Time for YOU! (A Challenge)

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

John Muir

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure some of them are just for YOU.”

Me

It’s almost time to get your MAY BLISS on!

In a few short days, on May 1st, the 4th Annual YOU Challenge will begin! And for 31 days, you’re going to do something just for YOU, YOURSELF, AND YOU!

May is a month rich with celebration. May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and my birthday (the 17th, which also happens to be the National Pack Rat Day—no comment on that). But for all of us here, we’re adding another celebration to the month of May again this year: ourselves! It’s the month we are going to do things a little differently. We are going to put ourselves on top of our priority list. Gasp. Argh. What? No, really! We are.

I know many of you are tired of working, chauffeuring, gardening, cooking, cleaning, rushing around trying to be superwoman. You take care of your careers, your families, your house, your yard, your kids, maybe your parents, your church, your community, your friends, and basically, the world. Who has time for SELF with all that?

Well, during May you are going to resign as manager of the universe.

How are you going to do that? What are you going to do?

You’re going to TAKE IT outside. For 31 days, every single day in May, you’re going to take a few minutes (or longer) to get outside, take a stroll, and find joy. Research now supports what we’ve known in our hearts forever: outside is good for us. It lifts our spirits. And movement gets our “happy hormones” going.

Also, last year during our YOU Challenge we began our day by drinking a glass of water with fresh lemon first thing in the morning. Before the coffee. Let’s do that again. It’s a great way to hydrate our bodies when we first wake up.

YOU IN???

Now, here’s the answer to the question that always comes up: yes.

The answer is yes.

The question is something like, what if I’d rather do something other than take a stroll outside, can I? Does that still count?

Yes. This path is YOURS. YOU are in control. YOU, my friend, get to decide. Yep, U-pick.

So if you want to be a part of the YOU Challenge, make a commitment right now. Write it down on a piece of paper and hang it on your refrigerator or your mirror. Or put it in your calendar. And then tell your family so they’ll help. Sure, they will be shocked at first because you don’t usually do things for yourself, but they’ll get over it. And then they’ll pitch in because they’ll have to.

You need this. You deserve this.

If you’d like to share your journey, come over to the Facebook group. It’s a private group, so you won’t be able to see the postings unless you join. Here’s the link. We have a great time sharing photos of and stories about our walks. We encourage and motivate each other to do it on those days when we don’t feel like it. It’s a positive group of supportive women.

We’re already psyched, stoked, and hyped about beginning. If you don’t do Facebook, then feel free to post here in the comments.  We’d love to hear about how you are finding your MAY JOY.

So buy the cut flowers for your desk or table, light a candle with your favorite aroma, finally start that book you’ve been meaning to find time to read, and take a loooooong bubble bath. Do all these things for yourself in May.

And every single day, step outside and walk.

This morning, I accompanied Hoshi, the cat, on his “morning constitution” so I could take some photos of his walk for you. Most of the paths he chooses are, indeed, dirt.

Hoshi’s Walk.

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In front of Hoshi you can see Blue, the dog, who also came on Hoshi’s walk.

Hoshi strolled along and stopped to check out some wild violets in bloom in the middle of the path.

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A fence post? Perfect!

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Hoshi, are you going to sit there and watch birds? Or, are you going to walk?

His reply:

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He jumped down at my prompting and continued his stroll.

Soon, he stopped to inspect this little mushroom.

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Wait! A tree! I’ve got to climb this tree! I think Hoshi may have CADD, Cat ADD.

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These yellow flowers were everywhere today on Hoshi’s walk.

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I kept going when Hoshi climbed another tree. He finally came running, meowing loudly the whole time, fussing that I had left him.

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I pointed out the trilliums in bloom on the bank by the creek.

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Christmas tree balers. Hoshi jumped on one of these when we walked by, but I wasn’t fast enough with my camera.
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So, I hope you’ll take the YOU Challenge and do this just for YOU.

May will be here in a few days,

so get ready,

get set,

and…..

GO!

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl in the Country, Rebekah

Need more information or inspiration?

Here’s what I wrote when we started this in 2014:

Just taking this tiny step and lacing up your shoes and head out the door FOR YOU is a small step, but has grand results. See, what you’re doing is making yourself a priority in your day. That’s a habit that is worth forming.

The instant you decide that you’re worthy and deserving of doing something just for you, your life will change. For the better. Small steps, grand results.

