Remember to Take a Freaking Break

The sniffles caught up to me yesterday. I didn’t realize how “full-force” I had been going these past few days, but I think either allergies or a cold have crept up on me. Then, once I started to realize how busy I’ve been, I had an AHA moment! I haven’t taken a break from all of the running around since Friday! What?! Go to bed early tonight, I told myself.

Even though we are all busy, we have to remind ourselves to take a freaking break when we need one! I know this looks different for everyone. Some people may not get a break for months on end. Others may have an opportunity to chillax for a few hours, but instead they spend that time either doing something unimportant or wasting it watching the newest Netflix craze. TAKE A BREAK!

Maybe you need to hear this today. Maybe I wrote this just for you to read. Maybe you can’t relate to this at all. (I doubt there are many people who fit in that last category.) 

Whatever you have to do today (get a cup of coffee and sit alone for 10 minutes, go on a walk around the neighborhood, meditate quietly for 5 minutes, or just go to bed 15 minutes earlier tonight), take a freaking break!

You deserve it.

I give you permission.

Take a break…

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Focus on the Important Things Today

There are so many distractions these days. There is work (whether that’s inside the home, outside the home, or for some people it’s both), family (which depending on your situation can range from daily encounters with your immediate kin all the way to your great-grandma), kids (there are too many extracurricular activities for kids to name them all), social media (this can be helpful in business, but it’s also a dangerous time waster), and of course everything else in between. I could probably ramble on and on about all of the “tasks” we keep ourselves busy with these days, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with information.

The point of recognizing everyone’s “busyness” today is to point out that there can be a LOT of distractions. We are distracted from doing the important things because we’re too focused on the thing we need to get done for work. Maybe we have a deadline. Maybe we have an important meeting. Maybe our boss is coming into town for a quarterly visit. But what about the birthday party your son begged you to take him to? What about the cartoon movie you promised your middle child you’d take him to, just you and him? What about all of the date nights you miss out on with your spouse because you’re exhausted from a long work week?

This isn’t meant to be a bashing session for people who work. (I love when people are committed to being successful in their careers and professional endeavors.) These issues can just as easily pop up in family scenarios. We are distracted because of the next family drama being played out in real life. The gossiping, the rude remarks, and the yo-yo diets could keep us all busy for years. What about the positive situations in our lives? What about the nice things we could say to each other instead?

Oh the activities for kids nowadays is a never ending list! Between volunteering at the PTA functions, to the baseball fields every week night, to planning class end of year parties, and working on countless other projects, we have all become distracted from just spending quality time with our kids. Sit down and play a game with your kiddos. Read them a book. Do something that doesn’t involve electronics.

And social media…I really think this one speaks for itself, but I’ll go ahead and say it:
WE SPEND WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
(Myself included…)

Take a look at your list of things to do today. Take away the ones that don’t really matter and add in the ones that can add quality to your life. I know I needed to hear this myself today because I get sucked into the never-ending world of the internet sometimes.

Focus on the people in your life today. Focus on what really matters.

 

 

8 Years Ago Today

When I was 22 years old, I was pregnant in a college town and surrounded by people who had their lives ahead of them while I thought I had effectively ruined mine. It turns out that our first son saved mine and my husband’s life. We didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be saintly people who never made any mistakes anymore, but we sure didn’t want to continue down the path we had set in motion.

Looking back at how 8 years can change a person, I honestly don’t even recognize the woman I see in pictures from then. She was overweight, trying to figure life out, and totally confused on where she was going to end up. If my time machine worked (maybe it will one day), I’d go back to tell her that everything works out.

We still aren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we are happy. We are no longer co-dependent parents in a toxic relationship. We are healthy, contributing members to society.  We don’t party like we used to. We are nicer to one another. We are overall pretty decent human beings.

If you would have told me 8 years ago today that everything would be okay, I still wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are today. Everything is okay. It’s more than okay. We aren’t just surviving anymore. We are thriving!

Catching Up with Old Friends

There are certain people put in your path for very specific reasons. I believe my HP gives me people to admire, people to guide me, people to walk with me through hard times, and most importantly a handful of friends that will be there for me no matter what.

I ran into one of those select few “A-Listers” yesterday and my heart was completely overwhelmed with joy! When you haven’t seen someone in 3+ years but you can automatically pick up right where you left off, that’s a true friendship.

