God: I have this thing that you’re going to do. I already started it.
Moses/Me: Lolz. Wait, seriously? OK, um, I don’t really think I have the background and experience to do that. Also, I don’t talk very well and…
God: Oh for crying out… look, who made mouths to speak? I did. I wouldn’t be asking you to do this if I wasn’t familiar with the concepts.
Moses/Me: Please no.
God: Look around you. I’m already doing The Thing. There are so many resources and people I’ve already given you to do This Thing. I’ll be with you. It’s already happening; just come on.
Geez, this post is going to be all over the place. Let’s start… with naps.
If you had a parent who made you nap against your will, and now you are a parent forcing rest upon your children, you’ve probably thought and/or said something like this to your precious wee-ones, “I WISH I HAD SOMEONE SHOW UP AT THIS LOONY BIN EVERY DAY AND TELL ME IT’S TIME FOR MY NAP.” With or without the “I’m about to snap,” emphasis. I found myself thinking just that the other day. I wish there was a bigger, wiser person around who told me to nap every day.
And then I thought, there really is. Maybe not in those exact words. But if you’re lucky enough to even have a few people in your life who are just a few stages ahead of yourself, I guarantee they’re telling you things like, “It’s okay to rest,” and “You don’t have to do it all,” and “Take care of yourself.” In the past, I’ve resisted these suggestions with as much defiant energy as Knox will use to rebel against a nap. It’s often on the days he needs it most. It’s often at the times I need it most. I don’t see the benefit of resting or saying “no” when there is so much to do. Knox doesn’t see the benefit of napping when there are still so many things to break in the house. And we end up as worse versions of ourselves.
I’m trying to listen better. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is literally to stop interrupting others so much as they’re talking. It’s a really bad habit I’ve developed. But I think I also mentally interrupt. And I think I also don’t hear what people are really saying sometimes.
One thing I’m “hearing” this week is a need for balance. I’m a mom, so I spend a lot of time talking to other moms, and I hear them needing balance in their lives. They want their families to be healthy, and happy. They want to work hard and feel excited. They want financial freedom. We want to be really good moms. And we want to be really good wives. And we don’t want to totally lose ourselves in the process. We are not sure how to “have it all,” so to speak.
I realized that this blog has become incredibly off-balance. I listened to a small business speaker discuss her social media outlets the other day and the absolute necessity of diversifying her posts to reflect ALL of her true self. (I think we can all agree that it gets pretty annoying when your feed turns into any of these three things: an infomercial about __________, humble-brag showdown, a cooking show.) In the past few years, I’ve heard a lot things about this blog. They’ve mostly been positive, but comments like these have especially made me realize how tunneled my posting has become:
“Your blog used to be funnier,” I hear sometimes. And, often, “I cry every time I read your blog.”
Feeling responsible for your weeping (and weeping in general) makes me feel like this:
And I, for one, am not-so-secretly grateful for the space and time that divide us in these moments, so I’m not forced to make a joke because your feelings are giving me feelings.
If there are four pillars in my life, I’d say they are Faith, Family, Art & Expression, and Health & Wellness. If there are five, the fifth is Harry Potter. (Executive decision: There are five.)
My blog is making you cry because I’ve been predominantly focusing on Health & Wellness, and more specifically, disability and un-wellness, for the past few years. Even though I’m a positive person, and I try to learn and squeeze life-lessons out of everything from my Bible to the back of a Cheerios box, dwelling on this one aspect of my life just isn’t me.
And being genuine and truthful is… crucial to me. If you’re reading this blog, I guess you think some of the things I say are interesting or important. I don’t want to neglect the other areas of my life in my posts anymore – it doesn’t feel genuine! And that makes me feel uncomfortable.
I’m still exactly as funny as you remember me in person. (So… take from that what you will.) Life over the past three years has given me new perspectives that I’m insanely thankful for; and life over the past six months has instilled within me a sense of purpose and goal-setting that never existed to this degree before.
There’s an aspect of my life that I’ve kept off my newsfeed and away from this blog for x and y reasons. Maybe I’ve tricked myself into thinking that people only want to hear updates on Hayes or the latest ridiculous observation from Knox. But I’ve not been hearing my friends and family and people I meet – people want to be WELL (emotionally, physically, spiritually). I’ve been working on big-picture Wellness for awhile now. I’ve been able to share my reflections with a single group in my life, but I realized this week that I can share them with everyone. (Duh.) So I’m going to do that here, from time to time.
The insight you’re about to read was posted in a Facebook group I belong to called Into Bliss. It’s a group of people headed by my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and myself, where we encourage each other to pursue big-picture wellness and financial goals. Members run the gamut between individuals who brew their own kombucha and birth at home to those of us just trying to put less chicken nuggets in the mouths of our children and wash our yoga pants once in awhile. I love it, because that’s life. I want all these perspectives in my life. So here is what I posted on January 19. (I call them “Super Truthful” posts because I want to remind people -like me- who feel a little out-of-place in a “Wellness and Financial Goals Group” that we are on a JOURNEY, and there isn’t ANYONE who has got it all together.)
Super Truthful Post #3.
My impending birthday has me ALL KINDS of introspective, so bear with me. Let’s talk about honoring our bodies. As someone who doesn’t do drugs (except coffee I guess), doesn’t drink too much, and is in relative good health, I always thought I had honored my body. What I love about essential oils and being a part of Into Bliss is that I am beginning to finally, truly, listen to my body and therefore honor it. Except for the 18 months that I was pregnant, I don’t think I’d really ever done that at all. Let me explain.
I’m the person who will walk around with a 102 degree fever thinking, “I must need a nap.” I have been THAT out-of-tune with my body. In the past, I have taken a sick pleasure in looking at my calendar and seeing EVERY.DAY.FILLED with something to do. Because busy = needed, successful, and important, right? I have neglected nutrition and necessary rest frequently, and the times I’ve noticed symptoms of sickness before illness, I’ve told my body, “I don’t have time for this,” and kept going. (I’m sure none of you can relate to that.) Sometimes, I’d eventually go to the doctor, but the expectation was the same: “Give me something to get this over with quick. I don’t have time to be sick.” This is abuse! If I’m not taking care of myself with rest, hydration, and nutrition, and THEN ignoring signs of illness (usually because I am busy), and THEN just going to the doctor (or the CVS self-medication aisles) to take a medicine I shouldn’t have needed in the first place, I am NOT taking care of myself!
I’m thankful for modern medicine because it can sometimes mean almost guaranteed healing for things that were once deadly (lookin’ at you, malaria) or a sense of security for the ones we love (so glad I have an epi-pen for Knox!) BUT I don’t like how reliance on medications to “fix me” have tricked me into thinking I should just “Go, go, go” until I have to stop. I walked into Walmart the other day to a depressing sight – the whole front of the store was packed with all the necessary items for flu season. We expect to get sick! And I think it’s because we don’t know how to really take care of our bodies. We do exactly what we want to do, when we want to do it, for as long as we want to do it and then expect medicine to fix the damage… over and over again.
I love essential oils because they were designed (not in a lab, but by an Almighty God) to be something we use with intention – to use them in accordance with their design requires us to slow down, to listen, and to honor ourselves. I’m picking up the hint that these are all habits worth developing.
Whether I like it or not, God is increasing my territory. One of the things I’ve been keeping my mouth shut about is (God-willing) going to replace my teaching salary within the next six months.
I’m opening my mouth, because things are already happening.
(Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)