Much like everyone else out there, things kept coming up. One thing led to another and, before I knew it, three years had gone by and all the promises I made to myself about getting back into shape were broken, lost...forgotten.
I've been down this road before; I know how it works. You have to be ready and you have to be willing. No one can force you to change, it must be you who decides to do that.
I'm not just talking about getting our bodies in shape, here, either. Not only do we often sweep aside our physical needs but we put the restorative needs of our minds and spirits on the back burner, as well. This is especially a problem for women. (Some men out there deal with this, too. And single parents. I'm not trying to leave anyone out ;) We women tend to always put everyone else first, because it's "necessary." I like to think of it as "Bedroom Hoarding." Let me explain, I bet you know exactly what I'm talking about:
You know when your kids were little, or still are, and you want to pick up the house, and there's absolutely NO room anywhere in the house for all the stuff laying around? What to you do with it? Most of us throw it into our bedrooms. How about when family is coming over and you only have time to clean the kitchen and bathroom, cook dinner, set the table, and get yourself and three little ones AND your husband ready and straightening up the rest house is the big disaster that you still need to do and you only have 10 minutes before everyone arrives? What do you do? You rush through the house, picking up toys, blankets, stray socks, books, your purse, that scarf...and toss it into YOUR bedroom, right? Or you're just tired after work and don't want to mess with the pick up and say to yourself "I'll just throw it all in here and get to it this weekend," but the weekend is full of even more chaos and it never gets done and, eventually, you are left with a bedroom that TLC's "Hoarder's" would be ashamed of.
You get the picture, right? Do you do this? Well, we tend to do this with ourselves, too. We fill our days with completing tasks for so many other people: taking the kids to activities, cooking dinner, getting that work project done, laundry, helping our friends, volunteering, that we don't leave any time for ourselves.
Serving others in a loving, helpful way is great, I am not saying anything is wrong with any of it, but we tend to forget ourselves and end up "hoarding" our necessities-what is important to us-deep inside. We put it away with the promise to "get to it later" and never do. We see everyone else's needs as more important than our own. We believe that we are being selfish and disrespectful if we do for ourselves. And that just isn't true. A lot of times we will get depressed feelings and not know what's 'wrong' with us. We will feel lost, uninspired, resentful or even angry.
I struggle with this just as much as anyone. I have many, many goals that I would like to accomplish, and I know it's going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of my time, and that somehow makes me feel guilty (and I don't have any small children to care for). Because of the guilt, I get depressed, because of the depression, I get lazy. When I'm lazy, I don't do anything at all. This is a tiresome, nasty cycle.
I had to decide that I was either going to waste time being lazy and not accomplishing anything anyway, or I was going to take control and discuss my goals with my husband (who was, of course, 100% supportive and couldn't even understand why I was worried so much about wanting to spend so much time on my goals) to assure myself that he was on board (another thing we tend to do: look for acceptance and permission) and wrote up a goal sheet. I have learned from past experiences that I do my best when I have lists so that I can stay accountable for tasks that I need/want to complete.
Doing this really helped me to "clear the clutter" in my head so that I could make room for my necessities, much like a cleaning checklist will help you to organize that bedroom full of chaos. I don't feel so overwhelmed and I can prioritize so much more efficiently. I also can more easily see everything that is important to me and can better realize that my needs and wants have a place on that list and that they deserve attention, too. If there is something I need to get done for myself, I am better prepared to say 'no' to something else.
It's a hard thing to get used to for most of us, saying 'no' to someone. But, we so often say 'no' to ourselves that it's time we start to practice a bit of self-care and say 'yes' to our dreams.
Thank you so much for stopping by today and for being patient while I took some time away to get my website and newsletter up and running. Things are easing into a better flow, now that the "busy work" is getting accomplished. I really appreciate you being a part of it!
Have a great weekend!
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