Friday, July 18, 2014

Published 9:17 AM by with 0 comment

Taking Care

Someone told me several years ago that the best way for a woman to take care of others was to make sure that she took care of herself. That seemed selfish to me. Now that I'm a mother, though, I see more and more the wisdom of this.

If I am rested, not hungry, spiritually fed, mentally alert, emotionally supported, then I can be a better mother, friend, wife, daughter, sister, and teacher. Of course, most of the time I am not able to check off all these boxes at once! Life is about sacrifices. Just because I didn't get enough sleep, or missed a meal, or haven't had alone time in several days, doesn't mean that I am allowed to take it out on my family.

But if I want to be the person I strive for, then I need to know under what conditions I best function.

I can wake up earlier so that I get quiet time in the morning to read, write, think.

I can make sure to spend time with Chris at night so that we can chat or hang out together.

I can only keep clothes that I absolutely love in my closet so that no matter what I go to wear, I can always like it. (Yes, 99% of them are from thrift stores or hand-me-downs, and I'm totally happy with it!)

I can make time for myself to play real music on my instruments rather then spend that extra half hour surfing the web, because music balances and restores my soul, while the internet definitely does not.

I can cook healthy food for my family, which takes more work, but helps us all feel better when we eat less processed food and less sugar.

I can play outside with Harmony in the fresh air, rather than stay stuck indoors. Sometimes you need to just drop everything and go out! We have two lovely porches in the front and back, and at least one of them is always shaded during the day.

I can practice prayer and meditation so that when I feel myself losing my temper I will be more capable of regaining peace.

I can live in the moment, loving and feeling and breathing, instead of rushing rushing rushing through life.

After crazy weeks like the one I've just had, I realize again that I have dropped the ball in taking care of myself. Yesterday I felt dehydrated, insecure, worried, tense, achy, and stressed. So I deliberately made choices to avoid things that would exasperate these qualities, and decided to do what would help bring me back into balance. No television. Reading aloud a good book with Chris. Big pot of chamomile tea. Write a postcard to a friend. Make sure that the house was semi-clean so that when I woke up this morning I wouldn't be greeted by a mess. Write out a list of exactly what needs to be done this weekend around the house so we can be organized. Early to bed. All little choices, really, in the grand scheme, but isn't that what makes life beautiful? The little things.

Now, this morning, I am present again.

My mind is not racing. I feel rested and awake. Ready to greet the day. Early morning sun shining through the windows, arabic coffee at hand, gratitude journal out after a (should-not-have-occurred) hiatus, teaching schedule for the morning ready to go, beans soaking for burritos later on. A day which will be busy, of course, as most of our days are, but a day that has a much better chance of being a good one.

Weaving words along with everyone else inspired by Write Alm's July Prompt-a-Day.