Thursday, June 19, 2014

Self Care and Washing Machines

My washing machine makes this noise as it's going from one cycle to another.  It sounds kind of like an airplane taking off.  The moment it hits the next cycle (rinse?  I dunno), it has this very anticlimactic "THUD" and then it kicks into a lower gear.  Before you become concerned about the well-being of our appliances, let me assure you that it is fine.  This is par for the laundry-washing course.

Lately, the frantic-ness of life has felt a lot like that machine.  The violent hum of gearing up... you can almost tangibly feel the anticipation and chaos... and then THUD. Stop.

Historically, I have lived my life in this same pattern.  I used to say that one of the reasons God allowed me to have asthma was so that I would have an automatic shut-off valve.  When my busyness got to be too much, I would have an attack and be forced to shut down.  As I have gotten "more experienced" (and gotten better asthma maintenance drugs!), that seems to happen less and less.

But lately, I've been in that crazy spin cycle longing for the sloshing sounds of "rinse".

I felt myself being stretched to a point that wasn't possible.

I let my laundry pile up beyond the normal mountain it already was.

I allowed my family to eat out more than we cooked because of pure convenience.

I started my days in full "GO!" mode and went until I crashed- sometimes as early as 7:00pm.

And then... I stepped back.

Realizing that the last 2 years of grief had altered my body as I knew it, I assessed the situation.  What did I need to do to make things right?  Who did I need to talk to?  What should I say "no" to in my schedule?

This is not one of those blog posts where I let you know of the success of this endeavor.  I am not here to report "And thanks to Jesus and good medication, I'm fine!"

I am still wading through the evaluation.

Still catching myself in moments that I hear the hum escalate.

Still wanting to be more mindful, to feel more whole.

But here is what I can tell you: I am worth it.

I am important enough to take time for myself.

I am worthy of rest.

This is said not out of vanity or pride... but out of a basic understanding that I was made for so much more than frenetic days and harried thoughts.

As 2014 began, I challenged myself to jot down one thing I'd done for myself a day.  ONE THING.  Early in January I wrote down these treasures:
* Took a glass of wine and a book to the bath.
* Watched mindless TV and didn't multitask while doing it.
* Took a nap while Dan and E watched a movie.
* Washed my face with really good skin products

Then... the baby joined our family and we went into survival mode.  In all honesty, when I thought back to those treasures, I felt spoiled... the next few weeks were spent just getting by.

Thankfully, we're not just getting by anymore.  We are learning how to survive this crazy thing of loving someone else's child, and we're adding her to our joy.

And now that we've gotten past the crisis of "Triage Mode", I think it's time to remember my goal of self care.

Would you join me?

I have heard so many of you already cry out to Summer Angst... your kids have already reeked havoc on your house and your sanity.  So how about committing to finding ONE thing a day that is JUST FOR YOU.  Maybe you'll treat yourself to an iced latte, or a new pen, or a beer on your porch at night. Maybe you'll go on that vacation and not take your stack of thank you notes to work on... but you'll just enjoy the moment.  Maybe you'll finish that book or call that friend or paint your nails... but make it about you.

I believe that I- and you- have worth because we were created by One who desires more for us.  Whether or not you share my belief... please trust me when I say that you are worth it.

In this busy world in which we all live- we tend to put others' needs before our own.

This summer, how about taking some time for you?

You. Are. Worth. It.


Aprille @ said...

This summer just about every afternoon I'm lying down on the couch to watch TV. It's been great. I so agree with you!

Kay Windsor said...

You are so wise, dear friend. And writing down that one thing each day is enough to help you recall it when you think you have forgotten. You are so wise. Thank you for the post--and for the surprise meeting in the pharmacy. May we have more of those and a planned get-together too.