Monday, July 2, 2018

The weekend of "Do you know what you need?" And What Became of It.


"You have to take care of yourself."
"You can't draw from an empty well."
"See how burned out you are? That's because your aren't taking care of yourself."
"You can't be a good mom or wife of you don't take some time to replenish yourself."

...

I've heard this advice my whole mom life, but never more than in the past two years or so. And this past weekend I was bombarded with it.


The typical ideas for self care are:
take a bath
exercise
read a book
get into nature
create something
do yoga... 

...and the list goes on. Except what do you do when you've tried those things and they don't work? This weekend I had a major ah-ha moment. The things that I used to do to replenish me are no longer working. I used to go to the mountains or get out into nature for peace. But now, it’s like a mini Lord of the Flies type situation. The children come with me, of course, and they bicker, fight, and complain the whole time, it completely sucks all enjoyment I would have gotten out of it. Baths are stressful because my bathroom door doesn't lock and so the kids use it as a revolving door, passing in and out, my floor becoming a conveyor belt for problems.


After mulling much of this over, on Saturday I decided to do something about it. I told Jeffrey i needed to leave for an hour, then got into the van and drove. I went to a neighboring city, found an old park, and sat down in the grass next to an ancient tree. I breathed deeply, and grounded myself. Trees are great for helping me ground and anchor. I then pulled out my notebook and pencil, folded my arms, closed my eyes, and began to pray.

See, the way I figure it, I have no idea how decompress. But God does. He knows me better than I know myself, so who better to ask then a loving Father who wants me to be happy? And so I prayed. And then I sat and thought. I began to write what came to my mind. At first it was just a bunch of whining. "Wo is me. I can't decompress. I don't know how to care for myself, wah wah wah." And then I looked at the grass. There was a single leaf next to me. It was all dried up and out of its season, but I smiled. It is no secret that I love the autumn months the best. And then my mind began to focus on that unseasonable leaf.

In the Autumn a tree will cast off what isn't necessary. It focuses on its core strength in order to sustain life when the outside elements become too stressful for it to handle. Do you see where I am going with this? I felt impressed that I need to simplify my life. I need to cast off the unnecessary things that want my attention, and instead focus on the core values.

I deleted Facebook from my phone. It's weird. Two weeks ago I tried to do a social media fast as the prophet Russel M. Nelson invited us to do. It was really difficult! I was tempted on so many occasions to sneak back on, and ultimately, I only lasted 4 days (hangs head in shame). Now, though, I have no desire to get on Facebook. I don't feel like I am missing things. I realized today that I will have no way of checking to see which books we are reading in book club, but that isn't too big of a deal, because I can just ask one of my friends and they can keep me posted.

I decided I needed to make a cleaning schedule. I try to do everything all at once and get discouraged when I am unable to keep up with it. I am just going to let it go. I am going to surface, or "company clean" the main parts of my house that people see. I am going to focus on one room of the house every day and really get that one room clean. I forsee things getting easier and easier in the future. Today was a complete wash. I didn't even get the one room I was supposed to clean. However, I did get a lot of other things done as well, so while I feel a little bad that I didn't get the one room done, I feel quite accomplished with everything else I did. I re-arranged my kitchen cupboards. I am surprised by how much space was freed up there! I was able to move my big appliances and put thim in the cupboards and now I can move the giant bookcase out of my kitchen, thus making that tiny room appear larger! I do have things on my counters now, though. I hate having things on my counters. It makes me feel like my kitchen is clutter-y and not clean. I know that it is clean, and that is a silly conception that I have, but it is how I feel nonetheless. But, in order to make things work with the cupboards and no book case, this was the only way I could see it working out. I also moved two dressers out of Beth and Vince's room, washed some bedding, and got some rooms cleaned up, so it wasn't a complete waste of a day. I just didn't get to get the one room done. Anyway, I am not going to worry about it too much. If I have time tomorrow (time? hahahaha! Right!) I will go back and double down on the room I missed today. If not, I will just not worry about it until next week when it is time to get that room again!

I am also going to be more consistent with my probiotics and vitamins. I have really been slacking in that arena lately. I know if I am getting the vitamins my body needs I will feel a lot better, so I am going to really focus on that.

I am going to re-prioritize my gospel study. I am still not sure how to do this. I was planning on doing it this morning, but Kip doesn't always cooperate. So what I did today was listened to a few talks while I was cleaning. I really prefer to get down and dirty in the scriptures, so to speak, but at least I was able to do something instead of nothing, so that was really good.

I am going to write more. Writing has always helped me process my thoughts and emotions. It helps me compartmentalize my day, and let go of things that don't matter. It also helps to clear up space in my brain. And really, I enjoy writing. I enjoy putting words down and seeing a story emerge. It is beautiful. Which means, this little 'ol blog here is going to receive a lot of love now.

Finally, I am going to get more sleep... she says as she stays up late writing.... I know that I feel better with more sleep. This morning, after Jeffrey had gone to work, and Kip had gone down for his nap, I actually went back to bed. I let the kids break the no electronics rule, just so I could get some sleep! It was much needed, apparently. And so I am going to work extra hard on not staying up super late.



Imagine, all of that from seeing just one little leaf! I love the way Heavenly Father leads and teaches us if we are open to Him!
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