I am worn out, like an old rag that used to be a glorious hand towel that has been downgraded to wiping countertops and being stored in a bucket with cleaning solution. I shouldn’t feel this way. Intellectually I know it’s all about balance, but who can balance when there are bills to be paid, laundry to be done, kids to take care of and meals to cook. It makes me sad that I haven’t yet been able to love my family fiercely and take care of myself properly. Join the club, right?
My children wanted to go away with my husband on a trip. Off they went and I spent the first couple of days staring at the walls, drool gently dribbling out of the corners of my mouth….I kid you not. After the shock of not having to do laundry in my sleep, I started to have some serious free time on my hands. It scared the daylights out of me. I realized that even though my youngest child is only eight years old, there will be a time where I will be the captain of my own schedule and I will have to figure out how to put myself first. It became painfully clear that I need to make some improvements in my life. I had some remaining days left to myself so I wiped the drool off of my chin and proceeded to go out to lunches with my girlfriends, host a girls’ night at my house, read a book and spend some quality time with friends and family. Although I did have a great time, I probably should have taken the time to simply recharge. Recharging means reflecting, it means taking the time to evaluate where I am and where I want to go in life. It means engaging my soul.
I know, we all feel so very drained and at least I had some days to myself. You are so very right! I have to tell you though, I still feel incredibly tired and there’s a reason for that. You may experience the same tired feeling even if you get a vacation or are lucky enough to have some downtime from the rat-race. The reason why we are all perpetually tired? Noise.
It’s all the noise.. To quote the “Grinch,” Oh, the noise! Oh, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! I have too much noise in my life. Noise comes in the form of having the wrong people in our lives, and it comes in the form of always saying yes to a favor or volunteering when you just need to say no. Noise comes in the form of not putting your health first and not filling your life up with good nutrition, clean water and healthy activities. Noise is what you hear when you don’t do positive things for yourself. Noise is when you have so much pressure or are emotionally so drained that you begin to engage in behavior that you’re not so proud of. I don’t know about you but I need to get rid of the noise in my life, I need to recharge my soul.
The first step for me is to consciously identify who I want to be when I grow up. We imperfect human beings are constantly evolving and changing. Our needs, wants and goals flow with our age. The only thing we know today is that we have changed from the person we were twenty years ago. We can only live in the now. So who do you want to be when you grow up? I will go first.
I want to be a great mother and wife. I want to love the body God gave me and fuel that body with good nutrition and water. When I grow up I will surround myself with loving and positive friends that love and respect me and who I love and respect back. I will rise above pettiness, practice acts of love and constantly try to improve myself. I will walk, swim and hike on beautiful trails and breathe in the fresh air. I will meditate, pray, read and do yoga. I will write. I will work hard and I will play hard. I will love with my whole heart and save some of that love for myself.
Your turn! Recharge. Here’s a secret, I am going to also write down who I am today. Ok it’s not so secret, here it goes.
I try to be a great mother and wife but lose my shit all the time. I am a social eater and have a love affair with sugar, cheese and wine. This love affair doesn’t fuel my body properly and I’m thinking that wine and coffee are not so great at hydrating. I have a lot of friends, some of them truly wonderful and some that are not so wonderful. I spread myself so thin to the detriment of myself. I love to walk and was up to seven miles a day until the heat made me want to puke. I don’t pray, don’t meditate and the last yoga class I went to was really great but was too damn hot. I read and I write. I work hard and play hard but when I play I don’t do the activities I really want to do because I’m tired or don’t feel like dragging a complaining family around with me. I love with my whole heart but don’t leave much love or time to myself.
Clearly I have some work to do. The thing is, you don’t have to go on vacation to recharge. But you do have to get away from the noise!. Getting away from the noise enables you to reflect, evaluate and make corrections. Recently I read a post from Elizabeth Gilbert about “Running Away,” and it had a profound effect on me. Here is her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GilbertLiz?ref=stream and part of a recent post:
BUT…there are other times when, honestly, I think the very best thing you can do for yourself is to run like hell — as far away as you can possibly go. Because there are circumstances in which a change of scenery CAN change your mind. Putting an ocean between you and somebody you really need to stay away from CAN help you to move on healthily. Taking a running leap into the unknown CAN, at times, give you a better chance of learning to fly.
I have now hooked up my batteries and have taken the first step needed to recharge my soul. Knowledge is power! I may not perfectly attain that perfect picture but I have something to strive for. This summer I will work on reducing the noise that prevents me from living a better life. I hope you have the opportunity to do the same and that somehow, when the summer is over, we keep a little bit of quiet peace in our hearts.