I’ve been thinking about my lifestyle a lot lately. One reason for this is that I’ve recently had trouble with my back and neck and have suffered from some pretty intense tension headaches. I started going to the chiropractor about a month ago and that has helped some with the issue. (I knew that I have been out of whack for a long time, but finally found someone who could help me!) 😉 In addition to the chiropractor, I’ve recently visited a massage therapist, which was pretty awesome and certainly helped with the aches. Boy, would I’d like to incorporate that into my regular routine. This has set me on a search for ways in which my lifestyle in general could be different, more healthy. In part, I’m thinking how to prevent more trouble with my neck and back and in part I recognize I’m getting older. I need to focus my attention on fewer things so that I can be more present for my family, my congregation, and my studies, but who am I kidding, this doesn’t come natural for me. Having too many irons is the fire is my curse and potentially a gift (though that’s uncertain). So I’m trying to scale back in some areas, find other things that help me just enjoy life more, and other things that encourage better health. Here are a few things I’m working on:

  • I’m walking and riding to the office more on my bike than I had been in recent few months. Sometimes it that means I have to brave the rain but really the weather has been amazing here this winter. And don’t get me wrong, I still drive when the need arises, or for those lazy mornings.
  • We’re trying to find ways to slow down, from what and how we cook to walking, to breathing more, to making more things, and hopefully gardening soon.
  • As a long time NPR supporter, we recently donated to our local Public radio station and we canceled our NY Times subscription in favor of reading the local newspapers. I’m enjoying incorporating into my life these sources of information because it helps me feel more a part of this community.
  • I’m considering who I’m reading, who I talk about and who I’m  supporting more as well. A couple weeks back I had a conversation that really forced me to  reconsider how my status and gender influence, positively and  negatively, other people. My friend suggested to me that my lifestyle will never change, or ever consider others outside my sphere, if all the people influencing me are middle-class (straight) white men. This has been sticking with me more than I initially thought it would because it is something I agree with in theory, but in practice it’s going to take some effort to reformat.
  • I’ve been meeting regularly with a spiritual director, a Quaker mentor, and a few friends who I find healthy, stimulating and nurturing to be around.
  • I’ve been digging into fiction a lot more lately. I’m enjoying the gift my wife gave me for Christmas, reading biographies penned by one of my favorite theologians, reading from the US Food hero, and even just started getting into some of Wendell Berry’s writings (all white men – who I really like – by the way).
  • Taking time to stretch has also been something I’m trying to incorporate into my daily routine more to help combat some of the headaches and neck pains I’m experiencing.
  • Other things I’m working to incorporate into my lifestyle are an Internet free day (one of my days off), at least one quite evening with no computer’s or media for reading and just relaxing, and I’m also trying to eat better (which means less) and cut down on processed foods.