I’m amazed sometimes that it took me 32 years, a marriage, and bearing two children before I learned how to take better care of myself.
To go to bed on time.
To drink water instead of soda.
To moisturize properly.
To eat right.
To take my vitamins.
One of my primary responsibilities is to take care of other people. People who don’t know how the washing machine works. People who can’t even bathe or feed themselves. And yet I wasn’t doing a very good job of taking care of myself.
I finally learned to go to bed and finish a task in the morning instead of staying up late and fooling myself into thinking I was being productive.
The other day at the grocery store I almost decided to buy a bottle of soda, because I had been so good about not drinking it. Why do we try to reward ourselves with the very things that aren’t good for us and that we have been trying to avoid? I came to my senses and turned my cart around just in time.
I still don’t always get it right. I forget to eat lunch sometimes. If it’s not on my to-do list, I don’t stop to eat lunch. Fortunately my husband knows this about me, and if I’m feeling like I’m ready to have a breakdown he knows he needs to make me a snack.
I used to think taking care of myself was all about the outside of me. Looking good. My toes were always polished. I spent a lot of time thinking about my hair. But I didn’t feel very good.
Now, in this season of life, taking care of myself is essential to survival. Most days I have no time to myself to start the morning quietly, even on the days when I wake up before six a.m. There’s always a little person making his needs clearly known in those wee hours of the morning, whether or not I have fully woken up.
Taking care of myself makes the difference between making it through the day or feeling miserable the whole time.
When free time is so precious, do I use it on something that will revive my spirits, or am I too beat to recognize when an activity is just “filler?”
Do you even remember which activities revive your spirits?
Right now (because it might change) my favorite free-time activities are sewing and reading books. Even if it’s just for half an hour or less.
So in my favorite keep/drop style, here is how I’m spending my free time.
sewing small things
Drop: doing last-minute cleaning so I can “relax” with a nice clean view.
Drop: watching movies