Ok, so let’s be honest here, trying to break old habits and create new, betters ones is not an easy thing to do. It’s like trying to create a different way of thinking, for me very difficult to do. After working for close to thirty years full-time and that being one of the defining things that makes you who you are, I have found myself a little lost. I basically followed a strict schedule of rise early every morning, earlier the better cause that meant you were working overtime. Put in anywhere from eight to thirteen hours a day, having social interactions with the guys I worked with and developing friendships, a lot that still last to this day. After work I’d come home have some dinner that Tracy or I would prepare, try and spend some quality time with my boys (this became a challenge as they aged, I’m sure everyone can relate.) Clean up a bit, do some of the household chores that need to be completed and then it was time for bed. A bit like Groundhog Day, until the weekend, unless work was available then I’d be in, just to make that little extra.
Anyway, what I’m getting at is my time was just automatically filled and along with that part of my identity, now as my life has completely changed I find myself in search of a new identity. Mornings are different, getting out of bed and unsure of what to do with the day, I can easily turn on the television and have hours just slip away and then I just feel guilty about wasting my time.
Here’s where my new habits come into play, I always need to eat in the morning, easy. Then instead of sitting down roll out my mat and start with some morning stretches, I’m still very much in the learning process of this. Your talking to a guy who can’t come close to touching his toes, I’m also researching some stretching that’s good for digestion, now that’s typically not a problem for me, but as you know I’m prone to bowel obstructions, so trying to find a way to open(for lack of a better word) my abdomen and try to find ways to help prevent those attacks. While I’m doing this I get in my push up’s and squat routine, this is not easy to do, it’s so easy to see the nice comfortable couch sitting just five feet away, calling me, and my brain telling me this is a lot of work, why bother?
Why bother? Well I tell myself because a strong body has a much better chance fighting the cancer that has already spread throughout me, and a strong mind forcing me to do the hard things that I don’t always want to do, to me is key as well. A strong mind….that’s well worth a post all of it’s own.
Back to habits….after the morning exercise routine, I have resumed running again, not that I ever stopped, during summer and fall my camping trips kind of threw that of schedule, mind you I was still hiking through the bush and paddling a lot on the water. So, running is back in my system, but I tend to run at night, that’s when I seem to force myself to get out and get going, and once out I wonder why I waited so long that day. Running for me is done three to four days a week and distances are anywhere from 5 to 22 kilometres, I will keep that up until my body fails me.
Journaling is now part of the regular routine, not just filling it out when I have time. Every night I will take the time to write out how the day went or my thoughts, and what I dream of yet to come. It’s easier to hold yourself accountable when these are written down, harder for them to be pushed aside and put on hold until later. Reflecting on how your life has been and what is left to accomplish is a powerful incentive when it’s the last thing you write down and read at the end of the day. It’s only been a few days I have religiously done this and already have filled five pages of my new notebook(journal).
I spent enough time in the last while just kind of staring off into nowhere land, wondering “what do I do now?” Trying to reinvent yourself when your close to 50 and have a palliative diagnosis isn’t easy, but putting these habits in place and building a system to help guide myself in the direction I’m intended to go is how I will figure it out and thrive. Here I am at 8:30 pm on a Sunday night banging out another new post…..it’s a good start. I only intend to keep adding to this system over a lifetime…..one things for certain it’s never too late for new GOOD habits.
Before I cut this one off, reading and learning is also an important part of my system. I’ve just finished this book, “Between Two Kingdoms” I couldn’t put it down. If your a cancer patient or want to understand what it means to be sick, but not always really look or act sick, check this book out. Being stuck in that area is tough to describe, but this book does it perfectly.
Thanks for reading…..Cheers!
If your new to this blog check this post and you’ll get to understand me more. https://stephenmedhurst.ca/2021/04/13/how-serious-it-is/