A couple weeks ago, my sweet friend took my boys to her house for a day of cookie baking, playing with playdough, and swinging at the park so I could relax with Leila. We’ve been trying to work this out since right after the baby was born. The initial intention was for me and the little princess to take a nice long nap together. Now that she’s 6 months old (WHAT?? How did that happen??) I’m not desperately in need of sleep like I was at the beginning, so I figured I’d spend the day grocery shopping or catching up on homework. Since it was the end of the semester, and I still had two papers to write, a test to take, and a final to study for, school won out. I put the baby to bed, sat down at the table with my computer, Bible, concordance, Catechism & course notes, and tried to get to work.
But I couldn’t.
It was just too quiet. How do people think when it’s so quiet? It was so quiet I could hear the water moving in the fish tank! I just couldn’t focus in all that quiet! (I know, I know…something’s wrong with me…) Needless to say, I didn’t get much work done.
Since I’m never, ever home alone, (Literally. I don’t know if I’ve ever been home alone since we started having kids.) I decided to have a “me” day. First, I was totally bummed because it’s FREEZING outside. I would have loved to grab a Bud Light Lime and go lay out in the backyard. Cold aside, there were still good times to be had.
So just what did I do with my stolen time? Well, let me tell you:
- I listened to lots of old favorite songs that I would never, ever expose my kids to. We only listen to kid songs or Christian music when the kiddos are home. We decided to use media as a force to backup our morals instead of questioning them for as long as we are able. We know that the time will come when the situation will reverse.
- I jumped on my bed. Yes, I really did.
- I danced around wildly to my blaring old jams. We dance around all the time, but it was still way fun.
- I took some selfies on Photo Booth.
- I watched the Teen Mom 2 season finale.
- I had a few facebook conversations with old friends. (I so much rather would have had lunch with them, but they are far away. A phone call would have been nice, but facebook allowed me to talk to several of them at once. I guess sometimes I don’t hate facebook after all.)
All of this silliness lead to a few epiphanies. Being rather thick, none of them hit me immediately. They’ve been slowly developing over the weeks that have past since that day.
Epiphany Number 1: (Thanks to my school friend, Callie.) I’ve been a total hypocrite about silence. Not a hypocrite really, just every bit as much in need of learning the value of it as everyone else I meet.
Epiphany Number 2: (Thanks to my spiritual director.) I absolutely have to let go of the “shoulds” that I impose on myself.
Epiphany Number 3: (Thanks to a car ride to Missouri with my sweet husband and confirmed by this little article.) I have to start taking care of myself. It’s my job, not my husbands. He can certainly help, but, ultimately, it’s my responsibility.
I know I often make false promises about what I plan to write about next, but my intention is to write more about each of these epiphanies and link them to this entry. We’ll see how that plays out…
In the meantime, the moral of the story is it’s ok to take care of myself. In fact, it’s more than ok, I have an obligation to do it so that I can properly fulfill my other duties. I’ve heard this millions of times, but never really took it to heart. Maybe I even quietly thought that it was something that only wimps needed to do. But as one who has spent the last 6 months (or 3 years…or 14 years…depending on when you start counting) feeling as if I’m one straw away from a broken back, I finally see the truth in it. It’s time to start taking care of me. Now I just have to figure out how to start doing that.