Happy Place

ūüéČYay!ūüéČ ¬†It’s a happy post!! Mostly because it has nearly nothing to do with chronic illness, haha, but its still relevant because I’m about to tell you all the ways that I’m going to make my life exponentially more awesome and be a better person all around – disease or not! And just to fun things up a bit, you’ll find some pictures of my favorite things throughout my post!

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Let’s start with the thrilling announcement¬†that we’ve finally closed on our first house! ¬†We will still be in the greater Portland area, but we will be on the semi-rural outskirts of one of its suburbs. ¬†One of the greatest things about this move is that we will be living a bit more slowly, with more face-to-face connection to our neighborhood and our community. ¬†It’s the kind of place that still has homecoming parades, big holiday celebrations, and the whole town turns out for Friday Night Lights. ¬†There are two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school, so the boys will grow up with the same peers as they age. ¬†Husband and I feel this is especially important in the disconnected, digital age we live in. ¬†We want the boys to understand that their choices and how they treat people will follow them as they grow, and they should conduct themselves with that in mind. ¬†Plus, it’s one of the best school districts in the state!

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Beyond that, there are a number of fruit stands and farmers markets nearby, and that’s where we plan to do the bulk of our grocery shopping. ¬†We will be eating locally sourced, nutrient dense, organic foods. ¬†And with the exception of eggs from a friend, we will be eating mostly vegan (I can absolve myself from any moral guilt here because I know the hens live happy, spoiled lives!). ¬†Cow’s milk will be replaced by almond milk, butter with olive oil, and we will find healthy meat alternatives that are packed with protein. ¬†I may even start baking my own bread! ¬†The boys will help me with the shopping and the cooking, too, because I want them to gain an appreciation for the work that’s put into their food.

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I’ll also be making my own cleaners, detergents, air fresheners, and soaps! ¬†This will drastically cut our waste and exposure to/consumption of harmful chemicals. ¬†Plus, it is unbelievably inexpensive to do this! ¬†I’ll share these “recipes” once I’ve put them through a few home trials and worked out the kinks. ¬†I won’t have to worry about the kiddos inhaling anything dangerous when they start¬†helping more¬†with the chores, or the dog getting into anything toxic by accident. ¬†And Little will enjoy helping me measure the ingredients and taking on a bigger role in keeping up the house.

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I also plan to take better care of myself in a number of ways. ¬†I just ordered a heap of books from Barnes & Noble, and plan to spend some time reading each day. ¬†We also purchased a comfy, tufted chaise lounge that will sit under the large west-facing window in our master bedroom, and I think this will be my new reading perch. ¬†I’m hoping my love of literature will rub off on the wildlings. ¬†A mom can dream, right?!

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I’ll be starting each day with a bit of yoga and meditation before the chaos sets in. ¬†I’ll also spend¬†some time daily on the elliptical and doing some of my barre exercises to maintain my strength and stamina. ¬†And instead of focusing on attaining a particular size or number on the scale, I will concentrate on maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating better and moving more. ¬†My body will naturally lose what needs to be lost and hopefully (ūü§ěūüŹľ) my pains should ease a bit. ¬†This should put me in better shape to fight the rough days as they come. ¬†I’m also going to walk daily, soak in more sunshine, and treat myself to a luxurious, candle-lit bubble bath twice a week with homemade lotions and potions galore!

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Finally, we plan to invite adventure back into our lives! ¬†I put together a list of family activities that I want to do this summer, with everything from drinks on the waterfront or double-matinees at the drive-in to exploring the Ape Caves at Mt. St. Helens. ¬†I sorted the master list into several subcategories based on the amount of energy it will cost me to participate, so that¬†even if I’m having a less than great day we can still enjoy time together. ¬†Or if I’m feeling really good, we can hike Beacon Rock or go kayaking. ¬†You get the idea.

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These changes will allow me to be the wife, mother, and woman that I want to be, without losing everything I am and everything I love to my illness. ¬†I’ll be able to participate in my boys’ lives – all three of them – and build lasting memories that we will cherish for a lifetime. ¬†Living deliberately, with purpose, will shape us into a¬†healthier, happier, and¬†stronger¬†family all around. ¬†I can’t wait to see all the ways we grow together, and the adventures the future has in store for us.

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In the meantime I’m going to keep dreaming and keep planning to¬†live my life. ¬†I’m going to stop letting silly little things hold me back from what I really want. ¬†And to prove that I’m not all talk, check out my new dusty orchid ‘do! ¬†I’ve wanted to have pink hair¬†forever, and now I’ve finally done it! ¬†Eek!

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Keep shining!

-Rachel

 

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