If you invited me on a 7-mile hike, I’d spend a couple days planning and getting things together. I’d have plenty of water, protein bars and nuts, and I’d make sure I was wearing comfortable clothing and my best walking shoes.

Yeah. That’s the way I do things. So then why did I do the complete opposite on Tuesday?

Adrian (son-20), Grace (daughter-17), Sadie (granddaughter-6) and I went to Disneyland on Tuesday. We have annual passes so we go pretty often, 2-3 hours here and there. But since summer’s coming to an end and they’ll be heading back to school, we decided to spend at least half the day there.

I could try to make excuses and give plenty of reasons why I did what I did, but here’s the facts.

  • I wore sandals without any support or padding. They’re completely flat.
  • I took my Brita bottle but filled it up only once – and I shared that with the kids.
  • I didn’t take protein bars or nuts. I had only a couple bites of my son’s turkey leg and some of my granddaughter’s favorite sourdough bread.
  • I had an iced coffee from Starbuck’s. They don’t have almond milk so I added whole milk…even though I don’t drink regular milk anymore.
  • And when my granddaughter got tired I was the first to grab her into my arms and carry her around the park, while waiting in line for Pirates of the Caribbean, and all the way down Main Street.

What was I thinking? Where was my mind?

I wasn’t thinking. I wasn’t taking care of myself. And today I’m feeling the impact. It almost feels like I have the flu. When I went to bed last night, beginning to feel the effects of my strange choices, I realized why I was feeling so bad.

  • More than 7 miles in sandals.
  • Less than 16 ounces of water in 8 hours, while walking 7 miles.
  • Very little food.
  • Carrying my granddaughter, a lot.
  • Drinking milk when I should’ve known what the results would be – extra time in the bathroom.

7 miles

I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. It took every ounce of energy to walk downstairs and fill up my water bottle. Actually, I went downstairs, sat and rested for a few minutes, and then got up to fill my water bottle. Seriously.

At this point (around 6:30 pm) I’ve had almost 200 ounces of water, eaten as healthy as possible, and I’m just about out of my fog.

While I still have some sorting out to do, about why I short-changed myself so drastically, here’s what I want you to know…Even after 5 years, I’m still not doing it perfectly. And while it’s true that I never will, I can certainly learn from this experience.

The alternatives to my choices were pretty simple.

  1. Wear walking shoes. Eight hours at Disneyland means I shouldn’t wear no-support sandals.
  2. Pack protein bars and snacks, or if I forget, take the time to get food, sit down and eat – even if I don’t feel hungry.
  3. Use the timer on my phone to remind myself to fill up my water bottle and drink, even if I don’t feel thirsty (gosh I know this!).
  4. Realize I didn’t have to carry my granddaughter since my strong rugby-captain son was there. (and he did offer, but apparently I was feeling like Wonder Grandma at the time!)

So, I’m experiencing the direct result of my choices. Had I chosen to follow the alternatives-list above, I’d be writing to you about something else right now. But this is the experience I’m meant to have today. I bet it’s preparing me for an even bigger situation down the road, something I don’t even see coming.

Gigi and Sadie Disneyland

That’s the way I’ve chosen to look at this, as a learning experience. And a reminder that my body needs tender loving care. I’ve come too far on this journey back to health to go back to “winging it” now!

“And Mary, sweetheart, I mean that in the most compassionate way possible.”

Love, light and grace to you.