This is not one of those New Year posts with all the tips for getting healthy in 2016 (drink water, eat less, meditate – all good, but kinda obvious).
It is about leading a healthy life – which perhaps requires some re-definition, or make that re-invention, of what healthy really means.
Or as I’m calling the changes I want to continue to make this year – a re-yinvention.
Let me explain – but first, some food ‘porn’ to remind you why you’re so glad you’ve finally got through that Christmas ham (and we have a tradition of home-made pizza on Christmas Eve in defiance of how much we plan to eat the next day!).
I may not have been creatively writing at all, but I have been creatively cooking and eagerly enjoying. And it can be healthy to eagerly enjoy.
It’s always a good time of the year to catch up on some extra sleep (if you can). Especially when you’re five and even more especially when you’re 45 (or, ahem, just a little older).
It is of course a great time for family. Especially when a pool is involved on a hot Boxing Day.
It’s the perfect time for catching up with friends and we’ve done that too – only I was so busy hosting the party that I didn’t end up with any photos (not even of the food, ha, ha).
A full moon for Christmas Day seemed so perfect too. Such promise.
And a hot yoga class with a fantastic instructor was the perfect way to welcome a New Year – with the teacher’s promise that we’ll all be pooping better in 2016!
In between I have managed to read precisely zero books and relax for precisely 2 hours and 27 minutes (or so), because we (or rather I) decided to have a party and so had to get renovations finished and the house in order in record ‘reality show’ time. No time to take photos of digging out gardens, lugging barrows of pebbles, rendering walls, painting, tidying and generally working and cleaning our butts off (Mr Yang in particular) in a very busy yang burst of energy. But ahh, the results.
I’m most proud of the garden and I think part of my re-yinvention might be as some sort of green thumb. Is it a sign of getting old when you suddenly like to ‘potter’ in the garden?
There’s a perfect time for hard work, digging in the dirt, creating with your hands, cooking with your heart and there’s all the time in the world for enjoying the foods of your labour and sitting back, just watching your garden grow.
A re-yinvention is about a rebalancing of life in favour of slower and more purposeful. In favour of flavour over convenience. In favour of fewer things done well over just more or less. In favour of a good night’s sleep over always doing more.
For me healthy isn’t about a diet that cuts out entire food groups/types (unless you really do have an intolerance). It isn’t even about a diet that cuts out convenience entirely – but one that favours simple over fast – almost always. And it favours food to both savour and fuel, over food to just eat and digest.
A re-yinvention is achieved with family and friends at the core, centred around your own needs and desires. If you don’t put yourself in the centre, then how can you really balance yourself to reach out to love and serve those around you?
A re-yinvention means exercise is essential (of course) but it doesn’t have to be (just) hard-core cardio and heavy lifting. It can be softer, subtler, soulful. Walking the new dog! (we get him this week). Yang styles of yoga and especially yin yoga – striving a little, but mostly surrendering.
I’ve been banging on about balance for ages and I’ve been heading in a yin direction for a while – it seems obvious that what nearly all of us need to find balance is more yin in our lives and less yang. So I hope you can join me on the road to reyinvention in 2016. Happy New Year.
Kathy X (Linking up with Essentially Jess for the first IBOT of the year)