About four years into life as a Mom, with three kids under four, something I had not thought of, nor anticipated hit me. It was the first time in my life where I had no time to myself.
It sounds so obvious now.
Like many things in life, it took being in it to really get it.
I woke up one day and realized that I was functioning in the red. I was in reserve and had been for some time. Like many Moms, I was taking care of everyone else’s needs and seriously neglecting my own. I was drained. I was taking no time for myself. Doing things for myself seemed selfish.
Reaching this point gave me the opportunity to get in touch with what I really needed. Until then, I had never ever given this much thought.
As I pondered and reflected upon this, I couldn’t stop thinking about a walk.
I remember that walk as if it were yesterday. It was the first time that I had walked without a stroller in years. Free from the confines of the handles, my hands and arms were their own. I could swing them whilst I walked. I felt invigorated. I could hear the leaves crunching under my feet. I swear the birds were extra loud with their choral offerings. The air tasted sweeter that day. It seemed as if life was in high definition. I was so happy. I was so deeply appreciative.
It was in that moment I knew what I needed. This place had felt so good. Better than I could have ever imagined it to have felt. It nurtured my spirit. It was energizing. I felt as if every cell in my body had renewed itself.
A few years on, I was still walking but it didn’t feel quite as good.
I think that the culprit was my mindset. I no longer chose to see this as special.
This week, I read a post on Facebook that reminded me of this.
It was about a 92 year old woman who was moving into assisted care living. The assistant taking her to her room was describing the room to her when the old lady said:
“I love it” to which the assistant replied “But you haven’t even seen it yet?”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.”
When I take the time to arrange my mind, I am more likely to choose to be happy and appreciative. When I am happy, I am more likely to do the things I know I need and love.
It took some time, but now I know exactly what I need. A well-arranged, positive mind and making sure I take care of myself and my needs.
I no longer see taking care of myself as a selfish act. I see it as a smart, infinitely sensible one. The paradox being that the more time I take out of my children’s lives to take care of myself, the better I take care of them!
And, when I arrange my mind and choose to be happy, there is nothing I love more than to take care of my children. It’s a win win.
Do you know what you need?