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Birthday gifts for Lori

This morning I awoke on the North Shore of my beloved Lake Superior a happy, refreshed, and rejuvenated girl. So, on the spur of the moment, I decided to give myself one final birthday gift – an entire weekday morning to myself! No clients, no deadlines, no must dos, no worries. I simply took the morning off for fun and focus on Lori.

I slept in; worked out hard in the fitness center at my hotel; enjoyed breakfast on the patio while listening to the sounds of the crackling ice as the Duluth harbor tried to freeze over; read more than 100+ happy birthday messages and texts from friends; wrote in my journal and pondered big ideas; donned a very cute outfit and went for a long walk and shopping experience in Canal Park; stopped at my favorite coffee shop to blog (where I met a nice young man), and more. All in about four hours!

Why am I blogging my morning itinerary? Because – as a result of this gift to myself of a weekday morning – I feel incredible. Simply incredible! And I believe it is a direct result of not only “putting Lori in the equation,” but putting Lori right smack in the center of the equation. Finally, I have made my heath, well being and happiness the top priority. And it feels great.

For me, this is a first, which is why it is so revolutionary and deserves so many slammers in this blog! And on this birthday, I am celebrating having held that laser beam focus on me for more than a year. Now, “Lori time” is not only desired, it is an absolute necessity.

The “high” from achieving this personal life and work balance is simply incredible. And the outcome/results are pretty great too – a 180+ lb weight loss and a whole new world of possibilities. I am so happy that I want to bottle this mojo and share the recipe with everyone. Thus, this blog, which I suppose at first read feels a bit over the top. 🙂

I used to worry about how it would come across to exclaim to the world that I am putting myself first. It sounds self centered and a bit egotistical or conceited for someone who has always prided themselves on hard work, compassion, dedication to others and sheer loyalty. But none of those things has changed.

The truth is – I am driven. I work incredibly hard. I am always juggling 50+ balls. And, in general, my work and my clients are extremely important to me. People tell me I get more done in a 24-hour period than most people they know. And my friends and family, I will always be there for them and do what I can. Just no longer at the expense of myself.

I used to think that to get ahead in life, to have a strong career and meet the demands of my clients and colleagues, as well as my friends and family in my personal life, I had to go 100+ miles per hour and 18 hours a day. Of course, this left precious little time for Lori. It sapped my energy, my creativity and my spirit. Today, that has all changed and I ready to rock the world as a result.

Balance is good. This past week on the Shore, I worked hard. I navigated a big, stressful board meeting and spent a couple of days in 10+ hours of meetings. But, I also made sure that I stopped working long enough to enjoy amazing sunrises and sunsets. On top of my work, in those four days, I also managed to:

  • Get a facial, a massage, and pedi at my beloved Waves of Superior Spa
  • Host a small birthday party with close friends at Bluefin Bay
  • Enjoy great music at Papa C’s
  • Work out & went hike
  • Spend quality time with close friends
  • Enjoy a wonderful birthday dinner at New Scenic Cafe and a late night jacuzzi with a glass of wine to relax…

The point is, I did ALL of this on top of an incredibly busy four days of work and client demands. And because I balanced my work with self-care, including time and space to think and write and “be,” I was more productive, creative and certainly happier

In addition to pampering myself, this birthday (Valentine’s Day) gave me the opportunity to spend time with people that I truly adore, and to tell those closest to me just what they mean. That, too, has me flying high. What a spectacular way to top off a year of intense change and progress in my life, supported by so many incredible people.

As I write this, I can’t stop smiling and people at Caribou probably wonder what’s in my coffee and if they can have some it.

So my friends,are you in the center of your own life? Are you even in the equation? And when was the last time you took a morning off just for yourself because you could?

I have learned that when I am in the center, everything else is better. It is then and only then that I can “rock the world, change a few things, make a difference in others’ lives. That is a gift worth hanging on to and cherishing today and when I go back to reality, my birthday is over, and client and work demands threaten to overwhelm me.

Be well. Create space in your life for you and see how you shine! I promise you, you can do it and you will. Trust me.

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