Now that 2011 is over, I can look back and see that I did some really smart things last year. Some are big, some are little–but all 6 had (and continue to have) a major impact on my life:
1. Go gluten free. I had been thinking, wanting, intending to go gluten free for years. And then my doctor told me I really should, and now. But I was terrified by the prospect of what I’d be giving up forever. Last year I committed to a gluten-free January, and felt so good at the end of the month I did a gluten-free February too. After one very ugly episode involving a wheat-laden cookie on March 1, it was a no-brainer to make this my new lifestyle.
2. Start a blog. Yes, this one! I can’t believe what a big impact this little blog has had on my life. I’m looking forward to sharing more when my Blog Anniversary rolls around in a couple of months!
3. Buy a Happy Light. I love my sunshine, and I dearly miss it during the short winter days. But since I don’t think I actually have Seasonal Affective Disorder I never investigated light therapy. I’m so glad a friend persuaded me to give one of these little lamps a try–it’s so easy to use and makes my winter so much cheerier.
4. Join the gym. I was in very good shape before my last pregnancy, but my attempts at working out since my baby boy was born had been half-hearted….until my favorite gym moved to a location 5 blocks from my house. I joined immediately, and my fitness is improving dramatically. As an added perk, I’m focusing more on eating well and getting enough sleep and it’s doing great things for my all-around health.
5. See a counselor. I’ve had a pesky issue sitting on my mental back-burner for years, but it never occurred to me to do anything about it–until this year, when I finally realized that talking to a professional could be a really good idea. I only saw my counselor a half-dozen times or so, over the course of a few months, but the payback for me was huge.
6. Get my baby to sleep through the night. I lean toward gentle, attachment-style parenting, and I’ve never been in the cry-it-out camp. But last winter my 12-month old went from waking up 2-3 times a night to waking up every 30 minutes, and something had to be done. I got a copy of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and we started sleep training (which is just a nicer way of saying I put him in his crib and let him cry. A lot.) We had two rough days, but after that baby and I were both sleeping again. And I emerged from my sleep-deprived fog with a lot more empathy for moms who make different parenting choices than I do.
What are the smartest things you did in 2011?