Thursday, August 4, 2011

Self Care

I start most days now thinking of what I can do to make my life better.  I could go to yoga.  I feel better physically and mentally when I do that.  I could plan healthy meals.  I could straighten up our house.  I could start some much needed deep cleaning.  I could work in the yard. I could do more research on adhd and dyslexia and make doctors appointments and tutor appointments so my kids will be more successful. I could work on my volunteer commitments. Or work on lessening my commitments. I could find counselors for myself or for our marriage that could do nothing but help.  I could wash clothes.  I could write. I could go on a fun adventure with kids.  And the list goes on. 
On a good day, I basically do one of these.  On bad days, none. Most days, most of the time is spent doing tasks that could have been done earlier but are now last minute do it or die tasks. Sign up for art camp. Check calendar for physical and hope it isn’t today. Find out what time soccer try outs are and work backwards from there - gathering and washing clothes and equipment. Dinner. Rush kids to tutor. 
Earlier in the spring, when I could no longer deny how unhappy I was, I came to a realization: By the end of most every single day, I was disappointed in what I hadn’t gotten done. And, unknowingly, I would carry that weight on to the following day. I say unknowingly because I am hopeful by nature. I woke each day excited by the possibilities, but was deflated by the end of the day. The disappointment was compounding and eventually it crushed me.
I returned from Kripalu more changed than I realized.  Although I kept to myself (wink, wink Lindsey), the positive energy buzzing around the place started breathing life back in to me. A truth within me made itself known: I am enough, I do enough.  I simply needed to access this truth more often. Even when there are so many outside forces telling me otherwise, I have this truth within me, accessible at any time. 
I started writing more and doing yoga and the change was profound. I felt better, and my  relationships seemed more at ease, if not perfect, or particularly good. 
And then I didn’t.  Even with a sitter several days, my kids activities dominated my time. I had to quit yoga because of their tutor schedule. My newly acquired writing time gave way to shuttling kids. My husband continued to be disappointed in our house and the lack of laundry done or lack of adequate groceries. So, again, our marriage suffered. All of us are exhausted, and there aren’t many nice exchanges of words. Again. 
Still, I am able to accept that this is where I need to be right now. I am learning a lesson.    When I did the little Take Care of Myself scenario for a few weeks, things were better. Not much changed outwardly, there was still plenty left undone. But, Mentally I was better.  I felt better.  I spoke softer. I understood more of the big picture, rather than the immediate need for escape. 
My lesson is this: a basic tenet of the Take Back My Family experiment MUST be to Take Care of Myself. This is the path to helping my family. 


  1. Yes, YES. This is absolutely essential, but I also acknowledge how incredibly difficult it is. I routinely lose sight of it and my snappish, aggravated self pretty quickly ruins the tenor of our family time. Thanks for the reminder. xox

  2. Yep. Definitely. It's a hard change, but once you get it, it gets a little easier... hang in there!

  3. As usual, I was laughing and then wanting to cry. Both because I saw myself in each sentence you wrote. With all that people preach about self-care, in the end, you usually have to say no to someone else's needs in order to say yes to yours. And while it leads to happiness, it's really really hard.