There are lots of things I don’t know – I’ll be the first to admit it. I also have been fortunate enough in my life to have run into some people who had some wisdom to share – and when it comes to learning helpful and useful information, I always try to listen well, and take good notes. It is the start of a brand new year, and everyone, myself included, is ready to start fresh, and start living a better life. So it’s time to take out some of my “notes” on inspired and healthy living, dust them off, and put them into action.
It’s not that hard – we all know the drill. Eat better! Exercise more! Drink less! Yeah, yeah, what’s new. Well, apparently, for me – actually doing these things, and sticking with them, is new. But here I am, again, getting back into doing it right. I’m not alone. I know I’m not. Maybe you’re reading this, and thinking, yes! Julia! I know exactly what you mean. And maybe you’re waiting for me to tell you how this year is going to be the one where it all gets better. Well – I wish I could – for you and me, both.
I most certainly am not the expert on how to get it all right, all the time. But know this – we are not alone, and we are in it, together. And I believe, although the struggle is real, the attempts to make our lives better, to be healthy, to surround ourselves with beauty and inspiration is important. Any part of it we can tap into, in our own way, is worth it. There are some things I’ve learned that make me better. I don’t always remember to stay close to them, but I suppose that’s why I’m writing this. Perhaps it will remind me, and you might be interested too.
Healthy Body / Healthy Mind
Remember when I said I’ve been lucky to have some friends with some good insights? Well, I hit the jackpot with my friend Tammy, who opened her own Barre and Pilates studio locally (see blog entry called Reinventing). Although I’ve heard for years how good this form of exercise is for a body, I truly struggled with committing to trying it, and struggled even more deeply with making it a regular personal practice. Because it’s freakin’ HARD.
Alas, I’m pleased to say, that I ditched my 20 year membership to my regular gym, which I hardly ever went to, and committed to Towne Barre. I’m about 2 months in, and I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision. The physical changes are surely already happening, but even better, are the mental perks of getting stronger, and being committed to this challenging fitness regimen.
Believe me, pushing myself to show up, and actually attempting to do these classes is nothing short of a minor miracle, for this girl. I have not, in the past, been one to embrace a strenuous workout – much less 3 times a week. It is real, however, that this body is not getting any younger, and the unkind truth is that if I don’t do something to get stronger and stay moving, I hurt, and my mental state takes a nose dive. There. I said it, and I hate it. So yes – I’m the one snorting, and laughing out loud when asked to do that ridiculous 100th teeny tiny rep. I show up, trying to keep up, with my ugly faces and audible discomfort. It is actually getting easier, and I have far more energy, my back pain is all but gone, and my outlook on things is downright sunny. It’s like magic. My wise and knowledgable friend told me this would work, and she was right.
I’ve even found time to meditate some, and have changed up how I eat. It doesn’t have to be perfect – but darn it if it isn’t true – clean up that diet and get that body moving (however you like to do it!) and the world seems a more habitable place, and then some. It’s not complicated – listen to the wisdom of those who know.
I resolve, this year, to keep at it. Wish me luck – I’ll need it.
Beautiful things are all around us. They really are. It’s important to see them, or hear them – just experience them. For me, beauty can be found just as easily in a walk around neighborhood, as in a trip to the museum or concert hall. I have always loved the visual and musical arts, and made a career out making music for many years. It is a joy, now, to create beauty in other ways, and appreciate all the splendor around me, in simple, and everyday forms. In recent years, I’ve been taking more photos. I do it for me, mainly to capture moments for my family, and my boys as they grow up. My subjects are quite varied, and I love to capture all kinds of visions, and glimpses. Here a few of my shots.
I resolve, this year, to keep taking photos, and finding the beautiful moments to capture, in my everyday encounters.
I am sure it will come as no surprise that I love homes, and that I find great beauty in them. I am, after all, a realtor. I love all kinds of homes. And I love discovering a home that is a good fit, for a particular person, or family. I truly believe that the place you call home can bring great serenity and balance to your life. It is an enormous part of who you are. Why not make it exactly what and where you want to be?
When I ask people what they prioritize in their home search, the criteria are almost the same, with personalized individual characteristics, of course. People are basically looking for functionality, and aesthetic. That’s pretty much it. There are endless variations on these themes, but it’s pretty simple.
Design, function, and aesthetic are a part of every good home. You can sense it right away. You don’t have to be looking for a million dollar home to find it. Small, modest homes often present just the right mix of layout, flow and location for comfort and well-being. Conversely, some homes that are enormous and/or very expensive do not necessarily cultivate this sense of contentment.
This can be a very subjective experience. I find it endlessly fascinating, working with homebuyers (and sellers), to see what resonates. But whatever that magical mix is, when all the elements are present, there is a wonderful “click”, and it is palpable. There is no one size fits all formula – but when that click happens, someone has found a home. I love that moment.
I resolve, this year, to continue to help people love their lives, by guiding them through the process of finding the right home, or selling their current one. I resolve to make my own home a healthy and happy place to be.
The New Year is here. There is no better time to embrace all that is good, and let go of what no longer works. It’s not that complicated.
It’s up to you to make it happen.