Dear Pope Francis,
As I’m sure you (and perhaps other readers) have noticed, both Meredith and I have become increasingly sporadic in writing our letters. It’s not necessarily because we’ve run out of things to say. Speaking for myself, I have lots of thoughts and ideas that I would love to put into words. However, life happens. Meredith has shared good news recently about opportunities taking her closer to her goals. I’ve been home soaking up all the goodness that comes from time at home with family and old friends, and taking a bit of a break.
The arrival of September next week (where did the summer go?!) brings with it more new changes.
There has been some major upheaval in my life, and I hope to be able to share some of that in another letter in the coming weeks. For now it’s enough to say that I am going through a long period of transition, which will likely stretch into the coming academic year. In the last month, since I’ve been home, I have been very intentional about praying and discerning this period of change.
One of the keys to navigating this change has been to develop a new standard of ‘normal’ for my life. This has involved doing some soul searching and reality-checking to realize that some things really aren’t helpful, and trying to replace them with healthier habits. So far I’ve been having some success.
Case in point, one of the habits I’ve very intentionally been developing is exercising most days of the week. In order to do that, I started following a program consisting of daily 30-minute exercise routines on DVD. At first I had to force myself to show up and do my best, considering it a success if I stuck around for the whole workout. Within the first week, I was pushing myself to do more. I added more exercise by biking with my parents or walking with my friends. Thanks to the exercise and eating right, I had more energy, was sleeping better, and was feeling really good about myself.
Last night, my mother and I had a junk food binge, enjoying all our favourite treats and watching the last two episodes of Once Upon a Time, season 3. Within an hour of eating the junk food, I felt disgusting. I was sluggish, thirsty and uncomfortably full. All I wanted to do was get my bike out and go for a bike ride to clear my head. In the last three weeks, established a new normal, because even two months ago, I would have napped off the food coma, rather than trying to figure out if I could get a decent bike ride in before dark.
I have always struggled with change, but focusing on making these healthy habits a new norm has helped me to realize that I can in fact navigate change. I can let go of the bad habits, the junk food of my life, and replace it new habits, the wholesome foods that keep me going.
Going forward into September brings a host of changes: a new job, a new school year (complete with a new role), and new adventures to be had. I’m excited for all of it, but I am so grateful that I have this time of transition, where I am a part-time student with a foot in the world of employment. I have the time to focus on making changes and using those changes to structure the rest of my life. What I hope is that developing some of these healthy habits now as a young adult allows me to carry them into my adult life and whatever changes that will bring with it.
Soaking up the last of the summer sun,
PS: As a result of the changes that are going on, Meredith and I have agreed to a new posting schedule. Watch for letters from me on Mondays and Fridays, and letters from Meredith on Wednesdays.