It’s not about perfection- walking my talk

Happy New Year!! Some of you may have noticed that I have been a bit quiet on the blog and social media and I wanted to take some time to reconnect with you and to let you know why you haven't heard from me!

I decided a few years before I started this business, when it was just a dream in my mind's eye, that I wanted to be the type of healthcare provider who actually practiced what I preached.  I didn't want to lecture my patients on stress management and the importance of sleep, and then be working myself into the ground, living on coffee and take-out.

I wrote another blog post about "spinning plates" and the fallacy of "balance" in life (you can read it here).  Well, let me tell ya, sister, I have been spinning the hell out of some plates, and I just had to let a few drop.

I was floored to find out in early November that I was unexpectedly pregnant with a 4th baby.... my fourth child in 5 years.  Now, we had thought about the possibility of having another child, but weren't quite prepared for that to happen this soon... just 2 months after I left my full time job in the hospital to focus on growing my own business.  So, that was a huge stress, and really knocked me off my game for a couple weeks.  Finances were already tight, and we weren't sure how were were going to afford to add another baby to the family.

We unfortunately lost my grandmother a couple weeks later.  She was 93 years old and had a peaceful, comfortable passing in hospice care.

The following week, we were all set to make the 8 hour drive to Atlanta with our 3 kids to attend the funeral services.  That morning, we learned that I had some medical complications with the pregnancy, and my midwives were very concerned that I was imminently miscarrying.  I rushed to see a specialist, and everyone was surprised to see on a repeat ultrasound that the baby appeared perfectly healthy- even though my labs were alarmingly abnormal.  I was started on some hormones to help support the pregnancy and then we were off to Atlanta for my grandmother's funeral.

I don't think I have to explain the stress of an 8 hours car ride, 3 night hotel stay, and attendance of a funeral with 3 children, ages 5, 3, and 2....  That being said, the service was beautiful and the time to be with my family was so very precious and important.  I am very grateful that we were able to go, and very grateful that my kids were fairly well behaved.

We returned from that trip, and the following week received word that my father-in-law had a massive stroke and the prognosis did not look good.  My husband had to fly out of state to be with his father and take care of all the logistical things involved.  So, I was home with all 3 kiddos for the week before Christmas.

We survived, and my father-in-law surprised everyone and has been making excellent recovery.  We had a beautiful Christmas and enjoyed the time with our kids, watching the magic and enchantment through their little eyes and smiles.

And now, here we are, the first full week after all the festivities of the holiday season, the kids back in preschool and me finally back in the office.  I juggled and spun quite a few plates over the last 2 months.

I kept up with the bare minimum in my business.  I paid the bills, kept in touch with my active clients, refilled prescriptions, and answered messages.  I finished my virtual book club group that I was running, and got new flooring installed in the office. However, I couldn't do it all, and I made the decision not to worry about social media posts, marketing activities, or coming up with some new, exciting blog post.

I also made similar decisions at home.  We haven't raked up our leaves from the fall, our front yard is no doubt the eye-sore of the street.  We didn't hang Christmas decorations outside- just a wreath on the door.  I didn't make a big Christmas dinner- I made lasagna that I prepped the day before.  I kept up with the basic house cleaning and dishes and laundry, but I chose not to stress out about the house not being sparkling clean.

The thing is, there are only 24 hours in a day.  You will never have any more than that.  So, you get to choose what things make it into those precious hours that you have.  I knew that in order to make it through these stressful and challenging times, and to support my pregnancy, I needed to make sure to take care of myself.  I prioritized my sleep, I fed myself nutritious foods and drank plenty of water, and I chose not to worry about things that were outside of my control.  Choose your battles.

I don't tell you all of this to get your sympathy, I share this experience because this is real life.  There are always things that will come up.  There is always a deadline or project at work, a financial strain on the family, a death or serious illness, a child that has to stay home from school unexpectedly, an appliance that will break, or a car that needs to be repaired.

There will always be obstacles and hurdles to face.  It doesn't mean that you stop taking care of yourself, or that you "wait until things settle down".  Things never stay settled for long.

You have to find ways and choose to care for yourself even when life is crazy.... especially when life is crazy.  When the stress is up, your body needs sleep and nutrition and meditation or mindfulness practices, and exercise even more!

This is one of the ways that my approach to Functional Medicine is different.  I understand that you also live a real life and have real stressors and barriers.  I aim to not just hand you a laundry list of recommendations to do.  I don't expect you to have a kale smoothie every day, made with fresh organic produce that you grow in your own backyard greenhouse.  I aim to give women realistic tools and tips that they can use to be able to care for themselves, even in the thick of it.

It won't be perfect, but it's not about perfection.  It's just about doing a little better for yourself, about choosing yourself and believing that you deserve it-because you do.

So, I am back in full swing again and hope to have some helpful info, tips, recipes and other great things going out in the newsletter soon.  I wish you all a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.

Love, health and blessings,

Jacqueline

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