When I’m not with my kids I have time to really consider my relationship with them. And the times that I’m with them, I am grateful for those. Not to say I didn’t get it when I was married.
That role exhausted me, the way I went about it. I was always going, trying to be the best wife. The best mom. All I was met with was exhaustion. And I mistranslated that exhaustion to mean I was a disappointment. There were never enough minutes in the day to get done what I needed to do so I would really be the best.
Basically, there are people out there more suited to balance that and I bet the number one thing they have in common is that they take care of themselves. They schedule time with themselves. I was not one of those people.
The time I scheduled with myself went more like this: sporadic thoughts that were meant to keep me on some track to be better. As if I wasn’t enough.
Since that role for me, at that time, did not include me taking time for myself I had no capacity to really feel grateful. Not how I do now. Now I have all the time in the world from the minute they hop out of my car and wave as they run away to their dads place to the minute I get to stick my tongue out at them and make faces as soon as we make eye contact through the car windows.
My alone time has now really become a time for me feel the real and whole feeling of gratitude, not the fleeting gratitude that used to be glittered through my exhausted mind. This time it’s different, I get to spend a lot of time with it.
With the divorce, I’ve also had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with grief this year too; the pleasure of spending time with self care. Even spending time observing, listening, has become more meaningful.
If you can relate to this exhaustion I’m telling you, take a break. Even if it’s as simple as scheduling a time to q tip your ears once a week or splash warm water on your face and give yourself a good look in the mirror. Start as small as you need to just to get it started. Then one day you’ll be sitting there on your scheduled time with yourself and you’ll feel a genuine feeling of gratitude that will just fill your whole world with a new hue.
You don’t have to be a single woman like me, without your kids, alone for days, either. Because when you schedule time with yourself, there could be people all around you, but the most important one holding your attention is you. And when you allow yourself to be considered important, every bit of what makes you you struggle and what makes you great gets noticed by you. You get to know yourself through and through. And when you know and appreciate yourself, you suddenly find yourself grateful for what you have, and have had, because you are important enough to have had it.
Bonus points if you can hang with who you are right now, flaws, follies, scars, struggles, failures, losses, frustration, bravery, courage, curiosity, creativity, the whole damn beautiful person you are right now, just for a shortly scheduled break with the best date around.