As we begin a new year, I've had a lot to reflect on. The last few months have brought things into sharp focus, and have inspired me to live more fully!
Just before Thanksgiving, I got a call from my aunt letting me know my mother was in the hospital and the doctors did not expect a recovery. They gave my mother 1-6 months to live. I worked the Armory Christmas Faire that weekend after Thanksgiving holding back tears, with a smile on my face. Pushed it to the back of my mind, compartmentalized until I could deal with it. On Cyber Monday I packed my suitcase while having my annual online 24 hour sale, and flew out at dawn Tuesday to New York. I spent 4 days visiting my mother in the hospital, and my father. Their health is failing. They are old, losing their sight, & my father is losing his memory. Their lives are shrinking, and it was so hard to see.
Sitting with my mother in the hospital on the last day of my visit, I felt chest pains that scared me. Since heart disease runs rampant on both sides of my family, my mother had a heart attack 6 years ago, and since my MTHFR predisposes me to heart disease and blood clots, I called my doctor when I got home. They sent me for an EKG that came back with abnormal results, so I had a visit with a cardiologist. He believes I had an episode of Broken Heart Syndrome, which is like a psuedo heart attack, brought on by intense stress. It can do some damage, but it can also be healed.
For the days in between getting the abnormal EKG results, and seeing the cardiologist, I experienced something new; the thought that I am as mortal as anyone else, and there are no free rides. I told my husband that I feared this might be my last Christmas. I was taking baby aspirin like it was candy, expecting 'the big one' any moment. When I left the cardiologist's office that day, the stress and fear I'd been holding in let loose. I sat in my car and cried for 20 minutes. The relief was overwhelming, and as the receding tide of tears released me, it left behind perspective and a new determination.
I opened my skin care boutique in 2014, the spa in 2016, and my life has become a whirlwind of work and unhealthy habits. Instead of being a role model of wellness and connection, I feel I've lost sight of myself. With the spa being underground, and with no window space at street level, the lack of visibility made it difficult to get the business off the ground. I worked at a breakneck pace to make up for it, with no balance.
In striving to create a place of wellness for others, I stopped cooking homemade, healthy meals for my family. I quit exercising completely. I no longer carve out time for prayer and meditation. The most important relationships in my life have been neglected. My son, my youngest child, will be leaving home for college in less than a year, and I don't have time to be with him, to talk to him. It is not unusual for me to work over 70 hours a week. That Rihanna song is always in my head "work, work, work, work, work, work, work....". My husband has repeatedly said he doesn't know how I keep going and must be running on fumes. Well, it has finally caught up with me. I feel like I've been given a second chance, and I'm taking it.
2018 is the year I
Get a Life!
It's my new motto, so don't be offended if I gently nudge you to get a life, too!
I want us all to lead balanced, healthy, and happy lives!
That's why I opened the spa in the first place.
I must begin again with myself.
So, to that end, I will be leaving the world behind to spend a little time on a rustic island in Thailand; to give myself the time, space, and silence needed to meditate, reevaluate, and plan. I'm beginning a journey...a life makeover, and I want to bring you along...for mutual support, ideas, and to hold me accountable. I want this journey to not only be mine, but to somehow incorporate it into the spa...to use this as a way to help you, too. I don't know what will blossom, or what shape my own life will take, but things are gonna get real, and I hope my journey and struggles will inspire you to change your life for the better, too.
Stay Beautiful, & Stay tuned!