“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have
a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.”

--Dereke Bruce

Saturday, December 29, 2012

SUSTAINABILITY, Part 2




If you read THIS post ("Sustainability -- or, Going the Distance"), then you know what we're talking about.

Sustainability is, to me, the ability to consistently live our life in a pace and pattern that is realistic; having the energy to do what we need and want to do, without feeling perpetually overworked, overloaded, exhausted, or stressed.

Yes, of course, we can summon the adrenaline and do something for a short period of time that we would not be able to do indefinitely.  And sometimes this unpredictable, crazy thing called "life" requires that.  But that should be the exception, rather than the rule, of our lives.

After all, you can only "burn the candle at both ends" for so long... eventually you will be burned.

In my opinion, sustainability entails making wise, well-thought-out decisions, large and small, that are not knee-jerk or focused on "instant gratification" -- but rather, on what's better for the "long haul."  I think that some of us may be more hardwired for success in this area than others, but I believe it is something any of us can learn.

Although I already strive to live a simple, uncomplicated, quiet (although at times very busy) life, I knew I could make some additional beneficial changes.  As I mentioned in Part 1, I made the decision on vacation to set some goals and make some changes when I got home to sustain those blissful feelings of restfulness and relaxation.

My personal goals?
To exercise more (back on the morning routine, before work, which sounds grueling but really does work best for me),  to lose that pesky 5 pounds I had resigned myself to made peace with, and most importantly -- to get more sleep.  Surprisingly, the "getting more sleep" is the hardest, but that is my priority, because I have learned that all the rest of my goals depend and hinge on that.

I have a set M-F work schedule, so to "get more sleep",  I have to go to bed earlier.  There's simply no other option.  BUT, to be successful with that, I have to start winding down about 8 pm... and that means kitties fed and litter cleaned, house tidied up, computer and TV off,  PJs on, face washed, teeth flossed and brushed, bed turned down, alarm set, phone charging, clothes chosen and set out for tomorrow.   It's much easier said than done.  But I'm trying -- and so far, so good!

Now what about my friend's question, "But not everything is sustainable.  What about enjoying the moment?"  This is what I told her:  Enjoying the moment, to me, means taking time to really absorb and appreciate the beauty of the "here" and the "now."  That's a wonderful thing, and sustainability is not in conflict with that.  A happy and well-balanced life has plenty of room for both.

In fact, as we were having that long-distance text discussion, I was poolside in Cancun, absolutely enjoying the moment of warm sun, white sand, blue Caribbean water, and the delicious Mango Margarita beside me!
















Photo credits:  HERE and  HERE.

Friday, December 21, 2012

SUSTAINABILITY - OR, GOING THE DISTANCE


















My husband and I recently returned from a wonderful 2 week Caribbean vacation.  We stayed HERE (Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun), a gorgeous "6 gold apple" resort on the Riviera Maya, a little south of Cancun.  












We both work very hard and lead busy lives.  And, for a variety of reasons, the last few months have been especially stressful and busy.  We were long overdue for some much needed R and R.

Now we enjoy all different kinds of vacations... adventure vacations, cruise vacations, visiting-friends-or-family vacations.  (In fact, we've never had a bad vacation!)  But when planning this vacation, we chose an "all inclusive" getaway, an especially relaxing, low key kind of vacation.  

Typically with an all-inclusive vacation, you can be as busy or as *lazy* as you want to be.  Now Sapphire was no exception. All included and all on-site were sailing, kayaking, water aerobics, beach and pool volley ball, Zumba, yoga, Pilates, target shooting, archery, pool games and contests, cooking classes, bingo, bicycle rides and tours, music, karaoke, dancing, shows, as well as a myriad of other activities and entertainment. 

We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon, after a long day of travel.  And although it was wonderful to be there, and I was certainly enjoying the warm weather, beautiful beach and grounds, and delicious food, honestly, I did a lot of sleeping, napping, resting and dozing the first few days, barely dragging myself up to eat (but oh, I did, I assure you!) 



















I knew I had been tired before the trip, but it wasn't until a few days into our vacation that I realized just how exhausted I had been. I woke up on Sunday morning and noticed something unusual. I felt ...different somehow.  Rested. Refreshed. It was a amazing feeling!  in fact, I almost didn't recognize it!  I told my husband excitedly, "I'm not tired!"  I honestly  couldn't remember the last time I wasn't tired.  Yes, I had actually forgotten what that feels like.  That really made me think. 

BUT, what does this have to do with "sustainability" (the title of this blog post), you ask?  Well, this:  It seems obvious to me that if it takes a person almost 4 days to get rested up from LIFE, and if that person doesn't even at first recognize the feeling of being rested, then clearly something has to change!

Which caused me to think seriously about my everyday life.  Most of us have a lot on our plates, and too few hours in our day.  Many of us have stresses and problems.  And true, there is a lot in all our lives that cannot be changed; but certainly there is still a lot that can. I made a decision that day on vacation to commit to some simple lifestyle changes at home to sustain those blissful feelings of restfulness and well-being. 





















I was sharing my thoughts with a good friend who asked,  "What exactly do you mean by 'sustainability'?"

Good question.  To me, sustainability is the ability to create and maintain a positive life change.  Positioning and giving yourself every advantage possible "go the distance",  the "long haul." Not everything is in our control, of course, but much is.  Sometimes far more than we may realize.

My friend then said, "But not everything is sustainable. What about enjoying the moment?"

Another good question -- and I have some thoughts on that, too.  (Of course!)  Stay tuned for "Sustainability, Part 2"!


Our favorite spot.  Many happy hours spent here!






















To view a Photo Journal of our vacation,  please look HERE.