And see. Maybe at the beginning you’re just going through the motions, maybe you don’t quite believe how awesome you are yet. Take those motions every day, for 31 days, and whether or not you believed it when you started, you’ll believe it at the end. It’s kinda magic.

After a month of daily walks, your brain will thank you. Your mental health will thank you. You’ll be less grouchy. You’ll be easier to live with.

And. Walking every day is good for your heart, your legs, your hips, your everything. Movement will keep us moving.

And here are some words from my YOU Challenge blog post in 2015:

It’s a simple thing: get out there and walk for YOU!

Doesn’t matter if it is for 5 minutes or 50 minutes.

Doesn’t matter if it is slow or fast.

Doesn’t matter if you stop and sit down whenever you want to.

Doesn’t matter if you are alone or not.

Doesn’t matter if it is prayerful or playful.

Doesn’t matter if it is rain, shine, foggy or hot.

Doesn’t matter if it is inside or outside.

The only thing that matters is that YOU do this thing every single day for YOU.

And from last year’s, 2016:

This small step of deciding to put yourself first this month will operate as a huge step in your own mind. Expect great things. Because something great happens when we (finally) flip that switch from “I come last” to “I come first.” Did you just cringe when you read that? The very thought of putting yourself first? Then you NEED this 31 days.

No, it won’t be easy at first. We’re not used to putting our needs or desires before others.

We are empty; we are exhausted; we are discouraged. The month of May is our opportunity to replenish ourselves and to practice extreme self love.

For some reason, our society teaches females that self-sacrifice and martyrdom is appropriate when it comes to our families, our churches, our jobs. Everyone comes BEFORE us. To be worthy, we have to be exhausted. Well, not during May.

If you want to read the entire blog posts from the previous years, here are the links.

Last year’s post. http://www.farmgirlbloggers.com/9794

2015 post. http://www.farmgirlbloggers.com/6347

The first one. http://www.farmgirlbloggers.com/2375#more-2375

See you on the trail!

Leave a comment 17 Comments

  1. Rosemary says:

    Dear Rebekah,
    This is so wonderful! Thank you! As I finished reading this, I realize, quite honestly, that I never really put myself first. I am burned out right now and I need some refueling. Being a mama to eight and tryout to manage a very full household, the empty tank is real. Thank you always for your wonderfully crafted words that touch so many :))

  2. Bonnie McKee says:

    I’m in! Let’s do this! ❤

  3. Sharon Elaine says:

    We’ve been watching our 4 & 5 yr old granddaughters 50 hrs a week for the last 8 months, with 4 weeks to go. We know this is where we’re supposed to be but me time is just a memory. At 72, I prayed for purpose – God has a sense of humor for sure. I will appreciate that me time more than ever – probably in June. Mornings are my favorite.

  4. Deborah McClure says:

    This was such a great read!!! Wow, let’s do this!!!!!!

  5. Krista says:

    I remember this from last year. Unfortunately, I never followed through. But this year I will make an effort to do so. Now that I’m busier with life this year it’s all the more reason to do something for me! I already have a few ideas growing that I would love to do for ME! I’m glad this came around again. I will be participating this year for sure! Thanks for keeping this going and reminding us all of our worth!

  6. Joan says:

    I’m in,already lining up some ME time. Enjoy y’all. God bless

  7. Donna Kozak says:

    Well, I’m in ! I have tulips on my table; I’m reading a few books by a wonderful Canadian mystery writer, Louise Penny, and I walk around my neighbour’s field (which he very conveniently keeps a clipped path all around the perimeter) every day; my black & white cat called Puddy keeps me company when I work in my garden and after a busy day planting and pulling weeds and having meaningful conversations with Puddy I have a lovely lavender-scented bubble bath. May Bliss starts in April !

