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Why, for Me, September Is a Time of Reflection Taking Stock for the Coming ‘School Year’
I’ve found that by simply eating with more awareness, making it a consistently deliberate act, has transformed my life. I feel like I’ve really fortified my routines with better food, regular exercise, and drinking lemon water every day. I feel more physically prepared for the future than I have in years. The more balance I’ve been able to find in my life in the wake of tragedy, the better I’ve been able to be there for the people who matter in my life, whether it’s my husband, Phil, my patients, or my friends. I’ve always considered myself a good listener (any good audiologist is), but since taking these steps, I feel that I’ve moved into a place in my life where helping people comes even more naturally than before. Really, it all comes down to doing everything I do with intention, staying as present and mindful as possible in the moment. Moving into this next “school year,” I feel more centered than perhaps ever before. I look forward to the future, ready for whatever changes it might bring.
This year’s theme was “essentialism,” a concept that resonated with me after reading Greg McKeown’s book of the same title. The idea is to consider those things in your life that are most important to you, and then to distill your life into those aspects, enabling you to focus on what you truly care about. of myself and my psyche. I recently participated in the Wanderlust 108 Triathlon, a really nontraditional race. The first leg is a 5K run, though it’s not timed and competition is far from your mind. During the second part, participants do 90 minutes of yoga, directed by an experienced instructor. Then, everybody does a guided 30-minute meditation, focused on mindfulness and compassionate thought. It truly was a moving experience, and probably one of my favorite events of the summer. Additionally, I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier. I’m not a dieter — usually depriving myself of the foods I love just causes me to crave themmore — but To that end, in the past few months I’ve been taking steps to truly take care
Growing up, I loved school. So much so, in fact, that I got two undergraduate degrees before going on to secure a doctorate in audiology. That said, I’m never going back — I put in more than my share of time in the classroom. But each year when September came around and the new school semester started, I would take stock of my life, reflect on my accomplishments and challenges, and form new goals for the coming year. It’s a practice that stuck with me long after there were no more classes to go to. The changing leaves give me an opportunity to start fresh. My mother’s passing last year was sort of a wake-up call for me. One of the most central presences of my life was suddenly absent, and aside from the pain of that fact, the transience of human life suddenly became concrete. I thought a lot about my future. How do I want to move forward, I wondered, and what person do I really want to be for the brief time I have left on Earth? What can I do to not only live a more fulfilled, happy life, but to take care of myself so that I can be more present for the people around me?
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