Are you happy at the moment?
I’m really very happy. I have great people in my life, a lot of love and support, and a clear idea of what’s important to me.
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
I would tell my 16-year-old self that life is so much bigger than you think. Be open to it, don’t fear it, and don’t limit yourself. You can do anything. And don’t eat so much junk food.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
Perseverance in working to attain your goals, and belief that you can, are key to moving forward. Also, recognize that sometimes you need to ask for help and people are usually happy to give it.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I want to share my first-hand insight of family life with diabetes with as many people as possible, and strengthen my presence in my profession. I want to maintain my good health by continuing to eat a whole food, plant-based diet, and achieve a near-daily yoga practice. I want to run a 10K in less than an hour. I want to strengthen my relationships and connect better with people, decrease my electronic distractions, and read more. And finally, I want to spend more time with my kids getting out and really doing things and seeking new experiences.
What’s your secret to happiness?
It’s an evolving notion, but for me happiness comes from presence. Enjoy the people around you. Talk to them. Share. Be open. Also, know yourself. Take a cold, hard look at your strengths and weaknesses, forgive your mistakes, rejoice in your successes, and work mindfully to improve the not-so-pretty parts. Be present and ever-grateful. Be compassionate and share some love.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Physical activity always brings me back when things start to feel difficult or overwhelming. Running is a great way for me to let loose and get my heart rate up. Yoga brings me out of my head and into my body. I know if I’m feel mopey or self-doubting that it’s probably been too long since my last workout.
What’s your biggest regret?
My biggest regret is not growing up and developing myself more before I started my family. I missed out on opportunities to travel easily and to know myself better. I also wish that I’d built a career before I dropped out of it for so long. It’s been an arduous process getting back in the door again.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
The most important lessons I’m teaching my kids are flexibility and simplicity. Life is a constantly changing process to which we must adapt quickly. Circumstances change, environment changes, responsibilities and time constraints change. Looking inward for strength and stability, and valuing non-material blessings over things and possessions, will ease them through their lives, and help them successfully navigate the inevitable ups and downs.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I stay up too late at night! It’s easy for me to get started on a book or a project and before I know it the midnight hour has long gone. It’s so hard to give up those few precious hours of alone time after my kids are finally slumbering, but I know I need more sleep to be my best the next day, and to stay healthy.
Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I’m most proud of the perseverance and patience I’ve maintained in re-entering my field. It’s been a very long process full of false starts, long waits, disappointments, and tail-chasing. I’ve worked hard to network, to re-familiarize myself with the dietetics profession, to build an online portfolio, and to develop the skills to best present the level of professionalism and expertise I have to offer. All of these things have lead to a position that is a perfect fit for me. A Dream Job, if you will.
When were you happiest?
This is a tough question to answer because I’ve had insanely happy points in all stages of my life. Like I said, life is a series of ups and downs and I’m constantly learning new things about myself and what supports happiness for me. In general, my happiest times are when I’m productive, adventurous, and giving and receiving a lot of love.
What ten words best describe you?
Introspective, playful, driven, organized, focused, adaptable, confident, messy, capable, patient.
Angela Major is a 37-year-old single mother of three, a Registered Dietitian, a yogi, an occasional runner, and a plant-eater. She blogs about the intersection of nutrition, family life, and type 1 diabetes at www.ourhealthydiabeticlife.com.