Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
My first thought was that I didn’t make any major decisions this year, but the prompt does not ask about major decisions but about wise ones. So – the wisest decision was really three linked decisions. These were three “little” things. None of them seemed like a “big” decision when I made them. I don’t even think I gave a lot of thought to them.
All of these decisions took place around the end of September. Each was something that I had to sign up for. The first was a class in drawing. This is something I have wanted to do for a while, but never seemed to find a night or time or place that worked for me. This year I was determined to do it. The downside is that I’ve had to miss my quilt guild’s meetings to do so. However, after many years on the guild board and very few missed meetings, I decided to enjoy my new-found freedom as past guild president to miss some meetings.
The second decision was to take a Zumba class. Despite my inclination to go left when the class goes right and vice versa, I have managed to learn many of the steps and find that I am enjoying myself. The eight week class has ended but I am looking for places where I can continue.
The third decision was to join a group of colleagues doing Weight Watchers on-line and sharing a conference call each week. The call is great – it’s part Weight Watchers and part Torah study (we are rabbis, after all!)
What I didn’t pay attention to in the first week in October when I began drawing, dancing, and consciously eating was that all three of these are methods of self-care. When I am involved in any of them, I am fully in the moment. I’m not focused on work or unfinished tasks or family or even on me. I am involved in drawing, I am moving my body, I am enjoying a meal or studying with colleagues.
I am physically, spiritually, and mentally healthier because of the decisions I made to sign up for each of these activities. They also provide a needed balance with my work. They help keep me from being all-consumed with and by hospice. That, in turn, makes me a better chaplain and helps me be more present for the people with whom I work.