Starting with the foundation

“Your diet, exercise routine and stress level lay the foundation for how you feel. So fuel your body with good nutrition, break a little sweat each day and set aside time to unwind. Because it’s hard to feel bad about a body you’re taking care of.” —Somebody

It started out so sweetly… just a surprise one-armed side hug from my youngest daughter as I was leisurely emptying the dishwasher.

“It’s my mini-Mom,” she said fondly. “Mini-Mom… cause I’m taller than you.”

Because clearly, that warranted an explanation. Sweet kid.

I suppose it may be true. I won’t give her the satisfaction of measuring. I choose to focus on the hug and the smile.

And as far as her disguised short joke, I let it roll off my back as I instantaneously thought of Alanis Morissette’s line “I’m short but I’m healthy.”

I didn’t bother mentioning it since she would have no idea who Alanis Morissette was, leaving me feeling not only short, but also old, since music of the 1990s has little relevance to someone born in this millennium.

Much like choosing my perspective on being Mini-mom, this quote is one I stumbled on awhile back and felt the need to screenshot and save:

“Your diet, exercise routine and stress level lay the foundation for how you feel. So fuel your body with good nutrition, break a little sweat each day and set aside time to unwwo unwo unwind. Because it’s hard to feel bad about a body you’re taking care of.”

I think those words are all about perspective too and it resonated with me for a few reasons.

One, it makes perfect sense. It’s a recipe for self-care that anyone can follow.

Two, I misread it the first time and my mind replaced the word “nutrition” with “intention.” That seemed to make just as much sense, if not more.

Three, it implies there’s no ultimate grand finale to reach in any situation; just a series of choices to live by that connect into a sort of sustained OK-ness.

And really, who could ask for anything more than sustained OK-ness?

The sense of pressure to achieve or reach or be something exact begins to fall away when it becomes about just one decision, then another one, without regard to missing out on some perfect, possibly unattainable ending looming somewhere in the distance.

I also like how the quote covers more than one area. “Fuel your body with good nutrition (intention?)…break a sweat…and unwind.”

Jerry Seinfeld was known for keeping pictures taken from the Hubble Space Telescope on his wall in the Seinfeld writing room. He said it would calm him down when he would start to think that what he was doing was important.

“You look at some pictures from the Hubble Telescope,” he said, “and you snap out of it…. I don’t find being insignificant depressing, I find it uplifting.”

I like his positive take on insignificance. How he implies we don’t need to take the things we do too seriously, but still do them. Do them, sustain them, nurture them, but keep them in perspective.

Like most people this time of year, I tend to reassess my goals with list-making, planning, dreaming and shaping. But I’ve been considering the possibility that things might pan out better (or at all) if I avoid thinking about reaching some grand peak of accomplishment, and to instead, find consistency in taking a step that serves my mind’s purpose, or my body’s purpose, or my dream’s purpose. Then another one tomorrow.

Which all leads me back to my lovely daughter’s joy in reaching the point of being taller than me. I suppose it’s a good time to step aside, admire her blossoming wit, growing gift of sarcasm and slightly longer legs, and let her revel in her moment.

I choose the perspective of someone who has watered and fed the growing girl. And like they say, it’s hard to feel bad about a body you’re taking care of.

Shelley Plett is a graphic designer for the Free Press and Kansas Publishing Ven­tures. She can be reached at shelley@hillsborofree­press.com.