadence up 20 steps in just one summer. Now instead of a metronome, I listen to a playlist of songs with tempo’s around 175 beats per minute, and that little subconscious cueing helps to put a little more pep in my step.
One thing I’m really trying to be better about or “deep clean” is my relationships. I’m one of those people who is guilty of getting so caught up on what is going on in my own day to day life that sometimes I lose track of how important it is to nurture and maintain good communication with longtime friends or distant family/relatives that I may not be as close with as I once was. Everyone has staples in their life, such as parents or best friends that you see frequently or talk to every single day because they are part of your inner circle and main support system. But making an effort to acknowledge and check in on others who maybe you don’t talk to as much or only see once in a blue moon is important too. Just a phone call or message just to let somebody know you’re thinking about them and wishing them well goes a long way. I’m trying my hardest not to be that person that only reaches out to somebody when Facebook reminds me it is their birthday. Especially if I value what they have done for me and the lessons they taught me at any point in my life.
This seasonal change for me also comes with turning 40 in September. This birthday feels like I officially hit the benchmark of being middle aged, yikes! I have been reflecting on what is important to me that I want to continue as I approach the second half of my life, what in my life is more stress than value, and what I am missing. As I prepare for a deep clean, I am focused on what I can get rid of to make more time for my family. And not just time, fully engaged time with them, without stressing over what task I must complete next.
I am the type of person who wants to do everything at once. Even writing this, choosing what it is I want to focus on clearing out was difficult because I found myself wanting to write about five different things. And the fact of the matter is that I could very well use work in all of the areas that came to mind because I do have a good amount of areas I can work on, but something I have learned over the years is that if you try to do everything at once, you in fact wind up not being able to do anything at all. I use this concept to help my clients success - baby steps, one thing at a time - and I am working to be better at consistently heeding my own advice as well. So I am choosing to focus on decluttering my big picture, reducing how much is in my life - to-dos, projects, jobs, commitments, relationships - so that overall I just have less, and what I do have is meaningful. I want to have less so that what I do choose to keep and maintain can have more of me, more of my energy, more of my full attention and presence. And I know the first step with a goal like this is getting really comfy with the word "no."
Sometimes we have to let go of something to see how valuable it really is. I joined the Essex Farm share last year around this time and continued to get all of my food from the farm up until February. I was doing something so good for myself, but it became exhausting – the drive, and processing all of that food. I decided to let it go. As the months went on, I started to miss the fresh produce, I missed going to the farm and how it felt picking up my food. I decided to change my routine around food again and I started back up with the farm to kick start the end of summer transition into fall with a more well-rounded healthier approach to eating again, and I love being back! I have found that by letting it go for a while and then going back I appreciate it a lot more for what it is. It is so hard to know what is really in our foods nowadays, and what I appreciate most about the farm, is knowing how fresh and pure the food is. I also find value in supporting the farm and its mission.
I am working to let go of the picture of what things *should* look like and to be perfectly happy in what the imperfect picture *does* look like.