Priorities and choices.

I love these comparisons. So often we make the excuse of not having the time or money as a reason we can’t do something. My Mom loves to remind us everything is about choices. As much as I am grateful and know how fortunate I have been in my life I also know there are lots of things I make choices on and prioritize to do that allows us to lead the life we live.

I think in today’s world life is extremely expensive and the demands we place on ourselves are hard to manage. However if we really go back to basics, look at our lives and prioritize what we want out of our life I wonder how we would live a little differently.

Investing in yourself could mean so many things to so many people. It has been something I have been thinking lots about lately, I turned 35 this month and as I watch my family and those around me age I have been thinking lots about our family’s health and what that means.

Fraser and I have been working at watching what we eat and how active we are. But of course with those changes come choices (and expenses). Do we eat organic? Where is our meat coming from? What kind of activities do we want to do and do we need equipment. His knee hurts and I have been having sore feet. So knee brace, and time to think new runners, better shoes and of course orthotics would help! The list goes on.

Along with healthy food and activities we cannot forgot another important concept of adequate sleep… I know what you are thinking. Fraser is a shift worker and survives on very little sleep and I have three kids who all wake up periodically through out the night and often co-sleep with us. We are parents, what young family do you know who gets enough sleep with little kids? I am here to tell you with a bit of work on our part we are all sleeping better and more! This has not been easy for either one of us, but we both use our alarms on our phones. I set an alarm one an hour before I want to go to bed to remind me to turn off the TV, get off my phone and turn the lights down a bit. Fraser is working hard at watching the time, especially with these brighter nights and making sure he gets to bed at a reasonable hour. The crazy and cool thing about sleep is that when you get more of it you feel more energized during the day and are able to accomplish more in less time! Plus it is one of those investments that is hard and takes some discipline but is completely free from monetary cost (at least for us it is).

This is what I consider investing in ourselves. We are really focused on improving our health but also our energy and mental well being. With lots of these improvements comes a price tag, and like most things with our family it is a balancing act of prioritizing what we want most and what we can do without. I can’t give advice on budgeting as quite frankly I am just no good at it but what I can say is although at the time it might not feel good spending money on these types of things when I start to see benefits in the long term, and sometimes these benefits include saving money (like when we start to cook more at home and we spend less eating out) it is very rewarding.

I was chatting with my Naturopath and then lead to a conversation with my Mom around this topic. It was about how we often know what we should do to lead healthy lifestyles but we don’t. For example people visit a medical Doctor and don’t follow through or even listen to their advice. However lots of times when we pay for something whether it is medical advice from an Naturopath, natural vitamins not covered by our extended medical or even workout classes we are more likely to follow through (even if we don’t want to) because it has a monetary cost associated with it. In some ways this is sad that we won’t work for other costs like detoriating mental health, loss in the longevity in life or even declining physical well being. Truth be told I am very guilty of this, if I pay for something I will more likely follow through with it. I am not sure if it is because of the cost or because I don’t want to listen to Fraser complain and nag about the cost and me not following through. Whatever it is I am glad to have something to motivate me to lead a healthier and in turn happier life, and hold me accountable.

Why wait until we are sick to pay anything for a cure, wait until we are overweight and would pay big bucks for weight loss, wait to age and then start spending on anti-aging. We could prevent instead of fix, doesn’t that make more sense?

I think your “investment” in yourself will look different at different stages and times in your life. Depending on what you are going through and what is feasible for you.

For us, right now we as a family have chosen to invest our time into driving Rowen to his programs, and participating in workshops or parent training, we have invested in private school for the kids and swimming as well as some summer activities. Activities for us have been low on our list of priorities as we love free time and time spent together as a family, so we invest in our family vacations more than extra curricular (although I see this being something that may change in the future as the kids grow and need or want different things).

I am investing time and money into trying to figure out and regulate my hormones so I can be the healthiest version of myself (balance… I still wanna have fun!) and also have more energy. So far having a hormone test done and trying to change diet as well as adding in vitamins and supplements has made a big difference. I love seeing a Naturopath and love the Clinic I go to because it has other disciplines that can all work together (Massage Therapy, Pedorthist).

Fraser is investing time into his health by working on his sleep, eating habits (with the help of a structured program to get us started back on healthy habits) and is getting back into his baseball for summer (social and a bit of physical).

We are also investing in our financial health. We are working hard at living within our means and not carrying debt (so this has impacted a lot of our other decisions). For example no new vehicle and when we do decide to upgrade it has to be something we can buy outright without payments. We like the freedom of low monthly payments or minimal monthly payments so adding one doesn’t make sense or help give us financial health. Plus this is obviously good for our mental health, less debt means less stress and that’s huge!

I think a big lesson in all of this is to remember you are you, and you don’t have to be like anyone else. It is easy to get caught up in the moment or to want what others have but the thing is you can not have it all. So by prioritizing together what we want it helps us to help each other during tough moments make good decisions and to keep our decisions in line with our values.

I hope that whatever stage of life you are in, you find value in investing in yourself. It may look different to everyone but hopefully you are doing it! I would love to hear how you do that, or any things you’ve found super helpful!!! I always love sharing my successes.

RESOURCES:

Collaborative Wellness

Dr Lisa Ghent| Naturopath

Hormone testing, regulating periods, increasing energy and thyroid help (but she does much more)

Kaely Brittliffe| RMT

Regular massage, and some Craniosacral work!

Casey Bjorum| Pedorthist

New orthotics and advice for new shoes!

The Run Inn

Great selection of runners, casual shoes and of course Birkenstock’s! ***plus works with Casey and you can save a little $$$ if you go to her first.

UGI, Buffy Babies Fitness

Fast and feels good to get your sweat on, childcare available too!!!

Beach Body on Demand

New for me is home workouts, I love the online community and coaches… plus find the convenience amazing and can’t believe the improvement in strength I’m noticing.

Emma Lea Farms

Berries, Cherries, Potatoes, Honey and more… Plus SPCA certified beef. We love knowing where our food comes from.

Backroads Farm Market

Again… knowing where your food comes from and in season fresh produce.

Jarrys

Love shopping local, and they have the best selection of more natural products (great variety for baking!).

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