Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Health Hobbies BEYOND Fitness

*Published posthumously.
During the summer I was hooked on fitness!  I worked out daily – sometimes twice.  Now that I am working from home, working out is something I'm still figuring out how to fit in.  It’s a big adjustment for me to not have as much time to focus on the ‘fitness’ aspect of my journey towards health, but it’s important to remember that this is a journey and that there is so much more that goes into one’s health and happiness than just ‘diet’ and ‘exercise.’

What do you do to promote your health and happiness beyond the normal diet & exercise?  I couldn't pick just one, so here’s my top 5 Health Hobbies BEYOND Fitness.

1. Family time - I have been blessed with a great family.  When my dad passed away last October from pancreatic cancer, I gained a newfound perspective on the relationships in my life.  I can exercise for hours and eat a perfect diet, but at the end of the day – that’s not what matters.  What matters is my relationship with the people I love and cherish.  Make quality time for them.  Hug them.  Sometimes it’s the little insignificant moments that end up meaning the most – don’t take them for granted.

2.  Crafting - I have always been crafty.  I love crafts of all kinds – crochet, sewing, stamping, scrapbooking, etc., etc.  It can be so therapeutic just to delve into my creativity.  I have a whole IKEA room devoted to crafting!  It is so nice having a place where I can just go create. 

The best is when you can invite a friend over for some craftiness!   In college, my friend and I used to have Saturday morning crafting brunches.  We wore pajamas, ate breakfast, and crafted!  We joked that we were preparing for early retirement.  

My sister even recently had a ‘Brit Kit’ craft party.  You should check it out on her blog.  

3. Reading - Ah, the exercise of the brain.  “Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be.”  Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but I love to read.  I have memories as a little girl standing outside the doors of the BIG downtown public library, just waiting for it to open.   A whole floor devoted to children’s books?  I was in heaven!  Then there was the time that I remember my dad said “I’m going to the library.”  I came down screaming, “I want to go! I want to go!”  I didn’t realize that my dad meant he was going to the restroom.  Needless to say, I got to go to the actual library that day. 

 I am one of those people that get so into books that I feel like they are my best friends.  I laugh with them, I cry with them.  When the book is over – I feel lost.  “What’s next?” I think.  Or… “I’ll never find a book that’s better than that,” …until I find the next great book.  There’s just something magical about a book.  You can travel to mysterious places, or just deeper into your own hopes and dreams.  Reading can be an escape or a place of refuge.  Or it can just be someone saying, “I understand exactly how you feel.”

George R R Martin
4. Life group - Every Wednesday, my husband and I spend time with a small group of friends.  Sometimes we spend time in the Word, and sometimes we just fellowship.  It has been so good for us to set aside time to sit back and enjoy time with some of our friends.  It may have been a bad day, and we may not even feel like going, but we always leave feeling refreshed.  Laughter is the best medicine, so they say. And our life group has been a lifeline to the most important thing in life--pursuing a relationship with Christ and with each other.

5. Pets - That’s right—whether it’s really true or not, I don’t know, but I’ve always heard that pet owners live longer and happier lives.  Maybe I just made that up, but it sounds good.  I have a 13-pound ball of fur that lives in my house – she’s a Yorkie and her name is Maggie. 

 I have to say…there were a few days in the beginning when we thought, “What have we gotten ourselves into?”  But, I wouldn't trade her for the world.  She’s my fur baby and I would definitely say she improves my quality of life.  It’s hard not to be active when you have a little ball of energy living with you! 


*Note: This is Allison's sister. It appears that Allison left this post unfinished--without a conclusion. Please allow this to be the conclusion... Allison passed away on May 20, 2016. You can read some of the details here. Our lives are forever altered by the loss. She was such a beautiful person--inside and out. My heart still breaks that she isn't here with us anymore. No one could have ever imagined that her life on this side of heaven would have ended the way it did.
But I know if she had been given some sort of wisdom to have seen how it would all play out, she would have lived her life very much the same. She loved the Lord with everything in her--all her heart, her soul, and her mind. And she loved her family, friends, and "neighbors" deeply. She grew from an exuberant, curly-haired little girl who bounced around singing, "Happy! Happy! Happy!" to a beautiful young woman who exemplified what it meant to have the joy of the Lord. Strength and happiness poured out of her--from her smile to the way she loved and served others so well.

Since her passing, I have often had her very own words come back to me when I've needed them the most. At times it's been through a memory--a simple recollection of something she once said. Other times a friend has shared with me the encouragement they once received from her. Today her words are coming to me through a draft I just discovered in her blog archives. It's the only post that was left unpublished. It is my hope that her legacy and her words will be as uplifting and encouraging to you as they were to my heart today. Allison truly knew and understood what mattered most.

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