Author: Melissa Cates
Sometimes I wonder if mine is the only life that seems to get so full with chaos and stress and fun and laundry and love and quarrels and shouting 2 year olds and begging dogs and… and… and… well, you get the point. It just gets so FULL that I feel like there is steam coming out of my ears, and I half-heartedly wish there was a hidden camera in my house, just so someone (not me) could get a good laugh (or cry?) out of all the action. Please tell me this happens to you, because I tell myself it does. We all get overwhelmed, spun up, stressed out, or even bored to tears at one time or another. This is where your own little lifeline comes in.
This sanity-saver is different for everyone. For you, it may be a favorite playlist or Pandora station, a warm mug of tea, some mindful deep breathing, a phone call to a friend to vent, writing in a journal, or saying a quick prayer. Maybe you rely on a mix of these or have a short list all your own. For me, it’s all about three words: sweat, steam, shower. Yes my friends, a good sweaty workout, a sit in the steam room, and an untimed shower taken without carrying on a conversation with my two year old who’s hanging on the towel rod outside the shower door. I can do all of these things at the local gym I joined where they have a wonderful child care center. This is where you can find us at least three weekday afternoons out of five. This is where my head reattaches to my body, and I regain a sense of my whole self.
Now listen, I love my children. Adore them, really. Their giddy smiles and little blonde heads make my heart reel. But everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, needs and deserves a break. There have been days that I have walked in that gym as one mommy (frazzled and contemplating the “loaning” my two year old to the circus) and left as another (cool, calm, and… clean). Somedays, I can’t even muster the oomph to put on all the coats, gloves, hats and buckle all the carseats (okay, only two, but let me complain dramatically for sec) to get to my place of inner peace and aromatherapy steam. That’s when you need a backup… an easily accessible alternative to your favorite decompressor. For me, it’s take out or sandwiches for dinner, putting off the rest of laundry (it can join tomorrow’s club), or quieting my toddler down by letting him watch PBS Kids a little longer than normally allowed. Does this make me less of a go-getter momma? Maybe. We all do the best we can, and tomorrow I believe my best will be a little better than it was today. Points for optimism, right?
Here’s the takeaway: there is a tipping point where productivity and multitasking take a downward turn. If you run yourself ragged to get more and more done each day, then you will be just that: ragged. The sun will set the same as it ever did, and it will rise again with certainty. Time will march on. It will either drag along you under its wheels or bear you up on its back. Wisdom comes with knowing that your life is truly measured by quality, not quantity. Give yourself a break. Stop, rest a minute, and start again renewed. If you must look back at yesterday, do so with a smile and pat your yesterday-self on the back.
Learn what you need and don’t ever think you don’t deserve it. You are not selfish. You are wise. The included quote is one of my favorites. I think it pretty much sums up what our attitudes can reflect if we are honest about what really is, what we can really change, and what we must let go of if we wish to move towards true happiness TODAY.
Wishing you a break when you need it most,