Sunday, June 7, 2015

Mid-Year Reflections and Vacation Photos

view from Tunnel Mountain, Alberta


For the past year, my life has been more than a little crazy, Between being a mom to a very energetic toddler and a very energetic dog, there was some major studying for exams that needed to be done in order to complete my many...many.... years of schooling. I used this blog as a much enjoyed "escape". At the same time, especially during the 1-2 weeks right before each exam, I did a shocking amount of "retail therapy" (I'm flabbergasted at my recent credit card bills and the stock of unopened beauty products, which I have had no time or heart to test out). There was an almost daily influx of boxes arriving in the mail full of goodies, which momentarily soothed exam anxiety and fears about where my life could go after this. Thankfully exams are now over and I'm at the tail end of a wonderful and much needed vacation, so this is a good time to reflect!


Emerald Lake, BC

Our vacation took us out west to BC and Alberta, and being surrounded by and soaking in the beauty of God's creation, helped me realize how wrapped up I have been in the past year in momentary circumstances. Hindsight is always 20/20 of course, so I can't say I won't ever get so wrapped up again in anxiety, but my soul now feels rested and eased. A boss once said to me, that a day of work will erase a week of vacation, so I don't know whether I will still feel this way a week from now, when I'm back in the hustle and bustle of Toronto, but for now I am utterly content. Fresh air, beautiful lake scenery, and amazing views from arduous hikes really did my soul good!

I have also worn no makeup at all for the past 2 weeks, not even the little bit of undereye concealer and eyebrow pencil that I always wear on my "no-makeup" days; this has been a real no makeup vacation. Daily now I can clearly see more of all the sun damage, acne scars, dark circles, and fine lines starting to creep up with my age. It doesn't really help that I gained 20 pounds over the past few months from over-eating during exam period. Despite all this, I have less of an urge to try to "cover" all those flaws. Don't get me wrong, I will still take 2 hours to get ready for the next dinner party, and enjoy every bit of it (as long as hubby will take care of the kids to allow me this!); but the flaws on my body and face now tell a story.

Morraine Lake, AB - waiting for more glacier meltage to rise back to to its former glory
I look at my daughter, with her perfectly smooth and glowing skin, and in that flawless face the innocence of childhood. She is happy and content with such "little" things: running around outside, holding her favorite dinosaur, giggling to no end while running around with our dog. She hasn't known the pains and sorrows in life yet. I have, be it from my own life, or from those lives that have touched mine. Each experience has been important and none would I trade (ok maybe some), but each have also scarred and weighed down my heart and head in more ways that I can describe here. There have also been gloriously happy moments, be it spiritually, with family or friends, that made my heart and head soar in more ways than I can describe as well. 

When I now look at my own face and body, I see the years I have lived: the sun spots from all the fun times outdoors with the people I love, the dark circles from decades of not-enough sleep, the scars from stress-induced acne flareups, the lines from repeated expressions of laughter or tears. I see the way my body has changed since having my daughter, and some days I disparagingly have to give away or donate things that no longer fit (I went up one whole shoe size after giving birth, imagine giving up most of your shoe collection!). I remember that before having her, I also disparagingly saw flaws here and there that I wished I didn't have. In comparison, how I wished I had my old body back! All this to learn: the tides of time are moving, I can't control it but I can ride with it and enjoy to the max.

A few new goals for me now at the mid-year juncture:

1) to be more content with the present situation, be it stressful or not, be it happy or not. Whether I am able to be fulfilled or not, I can be content.

2) I don't need so much "stuff"! I don't regret the "retail therapy" I did, it served its purpose. Now that exams are over though, it's time to really cut back on purchasing and live simpler. Oh, and actually start using the stuff I bought. I'm looking forward to reviewing more products for the blog!

3) to age gracefully. Accept and work with my features as they are now rather than covering them up. Instead of using the same eyeshadow techniques that served me well BEFORE my lids became more hooded with age, I will seek to learn new and different ways to enhance how I look NOW, not how I looked 10 years ago.

4) eat and exercise to be healthy, not to lose weight. So I've had to get much new clothes and shoes, but rather than continuing to fret about my size/weight, I will accept it as is and instead work on health.

This was an unusual post for me, but it felt important to post, and so that I can also myself look back on it at the end of the year and see whether I stuck to my new goals. Have you done any reflection or made any new goals at this mid-year time? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
 

10 comments:

  1. Looks like you had an amazing vacation. I agree when it comes to stressful times, retail therapy is the easiest and with a click of a button in the middle of night, feel so much better (until the credit card bill arrives :( I am also a stressful eater, grabbing anything in sight when stressed. Need to work on that definitely. Good luck to us.

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    1. I struggle with stress eating too, especially chips and fries! haha I don't even know to begin working on that, but I suppose there are worse ways to cope than shopping and eating :)

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  2. What beautiful photos, Meiko. On your note to be healthier, I think it's really important. Some women are so obsessed with looking thin that they forego their well being. Strong is the way to go! Being able to pull your own weight, literally is awesome. I'm working on it. Just one full pull up, and that'll be my goal. I can only do half a pull up now. hahaha!

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    1. Thank you, the scenery is even more beautiful in person, if you ever come to Canada try to visit to Banff, Alberta! Wow that's amazing you're almost able to do a pull up, I can't even do a push up from the ground. "Add oil" to us as seek to be stronger and healthier!

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    2. I used to be able to do push ups while on my knees but now I'm strong enough to do a full push up (as in hands and toes on the ground). In my workout, I'm doing 10 pushups for 4 sets so total 40. I guess practice really does pay off!

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    3. Wow good for you! I should start practicing...

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  3. Ok I know I'm reading and commenting this post summer (quite late) but as a post summer reflection, I was away at my parents this summer, they live in a coastal town in Andalucia (lovely) so my days were spent at the beach. Then visiting inland towns by moutains and whatnot, so my make up was either always zero or completely minimal. It makes you realise how our surroundings and getting carried away with things makes us buy way too much stuff than we need. (I'm saying this for myself). With regards to looking at younger beautiful people, yes, it's so nice to think wow to be young again, but you're right, they have not gone through the pain and life experiences, which I'm still going through, and all the bad stuff do NOT want to repeat, thank you. xx

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    1. Thank you for your comment Sofia, your parents' place sounds lovely! I find too the busier an more stressed I am th more materialistic I become, thinking I "deserve" some of these things because I work hard. But you're rights a few days at the beach away from that fixes us right up...that reminds me maybe I need to take another vacation soon :)

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  4. PS. Perhaps you're inspiring me to do a post on this too... If I have time! xx

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    1. Yes please do! I look forward to seeing it :)

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