A new day. A new year — 2017. The year my eldest graduates from high school. This merry-go-round is spinning way too fast. Since I don’t foresee any stopping it, the best I can do is try to slow it down a bit.
And maybe that’s why God presents us with certain opportunities and challenges — so we step back and evaluate where things are at and where they are going. And forcing us to shift things down a little and enjoy what’s right in front of us.
Speaking of shifting things down, that would be my walk these days. And my mom’s. Three days after we celebrated Mom’s 88th birthday, she suffered a stroke. It has been two months of change, transition and adjustment for all of us. Up to this point, my sister Mary has been the primary caregiver as Mom has been staying with her in her Minneapolis home. Yesterday, we moved Mom into a one-bedroom apartment at Park View Center, the assisted living facility connected to the hospital in Melrose. How blessed we are to find her such a beautiful new home so quickly.
“Purpose” is my word for 2017. I chose “purpose” — or more accurately, it feels like “purpose” chose me — with the decision to move Mom to Melrose. There are eight of us kids total: four in the Twin Cities, three in eastern South Dakota closer to where Mom was on the farm, and then there’s me here in central Minnesota. Melrose was chosen for a number of reasons, but I feel like my “purpose” is to be here with and for Mom for whatever remaining time the good Lord grants her. And me.
With a new year comes new year’s resolutions. I used to make the “lose 10 pounds” resolution many moons ago. These days, I try to live a healthier lifestyle, I’m not always successful but overall I’m more balanced. My new year’s resolutions look more like this.
I resolve to listen more intently, look more directly, ask more questions, live more intentionally, seek more miracles, follow more closely, and be more mindful.
And, not to sound like I have all the answers, but these are five things I try to do that help me — and us — eat healthier all year long:
- Keep healthy snacks in sight — think bananas, apples, oranges, pears, clementines — in a fruit bowl on the counter and keep the “occasional” snacks in the pantry or cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind really does help.
- Don’t buy Pop-Tarts or chips or pop or red licorice just because it’s on sale and you know your kids (and you!) like it. Resolve to just not buy that stuff.
- Do stock up on key ingredients to keep on hand when they’re on sale — think plain or vanilla yogurt, quinoa, oats, honey, dried peas, beans and lentils (or canned ones if you’re not going to take the time to soak the dried ones), dried fruit, nuts, wild rice, whole wheat flour, whole wheat pasta.
- Grow your own! Our garden is still very much a part of our dinner table when I freeze or can as much as I can in the summertime. If a garden isn’t an option, then buy from your local farmers market or join a CSA (community-supported agricultural) when it’s in season.
- Raise your own! We have 25 Rhode Island Red hens that supply us with wonderfully fresh eggs that we enjoy scrambled, fried, hard-cooked and in egg salad, French toast, pancakes and lots of baked goods. Again, if raising your own isn’t an option, buy from a local source and taste the difference between a store-bought egg and one from the chicken coop less than a few days old.
Slowing it down. Living out my purpose. Depending on the Lord in all areas of my life. Here’s to doing my best in 2017. You too?
Rita Meyer is married and the mother of four children age 17 and under. She and her family are members of St. John the Baptist Parish in Meire Grove. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.