Sunsets, Simple Pleasures, Slowing Down and Self-Care

[On this Mother's Day, I dedicate this post to Mother Nature. Thank you Momma N. for all of your beauty and wisdom.]

This past week, the weather here in San Diego has been gorgeous. Some might even consider it a bit too warm, but I thrive in hot weather, particularly when the humidity is low as it typically is here. As I spend most of my day indoors, I like to take advantage of as many opportunities as I can to get my dose of sunshine before "May Grey" hits so I've been doing a fair amount of walking in the middle of the day as well as at sunset.

Friday night, I went for a walk downtown at Seaport Village before meeting up with some friends in the same neighborhood. It was the perfect opportunity to pass the time, get some exercise in, watch the sunset and snag a parking spot outside of their building before the streets became filled with the Friday night dinner crowd. Being outdoors, walking by the water, and watching sunsets have held a very special place at the top of my Nourishment Menu for years now. It looked like there wasn't going to be much of a visible sunset that night, as the marine layer just above the horizon was pretty thick and didn't look like it was going to budge. However, just before the sun disappeared into the grey abyss, I managed to grab a few shots of its glow, creating gorgeous silhouettes of the objects in the foreground. Specifically, a tree, a statue ("Unconditional Surrender" based off of this famous photo which I love), and the U.S.S. Midway aircraft carrier.

Personally, I don't think that the statue itself is all that beautiful during the day, but at this time of night just before the sun went down, I thought it was amazing.  I find that walking at sunset always helps me to reflect on the day while also observing and appreciating the beauty of the nature around me. Sunsets are like snowflakes: They're all unique. I have never gotten tired of watching the sunset because every night is a different experience. Some might be more picturesque than others, but I enjoy them all the same. Whether I've had an incredible day or one that was not so great, I can always rely on a sunset walk to keep me grounded, shift my perspective if needed, and recognize all the areas in my life where I feel grateful.

Many of us move so fast and get so caught up in the little things, that we forget to witness and appreciate the beauty around us or we lose touch with ourselves.  We forget about the important things in our lives like the people who support us and love us unconditionally, or how fortunate we are to have our health.

[Side note/tangent: I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do my Trigger Point Therapy stretching routine after my runs, I often turn on the tube for some background noise. Well, there was a whole lot of nothing on TV yesterday, so I put on Bravo's reality show "Bethenny Ever After" for the first time and in thisepisode, Bethenny goes completely ballistic and loses her head because her Thanksgiving turkey wasn't cooked all the way and therefore everything is, in her mind, completely ruined as a result. At one point, one of her friends spoke up and basically said, hey- we all have our health, you have a beautiful and healthy baby, we're all together, etc. By the time they're done eating, she had regained her sense of perspective and was smiling again, and everyone lived happily ever after :-) It reminded me that when we get so caught up in these insignificant moments (which seem very significant at the time), we often forget to appreciate all of the things in our lives that most of us take for granted.]

Anyhoo, if you find yourself moving too fast, take a moment to slow down, breathe, and take a look around you. Slowing down is an aspect of practicing self care. I know, I know...you don't have time for that, right? Listen, self-care is important and when we don't take care of ourselves, it's only a matter of time that the other areas in our lives will suffer as a result. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and somehow we've always been able to make the time to do what we deem the most important. Really, it's just a matter of reorganizing your list of priorities. Even just taking 30 minutes each day to immerse yourself in something that nourishes you to the core can revive you and improve your health in the long run. You are SO worth it. Wishing you lots of beautiful sunset walks and moments that put a smile on your face.