On the fourth day of grateful

As the song goes, on the fourth day of grateful, (Christmas), my true love gave to me… I guess it is time to re-cap the days so far.

The first day of grateful was for sure, luck. Although the event was not joyful, we were extremely lucky none the less and we have all mentioned it several times since. It is the whole point of recognizing what we are grateful for that brings about happiness and maybe a little better luck.

The next day was calm. I was so agitated to put the accident behind us that I was starting to make myself feel nauseated. (I know, not that grateful, but I couldn’t help it). Once everything was sorted, the details had fallen into place, we all could breath a sigh of relief. It also should be mentioned that our experience with Mexican police has been conducted with due process. I don’t think they were unfair or corrupt in any way.

Yesterday was opportunity. I am rocked to the core everyday as I vacation here in Mexico. While I do not get to enjoy this wonderful weather every day, my country of birth and residency provides me with extreme privilege. This is too easy to forget.

Today, on the fourth day of grateful, my mind goes to health. This means a bunch of things to me, from cognitive brain health, to physical health, emotional and even a person’outlook on life. I have struggled with all of things over the years. In fact, this very blog has been a catalyst to help sort through all these parts of my health.

It is strange that in school, we are taught so many subjects and never focus on the health of the organ that is meant to absorb and recall all that effort. We just seem to get through it. In some cases, as quickly as possible. Yet, the cognitive health of our brain will be a major driving force of our life. I’m not an expert and I think I’m in pretty good shape, but my problem is shutting down. Or even turning down the volume of intensity. I need to better transition into different states. Give my brain a break and enjoy activities, or just rest in states of much lower demand on the brain. Get out of my head a little – try not to think so deeply about every little thing. Kind of prioritize better. Vacation really helps me do that.

My physical health has been put back on track this year. I’ve been eating well, sleeping wonderfully and now my mornings, more often than not, include exercise. To that end, I look forward to exercise now. It helps centre my day to start off properly. As Gillian Michaels says, “…take this strength with you and use it in all parts of your day.” (Or something to that effect). I’ve been practising exercise for 10 months now. 5 times per week on average for 30 to 45 minutes, start to finish. It is not a huge time commitment, but the results of this sustained effort have been nothing short of amazing to me. (And that is what counts most). It is then, with this confidence and strength that I feel like I can face anything.

Emotions are a roller coaster. If they are not, then the highs are not so big and the lows are not so deep. Over the years, I’ve strived for this middle between high and low. I so deeply fear the low that I strive for balance. But, in recently I have discovered, this method of control has lopped off the peaks. I have not really experienced as much joy as I could have. These ups and downs are 2 sides of the same coin. Without one, you can’t have the other. So I’ve been trying to experience the swings again. When I’m feeling low the trick is to own that and then embrace joy. Or at least step into joy, even generate it a little more.

All this probably leads to my outlook on life. That has been an interesting ride. In fact, I would summarize my whole life that way. I’ve charted my own course. Some days I get a little of track. I even head way out from the pack of “normal” sometimes getting lost out there for long stretches of time. But I have somehow carved out what is right for me. I feel much more comfortable in my own skin. That is probably what helps drive me forward into uncertainty, I know who I am now.