There’s good everywhere  

selective focus photo of leaves
Monaco touches on the importance of wellness in our lives and how we should work to structure our days with intention and care for ourselves and for those around us. Photo by Julian Paolo Dayag on

Something I think 18-year-old Rory would be proud of 21-year-old Rory for is how I try to structure everyday with intention and care. 

The best way I can think to describe it is that before it felt like being in the passenger seat of my own car. Now with mindfulness and awareness, I’m in the front seat, controlling the aux, deciding which windows to put down and how to fill the backseat with my friends. 

Important to note that I am not an organized, type-A person. Any of my friends reading this know that I plan most things last minute and am susceptible to the blow of the wind changing my direction. Despite me leaving lots of room for change throughout my day and life, it doesn’t mean I live without intention. 

Every Sunday I check in with myself: how did this past week feel for me? Were some emotions more present than others? What are some things I can incorporate into the coming week that will make my days more enjoyable? 

This results commonly in me planning for some form of movement, some time spent outside and some time in front of a book for each day. Or maybe during my check-in I realized I had lots of time to myself that past week. Am I in need of change? Of some more community-focused time? 

There’s no right or wrong, no judgment for how I answer any of these questions. Coming up on one month left until graduation, I’ve been spending more time than usual reflecting on what college has meant to me and what I want to take with me from my experiences. The same thought cycles through my head: life is difficult — really, truly difficult. I never want to add to that for somebody, nor for myself. Instead, how can I be of help? Is there something I can do to lighten someone’s load? What about my own load? 

It all comes back to mindfulness. Just this past Sunday I decided one thing I need more of this week is time with family. I’m now spending the weekend at my brother’s house, and when I return to the University of Connecticut, my aunt and a few cousins are visiting me. This is it. That’s what I’m here for; listening to my body’s needs and the needs of those in my community around me and deciding what I can do to help us all. 

The whole world isn’t on my plate. It’s not that I want to take on my friend’s burdens as though they were my own. My friend expressed how stressed she has been recently and how she doesn’t have time for anything fun, anything for herself. 

What to do with this information but care for my friend in the ways she can’t on her own right now? What does friendship mean if not some soup dropped off for dinner with Insomnia Cookies for dessert? 

This, to me, is wellness. This is radical joy, radical love, radical acceptance. 

I am here. While I am, I’m going to make each day as nice as it can be, for both myself and my people. 

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