Grace and Wellness


With the help of a good friend I am beginning a journey towards better self care. It’s not that I wasn’t good at it before but you know how it goes. Get busy, neglect sleep, eat poorly, and forget the exercise. The typical stuff of a mid life woman who tries to do too much.

I procrastinated about this wellness focus for months, waiting until my schedule finally cleared enough to give mental space (and energy) to the idea. My friend said to do this alittle at a time (thank God) and she sent me encouraging emails with her own health and wellness tips.

First up, a plant in my room. Sounds so simple but a plant provides oxygen and that can only be good. Second, I ordered a good book- Food Rules by Michael Pollan. I couldn’t resist skimming the first few chapters and wasn’t surprised. Eat more plants and don’t eat things that have more than five ingredients on the package. Right!

Of course it was a few days before Thanksgiving when I read this. I gave thought to what I was going to be eating on the holiday. Turkey, well, only one ingredient there. Baked yams and pineapple, pretty good.  Hawaiian rolls, probably not so good but delicious. Mashed potatoes made with Yukon golds, butter, and a little cream. I thought this really wasn’t so bad.

The pumpkin pie was made from a can that needed condensed milk and eggs. Mom made homemade crust with flour and crisco, a big no no I’m sure but heck, it’s the holiday right? Plus I am not going to tell mom not to make pie. 🙂

All in all, I would say I did not overeat on Thanksgiving. I felt fine afterwards. I cleaned up the kitchen and sealed up leftovers for the next day. No need to cook dinner tonight!

I think the hardest thing about health and wellness for me is putting myself first. Life is ongoing around my house. There are always things to do and some kind of agenda. Even though I no longer work full time, I have a million mundane things to do (laundry, housekeeping, dog, babysit Penny, help my mother). Prioritizing is key. The one gift of menopause has been the recognition that I can’t do it all. I don’t feel guilty saying no anymore. I’ve done the committees, the grunge work, the volunteering. It’s ok by me to say no.

Making an effort at better self care is good. Not feeling guilty about what I don’t accomplish is a challenge. Setting realistic expectations is the order of the day. The grace is in turning it over to the universe.

I hope you have a wonderful week! If you have any tips for self care, I’d love to hear them.


Join me on my graceful journey.

10 Replies to “Grace and Wellness”

  1. Enjoyed your thoughts, as usual Joanne! After the election my husband and I determined that we had to take care of our emotional health, or our physical health was sure to fail. We’ve been on a “news fast”, meditate almost daily, gently avoid any political conversations after a minute or two. Living in a bubble is delightful!

    1. I like the idea of a “news fast” Greer! I don’t watch much news on tv- too depressing!- and I try to avoid political conversations. I like it better that way. I love how you said “living in a bubble is delightful!”. So true! xoxo

  2. Focusing on better self-care is so right. Write it and put it on your fridge, bulletin board — wherever you need to. I now make lists often, and am happy just to know that I achieved SOME items on that list. It doesn’t have to be ALL.

    1. I used to make so many lists when I worked full time. I still make them occasionally but prefer to just let my day unfold naturally. Still, I can see the advantage in reminders. Thank you for stopping by Cynthia!

  3. An excellent, specific, much needed post, Joanne! We made one post-Thanksgiving change this year. On DAT (Day After Thanksgiving) there were no apple or pumpkin pies for dessert. Instead, we had a combination “fresh fruit and veggie Dip” and “pumpkin dessert.” It was delicious canned pumpkin, plain yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, cinnamon, lite cool whip, Truvia, whisked together, chilled and served with slices of red. yellow, orange, green sweet pepper slices and slices of apple. It was such a hit that we didn’t have any desserts at today’s meals, either, just this dip. A family friend joining us this season said to change or omit one dish served at every meal, then walk for 30 min. after the meal settles.
    Fingers crossed that your new plan–and mine–will be helpful!

    1. Marylin, I love your pumpkin dip with veggie snack! I may just make it for Christmas Eve. I agree with the no pie rule for post Thanksgiving- that’s a great idea. I live on a small lane that isn’t real conducive to walking. But I am trying to squeeze more exercise into my schedule. I can do a video or walk around a store. My holiday shopping is almost done but I love the sight of the lights and sounds. God bless. xo Joanne

  4. Hi Joanne, good for you for making an effort at better self care! This post brings awareness to all how important it is to take care of ourselves! Something I am sure not used to doing! I am more of a caregiver than a care me person. Nothing new …just what I learned from my mom, I guess. Something I started to do the last few years that I consider self care is walk. I especially force myself to walk if my legs feel stiff or my back hurts or if I feel like I have over eaten. My husband laughs at me because I get in my car and drive 8 or 9 miles to walk a mile and a half. I try to make that a priority first thing in the morning so I get it done. ( in the summer I walk in the evenings if I can’t fit it in in the am). It just feels so good to be out in nature and loosens all those stiff joints! I love the picture at the top of the post❤

    1. Hi Cindy, I loved the picture too and thought it worked well with this post. I love to walk and wish I lived on a street where that was easier. I sometimes drive to the Montour Trail but being a care taker, more than a care me person (I love that!), I always find something to distract me. I’m a work in progress though so I’m going to do my best to make myself more of a priority. xoxo

  5. I found it very challenging to even think about myself when I was taking care of my mom (and dad) and had new little grand babies to love. These are very “rewarding” challenges tho! ❤❤❤! God bless you for being such a wonderful and lovely l daughter, friend to many, and amazing Nana. You “will” get your steps in! 😃

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