June is a big month in my household. My husband’s birthday is June 14th. Our (1st) Wedding Anniversary is on June 15th. And, my birthday is June 23rd. Along with reflection and celebration, comes the urge to seek motivation. What goals am I looking to achieve as I enter my 49th year? What do I want 50 to look like? How much control do I have over what it will look and feel like?
So far my husband and I have been relatively comfortable during the pandemic. We are both able to work from home. Close friends and family have remained healthy. In fact, the cases in my local Toronto neighbourhood are relatively low. We have some outdoor space on our rooftop patio so that we don’t feel overly confined. I have been able to figure out how to safely run outside, without feeling like an asshole (I have been assured I am not an asshole) and take comfort that the weather is nicer and the risks of outdoor exercise are low.
We did have to cancel our planned honeymoon. We were supposed to go to Spain and Portugal on May 1st. It was an eagerly anticipated vacation. We are not big travellers. We have not been on a real vacation together in the 5+years that we have been together. The last time I was in Europe was several months before I met Gavin when I went hiking in Tuscany. It was a fabulous trip and I am grateful for the experience. Gavin hasn’t been on a trip in many years and hasn’t been to Europe since his early 20s (he’s 52 this month). We’ve enjoyed a lot of highs, emotionally, in the last couple years, and I am so grateful we were able to gather friends and family last year for our wedding. We’ve also had some very low moments emotionally. All of this is to say that, a honeymoon trip to Spain and Portugal would not have been taken in vain.
In a world rife with despotic leaders, systemic racism that won’t go away, a virus that is changing most people’s daily lives in some way, it feels trite to be thinking about what goals I have for my own wellbeing. But I also think there is no harm in looking after yourself as much as you can, while still trying to be a good citizen of the world.
So my personal wellness goals as I turn 48 are:
- be grateful every day that I am safe and healthy.
- Try to be an ally to others in meaningful ways. [For example, my summer reading plans include “The Person You Mean To Be by Dolly Chugh” and I am committed to donating to charities that support BIPOC individuals in my area (Black Lives Matter Toronto – http://www.blacklivesmatter.ca, Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough http://www.esbgc.net and Aboriginal Legal Services http://www.aboriginallegal.ca, come to mind).
- Get a little faster on my jogs. I’ve never paid too much attention to my pace while running, but adding the Strava app to my phone has reminded me that I can stand to pick up my pace a little.
- But my other goal is not to worry about the above too much. I starting realizing that the new Strava app was creating a little bit of anxiety for me. How slow will I be today? Do I want to post that result if I am slower today. Well, I don’t want running, which HELPS my anxiety to create more anxiety, so I have vowed not to worry about it, and I will post whatever my result is, and be happy that I got out, regardless of my pace.
- I miss doing heavier weights on the barbell, but for now I would like to continue doing my virtual workouts regularly. Both my HIIT style workouts with Move Fitness Club, and yoga with the lovely Lisa V.
- Speaking of yoga, I don’t always find it easy. I find doing a HIIT workout or a run much more appealing to my noisy mind. Also, I have always had tight hips and hamstrings and find a lot of the stretchier parts of yoga HARD. But that’s exactly why I need to do more yoga, not less.
- I would like to put my phone down more in the evening. Perhaps try not to be using it all the time, even when I am watching a show, or making dinner.
- Have more focus with work, and/or have more work that I am passionate about.
- I want to be a patient, helpful, joy-bringing, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, friend.
What types of goals and motivation do you look for around your birthday?