Late night on August 30, 2020 I had an epiphany. I needed to live my life to the fullest and to become the best version of me. I started the next day with walking every morning. That week, I improved my step count by over 40,000 steps! I realized that I allowed quarantine and our new way of life to get to me and I needed to be more intentional in every aspect of my life. I had begun to have more anxiety attacks, I was sinking back into my depressive moods, and engaging in the behaviors that lead me further and further down into a hole that I have found very difficult to come out of before. I can put on a good face like everything is well and good, but who can’t? I’ve gone through anxiety and depression enough to know how to hide the depression part.
Tonight as I was drinking my tea, there was a message. If you drink tea and know about Yogi tea, there is always a message for the drinker. It said,”Love yourself so that you may know how to live with self-respect.” That can mean an awful lot of things to different people, but to me it meant that in order to absolutely love myself, I had to know how to respect myself. You don’t need anyone else to disrespect you, you have the capability to do that all on your own. How can you not respect yourself?
- Thinking negative thoughts about yourself.
- Allowing others to treat you any way that doesn’t uplift you.
- Putting the needs of others ahead of your own.
- Suppressing your feelings.
- Hanging on to toxic individuals.
- Not taking care of yourself.
- Approval seeking from others.
- Pretending in order to fit in.
- Allowing people to use you for their needs. (And so much more.)
If you are doing any of these things, or anything similar to the above mentioned things, you are not loving yourself and treating yourself with respect. With 17 weeks left in this year, I decided I wanted to end it with more self respect, more love, more me, and being kind to myself. It isn’t about being selfish, but about feeling good mentally, physically, and emotionally. You can give all of yourself until there is no more to give, and once that happens – the takers move on to the next person they can feed on. Even your family has to have a shut off valve. They may be your all and you may be their all, but they cannot take it all. At the end of the day, there has to be something left for us to remind us that we are an individual. We are more than someone’s mom, wife, or dad, and husband. We take on our roles to the point that we lose our identity. However, being a mom and a wife is only a part of my identity; I was first a woman and I need to continue to be that outside of my other roles or the most prominent ones will take full control.
I’m not telling you to lose it and go crazy! That’s not what I’m doing. I’m being more organized, creating schedules, and making sure that I make time for me in that schedule. As simple as that sounds, week one was tiring. Today, I stayed in bed until almost 12 noon, my sinuses didn’t help, but my body needed that time…I needed that time. Even my children slept in. My son, who is 6, did not come into my room until after 11 am. Was he awake before? I don’t know, but he was quiet, he kept himself busy, and when he wanted me, he came and got in bed with me and laid there and just talked. I appreciated that. It was as if he knew, mommy needed some extra time because all was not well. At 3, we dropped Sissy to her friend’s 18th birthday party around the corner…she could have driven herself, but she is dragging her feet getting her license (that’s a whole different story for another time), and we came back home. Still, squinting out of one eye, he decided he wanted one on one time with me and we watched Aladdin and Jurassic Park. After everyone was fed, bathed, and put to bed; I walked. I finished my menu for the week, checked the pantry and freezer to see if I needed anything from the store, and made my list. Still carving out my time and taking care of the home base.
So you see, you can have the best of living your life, while being a mom and wife too – it’s about the intention you plan to give each area. I always intend and strive to be the best mom, wife, and woman I can be. I don’t always hit the mark, but when I shine, I shine bright like a diamond! I will keep being their very best mother, and I will keep being his very best wife, but for my sanity I will also START being the VERY best ME, because if I lose me…they lose me, and that would be the real loss of love.