The reason it’s important to note that here is simply because she and I both quit drinking. She had her reasons. I had mine. But together, we both admit, we are better people for it. It didn’t change the fact that we still laughed so hard we were in tears yesterday. It didn’t make things awkward as we talked about our lives together. (Although we did laugh and reminisce on some old ridiculous stories of our former days.) 

There will be many people that drift in and out of our lives as the years pass, but hang on to those special friendships for dear life. You may not see them often. You might not even talk regularly. But those relationships are put into your life for a reason. True friendship is priceless.

Know When It’s Time to Go to Bed

Yesterday was an amazing, exhausting, and overwhelming day. The baby had woken up at 3:30 am, went back to sleep for an hour or so, then my alarm was going off at 4:45 am. I was busy from 6:30 am-8:00 pm between the kids, my business, and caring for my family. I was go-go-go-go all day.

But after dinner was done and the baby was ready to go to bed, I decided I needed to put myself in bed too. Yes, it was only around 7:30 pm. Yes, I know there was stuff I still really needed to do so I could be ready for today’s tasks. Yes, there were still a mess all over the house. But I didn’t care. I needed something (where I previously would have reached for the wine to help me power through the rest of the evening), so I decided my bed and sleep were exactly what my body craved.

Knowing when to wave the white flag and surrender to the day is still a concept foreign to me, but I’m working on it. I’m learning to know when I’m DONE. I’m able to read the signs my body and my mood are trying to tell me. “Go to bed! I’ll perform better for you tomorrow. I’m done for the day!” is exactly what my body was screaming to me last night.

Know when it’s time to go to bed. Know when your body has had enough. Don’t be embarrassed to wave the white flag. You’re not giving up. You’re giving the day over so you can start fresh again tomorrow.

You Know Every Single Hair on My Head

So, this may seem like an odd situation I’m going to explain, but I’ve talked about prayer here before. Have you ever had images of yourself or other people pop into your mind while you prayed? I’m not talking about crucifixes and other Biblical images we associate with God. I’m talking about everyday people and situations. For example, you say a small prayer about your spouse and you can see their face in your mind just as plain as day.

Well this morning, as I was praying to do God’s will today and not my own, I had an image. The words pouring out of me went something like this, “I know I’m broken. I’m  not perfect. But God you know me better than I know myself. You know me inside and out. Please guide me today in Your will and not my own.” 

As these words flowed out of my mouth, I began to imagine my own head of hair (which is a lot) and someone running their fingers through every strand. It was a moment where I realized every single hair on my head has been accounted for. Every single eyelash is no stranger to my HP. It’s as if I were to meet God and He would tell me the exact number of hairs on my head in an instant as to say, “Yup, all accounted for!”

If you’re struggling today and thinking that no one knows where you’re coming from or you’re in this endeavor alone, rethink it. Imagine someone who knows you, the good and the bad, and loves you more than you can imagine.

 

Irritability, Impatience, and Above All, Anxiety

We’ve all experienced the spectrum of emotions at some point or another. We’ve been happier than a kid in a candy store and probably as down in the dumps as someone whose puppy just got run over. (Kid euphemisms speak to me.) Lately, irritability and impatience have been constant destinations on my spectrum while my husband dances around on anxiety.

We are selling a home. This is our first time to sell a home. We are buying a new home. This is new as far as the buying process goes because we have to wait for our current home to sell. We are learning as we go. We are also going on about our lives. My husband is still working. The kids still needing food and clean clothes. The house needing to stay “white-glove approved” clean for potential showings. The kids are busy with field trips and end of year activities. There’s baseball season. There’s pink eye. (Yeah, that’s an added bonus!)

You can probably see the recipe for disaster as simple as:

A + B + C + D = Full-Blown Chaos

But we’ve actually been able to manage the stress. I’m not saying by any means that we haven’t snapped at one another or that our kids are behaving perfectly (does this ever happen, by the way?), but we are working together. We are apologizing when we need to apologize. We are giving ourselves more grace than ever because we all need it.

Just because the recipe for disaster might be everything surrounding you today, that doesn’t mean you have to go home and bake the cake! Switch up some of the ingredients, add more fun and playfulness. Don’t let the situations in your life control you. (Hint: You don’t really have control over them anyway.) You can only control you and how you handle things in life. Good luck! It’s not always easy, but you can do it!