It’s been pretty quiet around here lately. I attended a 15 hour birth last Sunday, a weird cold has slowly been circulating through the kids and finally settled in on my husband and me, and we’re still settling into the back to school shuffle of drop-offs and practices and early mornings. Basically, I felt like I was playing defense all week, just reacting to the circumstances happening around me, constantly running late and feeling completely spent from being spread much, much too thin.
So, I made comfort my priority this weekend. I baked and cooked and snuggled feverish babies. We all laid on the couch and did the absolute bare minimum to get by. We ordered pizza and I worked on an embroidery project and we all watched way too much TV. The kids build marble runs and wrote notes and we read Ramona and hunkered down until we felt more like ourselves again.
And I’m telling you all this because sometimes I think we need to give ourselves permission to say no. We need to allow ourselves to heal from the hectic craziness of our lives and just focus on the relationships that are closest to our hearts. Often, in the absurd paradox that is life, those are the relationships that get the least amount of attention and bear the brunt of our exhaustion and crankiness. It’s so easy to be impatient and ugly with my husband and kids and pour my nicest self out for everyone else. It’s easy to mindlessly stare at Facebook and be bratty about my family “bothering me.” Luckily, my family loves me unconditionally. But if I’ve learned anything from the movies it’s that life is fleeting and we shouldn’t take our families for granted. And if I’ve learned anything from Brene Brown, it’s that easy isn’t always best, even when it comes to self-care. (Maybe especially when it comes to self-care.) Scrolling Facebook for hours isn’t fulfilling. I don’t feel fed or really very rejuvenated after doing that…so I took the app off of my phone so that I’m not tempted to waste my time in that manner. I can’t tell you how much better I feel about myself and my life. Choosing smaller amounts of higher quality self-care rather than hours of unsatisfying junk has made a huge difference for me. (Don’t freak out, I still have a serious Instagram addiction…baby steps, y’all.)
So, as we head back into another week, let’s be gentle with ourselves. Let’s take the time to snuggle up and feed our spirits with quality quiet and truly restful rest. Everything else can wait, but bodies and families and babies need tending. We need tending, friends. At the very least, sit for a minute outside and feel the sunshine soak into your skin. Feel your breath fill up your lungs and cleanse your soul as you breathe it out. Sense your feet sinking into the ground, your back supporting you, your fingertips relaxing… sit for a minute and just be. And while you’re just being, just for that minute, remember:
You are joyful
You are kind
You are lovely
You are brave
You have self control
You are worthy, my friend. Wherever you are, whatever this week has in store for you, know that you are an incredible human being with incredible purpose and potential. I’m praying that your week is wonderful and you’re intentionally kind to yourself and the people in your care.
Photo by the incredible Erin Bedenbaugh Photography.