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Thank goodness it’s March! And with March comes March Madness, Spring Break, tulips, Daylight Savings Time, a glimpse of the sun and longer days. Goodbye to February, which for me was a month of somnolence.

January came in with a roar, an optimistic beginning, filled with New Year’s resolutions and physical and intellectual challenges. I stood on my head, a crowning achievement (no pun intended). By the middle of February, however, my body gave way to a tooth abscess and root canal, a leg operation, and a mysterious rash on my body and face. Undaunted, I attempted to pursue my physical challenges, but I found I could not. I had to surrender to February and I did so with a vengeance!!! I slept, I ate, and submerged myself in “House of Cards,” “Empire,” and “The Jinx.”

Upon reflection, I have very rarely allowed myself the joys of hibernating. Now, in mid-March, I feel rejuvenated. I’ve picked myself up, dusted off, and returned to physical and intellectual challenges, which keep me active, alive, and full of joy. Yet, the February hibernation, was really a time of renewal. And, in spite of it being forced, I truly enjoyed giving myself the permission of opting out.

Now, I will support my friends, family, and clients when they are needing to “opt out.” And I will give myself and them permission to rest BEFORE it is forced upon us by our bodies. I now recognize the importance of breathing in, with its associated energy drain, and of breathing out, with its associated energy gain. And I will never again just breathe in. We all deserve to breathe out regularly and without guilt.