Mindful

Apparently this is the catchword for the summer because I’m seeing it everywhere.  I first saw it in reference to food.  I’ve put on 15 of the 75 pounds I lost, moving my total to 60 pounds lost.  This disturbs me both because it happened so quickly (within 2 months), and I wasn’t aware of really doing anything different.  Goes to show that extra 100 calories or so a day really catches up (although, if I’m honest, it was probably more like 250).

In all honesty, I had stopped tracking my food.  I didn’t fully  realize the full extent of this until I went to my “most visited” spot on my tool bar.  Weight Watchers was no longer listed.  Wow.  I had stopped doing something that I know to be positive for me and my weight.  I wasn’t mindful that I had stopped doing that, nor was I really being mindful of what I was putting in my mouth.  Because I wasn’t mindful, I was putting more in than I needed and probably not really enjoying what was going in.  After all, if I stopped tracking, I really had also stopped planning.  Food had become a chore that I didn’t want to acknowledge.  No wonder, huh?  And, truth be told, I wasn’t being mindful of my feelings.  I know I had a lot of anxiety, but I didn’t want to acknowledge it.  Apparently denial is an antonym of mindful. 🙂

The word mindful has also arisen in the new curriculum I purchased for Home Economics.  Originally the class was called cooking and mad science.  That said, I’ve never taught cooking before, let alone without having a kitchen and tools.  I figured, realistically, you don’t just start by cooking.  So I researched and found this Mennonite curriculum.  Those who know me are probably gasping or giggling.  Yes, I bought religious materials.  That said, aside from the references to god (or that they fully expect only GIRLS to use this curriculum) it has a really nice scope and sequence.

What does this have to do with mindful…  Well.  Part of the curriculum is about teaching cleaning and organization.  The text is pretty clear that daily cleaning of 20 minutes keeps you from really having to do deep cleaning.  However, if you’re like me, deep cleaning is where you have to start (sounds like going to the dentist, doesn’t it?  Reminds me, I need to make an appointment for, yes –wait for it– deep cleaning!).  The curriculum really asks/demands that you be mindful when you start looking at your possessions.  The writers make it clear that sentimentality is not your friend because it will cause you to keep things that you don’t love and aren’t useful.  I know that most every organizational article has stuff of this kind, but this was the first time I connected it.

They also implore mindfulness when putting things away.  Again, if you just put things down without a place, you’re going to waste time cleaning, searching or having to touch it.  That a place for everything and everything in its place idea.  At the ripe old age of 42, I think I get it.  By paying attention the first time and really giving things the time they deserve, I can really do what’s right for me.  Sounds good.

Therefore, for the final 5 months of the year, I am going to be mindful of my actions, my food, and my things.  When I see that I have not touched something for a year, I will really analyze why I’m keeping it.  If, like today, I was just holding onto books from college for sentimental reasons, I will let go.  I haven’t touched them since we moved in; I won’t read them again; and it’s time to remove them from my space to make space for something else.

Mindfulness, it’s going to be a good thing.

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