Essay About My Word for the Year: Move

Those Facebook Tests

As I was perusing through my Facebook site, I came across one of those silly tests that stated it could predict your “word” for 2018. Curious to see what it might say, I clicked on it. Within seconds, I had my answer… MOVE.

At first I thought “move” was a peculiar word. It implied action but in command form. However, as I looked at the word and thought of it as an action in a variety of ways, I realized that it was actually somewhat prophetic for me. This upcoming year actually promises to bring many changes to my life. In order for those changes to become real, I do need to “move” to get them started.

The Number Keeps Going Up!

I’ve written many hubs describing my trials and tribulations as a single mom. My love of teaching and ideas I have used in my classroom. My aching, crumbling body and how it betrays me. The upcoming 58th birthday and reflections of my life up to that point. Life is a journey that never ends until we close our eyes (and if you, like me, believe in a life beyond this Earth, well it never truly ends).

This year, I will turn 58 years old and two years from now, I will turn 60. I don’t know how that can be. When I look in the mirror most days, I see the young girl, walking down the street; wind blowing her hair, bright eyed and feeling as if the world has so much to discover. Other days, the mirror reflects back wrinkles and skin that looks like it belongs to a senior citizen (oh yea, I AM a senior citizen). I am always taken aback when I see that reflection. I am not one who looks in the mirror a lot. My shock obviously stems from the fact that I don’t see myself that often.

Being Near Death Makes You Re-examine Things

I had a life changing experience in the spring of 2017. Thus, my absence of writings over the past year. I contracted a strep bacteria in my bloodstream and it almost killed me. Nine days in the hospital fighting sepsis. The first four were fighting the strep and unbeknownst to me, I had also contracted the salmonella virus that can kill you when I ate out at a new restaurant the day before I reacted to the strep. As soon as they got my temperature down to 101, it climbed right back up due to the salmonella. The fever, chills and then uncontrollable bowel issues had me feeling like I had died multiple times. Lucky for me, I survived to tell about it but was left feeling like I had more goals to set in my life and I needed to examine my current life situation quickly.

Let’s Move!

I’ve made some decisions this year and that prophetic word “move” made me realize that all of the changes I’ve been contemplating may actually happen if I get moving and begin to organize the many areas of my life.

I am fortunate to have many talents in decorating, artistry and event planning. Since my retirement from teaching, I’ve entered the world of care giver for the elderly. My favorite people in the world are special needs children. My second favorite are the elderly.

I marvel at the history I learn from each person I work with. The stories they share of their childhood and the changes they have witnessed during their lifetime.

I also tutor children and teach an occasional art class.

All of these activities keep me busy and rewarded mentally because I feel as if I am receiving just as much as I am giving.

The American Psychological Association (APA) states, “Many caregivers report that they find benefits in their role and activities. This is increasingly seen as a positive form of coping with stressful circumstances and situations. Benefit-finding may be a product of the ability to find meaning through positive reappraisals, spiritual beliefs or other adaptive coping mechanisms in the face of stress. Caregivers who perceive more benefits from caregiving report lower levels of depression (Haley, et al, 2003).”

My new mantra, “Let’s Move” fits well with my care giving responsibilities! I not only assist in daily living skills but I do light cleaning and cooking as well. All activities that raise serotonin in the body and produce endorphins as well.

Life Changes…Taking it Slowly

I’ve decided to tackle my health this year too. I should say…again… as I have tried yearly to establish a healthier eating regime and try to exercise more as well.

The Healthline website lists various reasons for exercising.

*Exercising regularly can improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

*Exercise is crucial to supporting a fast metabolism and burning more calories per day. It also helps you maintain your muscle mass and weight loss.

*Physical activity helps you build muscles and strong bones. It may also help prevent osteoporosis.

*Daily physical activity is essential to maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

*Moderate exercise can provide antioxidant protection and promote blood flow, which can protect your skin and delay signs of aging.

*Regular exercise improves blood flow to the brain and helps brain health and memory. Among older adults, it can help protect mental function.

I have a lot of health issues right now. Diabetes, neuropathy, fibromyalgia are just three health issues I am combating right now. Exercise often hurts me. It fatigues me. However, the pros for exercise far outweigh the cons and I am trying to build the mindset needed to keep a daily schedule. I found some yoga videos on Youtube and I started swimming at the local YMCA.

For monitoring my diet, I have begun to use which I love because not only can you monitor your calories, you can create recipes and the site will figure out caloric values and nutritional values for your recipe.

Very Well Fit explains why counting calories is important and starving oneself or fad diets don’t work. “While you may find a number of very low-calorie diets around, it’s important to remember that cutting your calories too low may actually lead to weight plateaus. There is a “starvation mode” phenomenon that happens where your body actually withholds the calories you take in for later use—basically, it saves them up because it “thinks” you’re starving. You could end up eating much less and weighing the same … and you could do serious damage to your health. Plus, if you’re hungry all the time, you’re less likely to stick to it and more likely to binge. The average recommended caloric intake for losing weight depends on your size and gender. Some women can follow a 1,200 calorie per day diet to slim down. An average weight loss calorie goal is about 1,500-1,700 calories each day, (Most experts recommend 1,500 calories as a good weight-loss diet.) but it does vary according to your weight and activity level. ”

I’ve found that when I exercise, I can also eat a few more calories and still lose weight! Using an app like Myfitnesspal is a great way to help you monitor this.

Everybody eats!

On an ending note…I love to eat! I can eat when I’m not hungry and still enjoy eating. This new “move” goal will be challenging.

I’m wondering what your motivations are for the New Year? I’m not calling mine a resolution because those never last. I’m calling this a motivation and I am challenging myself to become a healthier, better person.

Please fill in my survey below. I’d love to know what your motivation is for this year. Whatever it is, I’m sending good luck your way!

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