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It was Field Day week for us last week. Lots of running and playing and fun was had by all. These photos seemed appropriate for today. Thanks Eric for taking so many fantastic photos of Willow’s Field Day while I was busy trying to keep all the kindergarteners running in the right directions!

I don’t know exactly when or why it happened, but something has shifted inside of me. I have been making personal changes right and left in recent days. It’s a little crazy really, but I am feeling amazing, so naturally, I had to come here and share them with you!

I spontaneously decided I needed to become a morning person and say good-bye to my night owl ways. I naturally tend to stay up until 1 or 2am then find myself forever dragging the next day. While in the thick of my struggle with Lyme Disease I tried to let myself sleep whenever I was tired, and developed the oh, so unproductive habit of a completely unregulated sleep pattern. One day last week I woke (late) and wondered, while I was rushing around trying to get the kids off to school on time, why the heck I was doing what I was doing. Frankly, I got fed up of missing out on life with my kids – I don’t want them to remember me as the mom who slept all the time. My Lyme is manageable at this moment in time so I have no excuse. I found myself setting my alarm for 5:30. AM. I was shocked when I found myself shutting it off and sitting up to start the day instead of rolling over and going back to sleep. It just felt like the right thing to do.

The first few days I could not, for the life of me, fall asleep early enough to get a full night of rest before that ugly alarm went off again, but I knew that eventually my body would stop compensating and start sleeping when it should. I just had to keep pulling myself out of bed at the same time every morning and keep the napping to a single twenty minute power nap when I need a quick recharge. It’s working! I fell asleep last night by 10pm without a problem and greeted the day easily when that alarm sounded. Yay!

I didn’t announce my intentions to my family before I started this new routine because I didn’t want them to be disappointed in me if I couldn’t do it. Let’s just say they have all been pleasantly surprised to find Mama up before the sun happily packing their lunches and stirring their oatmeal when they find their way to the kitchen first thing in the morning. I love that the tone of our day is set with calm and laughter instead of the rushing and yelling that used to populate our mornings. I’m also treasuring the extra time my early rising allows with my big kids before they head off into their days. Kissing my hubby good-bye isn’t so bad either!

I tend to bite life off in big chunks, so it should come as no surprise that I also decided to establish a few other new habits while I was at it. I now stop eating after 7pm so my digestive track can have a decent rest each night. I like to snack late into the evening but inevitably end up with reflux and discomfort all night and still feel full in the morning. It’s such an unhealthy cycle to get caught in, especially with a sensitive system like mine. The change I have felt has been remarkable! I wake up feeling hungry and ready for my day instead of full and sluggish and yucky. Such a simple thing – a nightly fast – has completely eliminated some of the lingering digestive issues I have struggled with for years.

I’m also finding time, with all of these extra hours my day, to start working on getting my fitness groove back. Once upon a time I ran, I rock climbed, I did yoga. There was hardly a day that went by that I didn’t do something active. Again, it was easy to rationalize some bad habits over the years – I had kids, a whole bunch of kids – and a serious health issue. Now, all of my kids are old enough to keep themselves occupied for an hour and while my health isn’t perfect, I am definitely well enough to do some regular exercise. I know in the long run I will feel better both physically and mentally if I work to stay strong and vital. So far I have been doing whatever sounds like fun each day – some yoga, some pilates. Today I even popped in my husband’s Insanity workout (on the computer – remember, no TV) and worked up a serious sweat.

As if that wasn’t enough change, I’m also trying to finally, finally, release the hold that sugar has on me. My intake of sugar has a huge impact on the inflammation I feel from my Lyme Disease. It’s a simple equation, the more sugar I eat the more pain I feel. So, “Bye-bye sugar!” I am even trying to limit the amount of sugar I am eating from fruit. Dates taste like candy bars now, so it’s easy to satisfy my sweet tooth without going overboard. The lingering pain I have in my facial nerve is lessening and I’m hoping this sugar detox continues to increase my feeling of health and wellness. I refuse to let Lyme limit me anymore.

I am feeling more and more like myself again after this most recent relapse of Lyme. That shift I have experienced feels very profound and still a bit hard to articulate, but at the same time it feels very certain. It feels like I have been able to grab the reigns back from the nebulous uncertainty that has been driving my life. I feel like, for the first time in a very long time, I am leading the way and directing the flow of my precious life energy. Lyme be damned.

With our family determined to move against the strong tide of mediocrity, I need to be prepared both mentally and physically for the journey. I need to be able to lead the way with strength and consistency. I know that I tend to be let things ebb and flow in my life, so I am determined this time to make these changes part of our new simple lifestyle.

Sleep well, eat well, care for my body – that’s my new personal rally cry.

I want to set an admirable example for my children by maintaining my value as an individual within this family unit of ours. I need to value not only my creative spirit, but the body that acts as its home. This is not a brand new idea to me, rather a renewed intention and a call to action. I deserve to feel well and so do you!

Who’s up to joining me with this rally cry? I would love to hear how you make yourself – your body and your wellness – a priority within your busy family/life. Let’s share and support each other!