Day 15

Day 15 of the M&M challenge, and here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Crossing those four M’s off the list is probably never going to be a routine that looks the exact same way every day for me. My life is so incredibly different every day, and I’m the reason why.

I mean, DUH. I’m a musician, an online voice teacher, and a real estate agent. There’s nothing consistent about my life. Every single day is different, and while that can be very challenging, and is probably why I’ve created this year-long challenge, it is my life. I’ve got to find the consistency WITHIN the creative lifestyle.

Well, that only took 46 years to figure out.

2. Bad habits have a chain reaction. And, so do good habits.

If I drink a glass of wine, I will inevitably need something crunchy and salty, like chips. If I eat junk food for lunch, I will probably lose my energy in the afternoon, miss my window to exercise, and hate the healthy salad I make that night for dinner (who likes lettuce when you still have the taste of french fries in your mouth?)

And so it goes with good habits. Exercise makes me drink water ~ lots of water. Water makes my body work, and keeps the headaches at bay. When the body is working, oh baby watch out! I can get so much done. And that exercise is making me sleep like a baby, which connects to every good thing in the waking hours.

The Hub and I stopped drinking during the week. We needed to be at the top of our game if the schools are going to open and be “in person”. The result ~ a really amazing week. We enjoyed some wine on Friday night, but the two of us really think that’ll be it for this weekend.

That is NOT like us. You can place whatever judgment you want on us. I don’t care. I just know that we have changed for the better. We will definitely have slip-ups, but this is our new normal, for sure.

Instead of drinking, we ate amazing food (thanks to me), walked after dinner, played music in the house, didn’t watch TV, got up super early for morning swims, and cleaned the kitchen after meals. We acted like functioning adults, basically.

One more thing I learned this week:

3. My life-long, amazing friend has cancer.

She is one of my dearest friends of all time, and she is an utterly incredible person. I’m too far away to flood her doorstep with food for her family, and I have no money to send her gifts or flowers, or whatever you’re supposed to do.

So I’ve decided to spend my days dedicating my daily 4 M’s to her. When I meditate, I will dedicate those 15 minutes to her. I’m learning a beautiful Beethoven piano piece right now, and every time I practice it, I will dedicate my practice to her.

It’s a form of prayer. I’ve seen it done in yoga classes, and we all know how it’s done in church services. I have no idea if it will ever make a difference, but it keeps me focused on her, and sending her healing energy is literally all I can do.

A few years ago, I was in the bathroom of a coffee shop in Lawrence, Kansas, and I was crying. I don’t remember what was going on at the time, but I was stressed out and struggling. There was a piece of paper balancing on the edge of the sink, and I went to throw it away, but curiosity got the best of me. I opened it, still crying, and read this stranger’s to-do list for the day. It read, “1. Find second opinion, 2. Schedule Radiation, 3. Chemo….” and so on. I couldn’t believe it. Of course, my tears stopped immediately. Whatever I was crying about seemed like a drop in the bucket after that. I said a prayer for that woman, washed my hands, and threw away that list. I’ll never forget seeing that.

If you’re scared or worried or anxious right now (because who isn’t), sometimes the best thing in the world to do is to pray for someone else. It might help take your mind off your own problems, and it might also help you realize that you’re not alone ~ there are other hurting people out there who are just as scared as you are.

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