  8. Sondra Lozier says:

    Was just checking my emails this evening, or I should say morning, and was reading this post and it hit home for I have so many friends that are always telling me I need to put my self first. Well, May is the month to do just that and I am excepting the YOU Challenge! This will be hard to do, but who knows, maybe it won’t just be for the month of May… I’ll look forward to your post during the month to help keep me on track. Thanks and have a wonderful new day,

  9. Pamela o sheidy says:

    Always wanted to do this , Thanks for the incentive

  10. Sandi King says:

    I’m ready! I’m more than ready! I’m getting excited just thinking about it. My legs need it. My brain needs it. I do a lot of sitting in front of a computer – family research, genealogy, crafts research, and many other things and it takes a toll on the body when you’re my age (72 on the half way mark toward 73) so yes I am more than ready. I was walking up to a couple of months ago when something detoured me away from the walk and back to the chair – finding ideas for our remodel of our home; that has been exciting and frustrating as well (some of the ideas were for bigger homes than we have) but I am still working on that too. That and the weather kept me inside a lot. But it seems like Spring went by so fast and summer is fast approaching. My flowers beckon me outdoors – daffodils have come and gone, lillies are beginning to bloom, peonies are budding and the lilacs came and went already. I still drink the lemon water every day. It has kept me healthy throughout the winter – no colds this year at all where previously I would get sick between Thanksgiving and Valentines Day. It has been, along with my Lord, a blessing to me. Just as MaryJane’s Farm magazine and the blogs online have also been. Because of them I keep chickens. Because of them I will do more crafts this year – have many ideas I want to try. Because of them I feel connected to so many people and I am ready for so many things this summer. Come on Let’s Walk, Stroll, Meander, Kick up our Heels?, uhh, maybe not but let’s get moving. Time to let the chickens out. Y’all have a great day.

  11. Rebecca M. says:

    I love this post and am really looking forward this this month of walking just for me. And I had to laugh at your cat’s CADD…I understand. My husband tells me that walking with me is like walking with an untrained puppy, but instead of stopping to sniff things, I’m stopping to snap a picture of a weed, a flower, a cloud or some seemingly ordinary something. I can’t help it, but walking and SEEING go hand in hand for me. I was able to discover so many amazing places on my walks last year. I plant to discover more this year.

  12. Denise Ross says:

    I’m so excited to do this again for myself. My family are always telling me to slow down when I walk, I naturally walk at a reasonable pace, my strolling pace, their too fast pace. I’m really looking forward to walking by myself, for myself. My family supports me and remember how much I enjoyed last years may walks. I just have get some lemons today so I can begin to have my lemon water every morning again. I’d forgotten too, just how calming and healing it is to be outside until having a conversation about it with a patient yesterday, reminded me how good going camping is for me, not just my family, but me. And I thought, wow! Your so right. So I came home yesterday and grabbed a spot of sunlight to have my afternoon cup of tea, and saw the most glorious rainbow, so bright it was incredible and called my family out to see it. On the opposite side of the sky the sun was so very bright behind some clouds, it framed them in brilliant heavenly light. I just love it. After doing dinner and today’s lunches, I and my kids sat down and watched a couple of episodes of “little house on the prairie’. I love that show.
    Aahh, me time is so soul restoring. The other me time I do is sketching and drawing out of my head. It brings me joy too. Stopping not just to smell the roses, but also to look in the beauty of them and savor it, these are all places that bring me joy.
    Thanks again for this Rebekah. I love this time of year, autumn for me, and the support we have together in this group. I’m in with bells on.
    The down under girl

  13. JoEllen K says:

    I always think that if I don’t start on the day everyone else does, its too late! So not true – the goal is for 31 days and I certainly plan on fulfilling that — but if I miss a day its OK because tomorrow will be here soon enough to begin again. Thank you for your encouragement to keep going — we all need that! I am a full time caregiver to my almost 100 year old mother so free time is not readily available. But I have decided to walk around the school yard across the street from our house while she is eating breakfast and looking at the morning paper. That way I can keep an eye on the house — where there is a will, there IS a way! After 5 years of the loss of freedom as I once knew it and almost 70 years old next year, I have decided I DO need to put myself 1st for my health and so that I can be a nicer person to be around! Thank you Rebekah for telling us about this challenge again! (why is it so hard to put ourselves first? Do we think we are being selfish?)

  14. Teri Schneider says:

    Definitely in! Put it on my calendar to get outside every single morning for a walk :)

  15. I love it…yes, count me in, the Manager of this little part of the Universe is ready for some TLC! Thanks for the motivation and inspiration!

  16. Deb Bosworth says:

    I’m in! So inspiring and much needed….If the sun doesn’t come out in New England soon I may just go back into hibernation! LOL!

  17. Wonderful! I just found this post, and your lovely blog, today. I’m starting the challenge a little late, but better late than never, right? Outside is where I love to be!

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