Warning! Long post coming!
How do I fit it all in? How can I show up and be 100% for those that count on me? How can I be present for my family, colleagues, friends, students, clients, and so many others? And after all that is done, when can I find time be a great wife, mother, sister, student, teacher, employee, leader, follower, and still be the best me I can be? How can I allow myself to give all I have, energetically, to everyone else, unconditionally, and not keep a little something for me? And why do I not feel that I am important enough to make me a priority-to take better care of myself- body, mind and spirit? I am not sure who said, you can’t pour from an empty cup. This quote is a favorite of mine, yet I find myself doing this time and time again. Burning the candle at both ends. Saying yes when I’d rather say no. Being supportive of others at my own sacrifice. Giving of myself when there is not much left to give. Literally, Pouring from an empty cup. I think it is safe to say, that I am not alone in my actions or in asking the questions.
I am certain that my loved ones would never say they are disappointed in me or my attempts to fill everyone’s needs. In fact, they tell me to relax, do less & just be. I do realize that I am the only one to blame, I hold onto this ideal- that I must be a better, stronger resource, for the cosmos and those sweet souls that are cocooned in it. (LOL) How does one undo such an unhealthy thought process?
As I begin shed the ideas and layers of who I think I am, along with all the tasks attached to those roles, what is left? What defines me, who am I? Wife, mother, friend, sister, leader, follower, teacher, student, colleague, the list is endless. Don’t get me wrong! I am truly blessed, and I love and value every one of these roles and relationships, I would not change any of them at all! But at the end of the day, when I’m lying in bed, in my own head, who am I? And how can I show up tomorrow, 100%, for those I love the most?
A bit of recent history of how I came to this moment... To be truthful, I am not sure how I made it through the holidays. Between my attempts to re-create the perfect Currier & Ives look to my home, cooking perfect dinners, family obligations, travel, yearly personal goals left unmet, visiting, presents, anticipation, disappointments, parties, too much food, too much alcohol, too many people, just too much… I looked forward to starting the new year with the beauty and simplicity of a clean slate. Rather than filling day #1 of 2019 with lists, ideas, promises, resolutions and things that I needed to change or do, I thought I would take a few days off and just chill. How quickly that turned to inertia, boredom, self reflection, and a whole new level of stress.
To be fair, I have always tried to take care of others first, that is my nature. And I have never been one to sit still, I am happiest when busy. The past few years have been busier than usual, and truly in the best of ways. I have grown in so many areas of my life and I am forever grateful for every opportunity that has been presented to me. I thrive on being busy & do my very best work under stress. I am always planning, moving, doing some busywork that just cannot wait. Work hard, play hard! I cannot take a vacation and just lie on the beach, despite my saying that is the plan. My day is planned from the moment I wake up, until I fall asleep, sometimes even beyond! I’m uncomfortable with stillness and sometimes the quiet can be so loud! I must fill all the time and space up with stuff for no good reason! My motto: If you want something done, ask a busy person, and I’m your gal! LOL. And, I have allowed this chaos to define who I think I am. This is not sustainable.
Which leads me to my first question, how do I fit it all in? All these roles and expectations and tasks and dreams and ideas? And delivering 100% of me, 100% of the time, no matter who, what or where the need is? I am literally pouring from an empty cup. And I am ashamed to admit it. As I sit here and write my thoughts, I ask myself, what advice would I give to my daughter, sister, friend, or anyone else asking the same questions?
So, as I have been pondering these questions for some time, I take to social media, reading self-help books and articles, listening to blogs, trying to reach out to friends, all the usual things one would do. And it was as I was “listening” to a podcast as background noise I heard something that resonated so hard with me – 30 days of self-care. That was the only thing I heard! 30 DAYS OF SELF CARE. What a fantastic concept! I know it is true for me, and it is also true for others – we give and give and give, yet rarely do take time for self-care. I am not talking about spending hours at the gym, or eating the cleanest, healthiest foods ever imagined or getting a pedicure. Those are all really good things, but I believe this goes deeper than that. Building a self support system to recharge, finding a few minutes in each day to be grateful, thoughtful, and kind to one’s self. Self care is self preservation, and it is not selfish. I realize that self care is necessary - especially if I really care deeply about my tribe. I must make me a priority and fill my cup first, and only then will be able to help others.
So, for the next month my goal is to post my journey of 30 days of self-care. It is through this journey that I hope to become a stronger woman for myself first, so I can truly give my best to others.
As I try to post daily, I will share my inspirational tip or take-a-way for the day, or some other self care item that I have taken on in that moment. There will be no staging, no setting up the perfect picture to post, maybe a few grammatical errors...I hope to be authentic, and truthful, and unapologetically myself!
If this is not your thing, I get it! Feel free to un-follow me or suspend seeing my FB posts for the next 30 days. My feelings will not be hurt! I am just excited to see where this will go in the next month or so.
So, let my journey begin:
Day 1: yes, I’m going there...the gym! I will spare you the all the sweaty details except for one...I feel better! While on the dread mill I had so many ideas of how can I can take better care of myself, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and how others, especially my family, will benefit from my efforts! I feel more vibrant and sparkly (internally) than I have in weeks. So my self care tip today is this; Our bodies were designed to move. We were not designed to sit in chairs or be still. When we move our bodies our brains function better, full of clarity and positivity. Get up and move, just 20 minutes every day. Your mood and attitude will thank you, I promise!
Follow the rest of the journey on FB