Lesson Ten: Put Yourself First


Our little yellow dog continues to teach us lessons.  I’ve struggled over the past 6 months to do something that brings me such joy, takes away any ‘blues’ that I might be feeling, shreads any stress and makes me feel so very happy and good.  Exercise.

I have always loved sports, played basketball and field hockey and ran track at school, started running marathons in my mid-twenties and pushed myself to run two ultramarathons.  I am one of those weirdos who loves physical exercise (as equally as I love food and wine.)  It just makes me feel better.  The majority of the time I am moaning as I’m putting the sneakers on, but once back, I am happy.  I love being outdoors and this amazing city that we live in is a mecca for out door pursuits.

I’ve tried many new sports over the years which I think has helped with any motivation.  Marathons in my twenties, tennis (ha, quickly gave that up,) learning to row competitively on the Thames in London in my thirties, ultras and kayaking in my forties and now paddle boarding.

This business takes a lot of physical effort – each breakfast for guests takes at least 4 trips up and down stairs, there is the bed making, the cleaning, the gardening – I love it all.  But the past six months of juggling this business with our other jobs plus walking a little yellow dog everyday pushed “me” and my needs way down to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list.  (It even made my needs into to-do’s.)

This is not a new story.  Each new mom and dad could tell the same, each new business owner would tell me to suck it up, anyone dealing with any stressful life situation would not be ‘taking good care of themselves.’

Our yellow dog needs daily exercise.  Without it, she’s loopy, a nut job, completely bonkers.  She digs holes in the garden, barks, won’t eat her food….with a good hour walk or swim she is calm, sweet, happy, content.

I am starting slowly in this new year to put myself first and ensure that I sweat each day.

That little dog is a wise one I tell you…