I used to be moving at manic speed. No, really. I was a whirlwind. Now, I am “recovering.” I’ve been in a self-imposed “recovery” for about three weeks now.
Just like every other mother that I know, I have a lot going on in my life. So many things vying for our time. So many responsibilities. Torn between them all. Not doing one of them well.
I am here to tell you that I am not longer manic. I am coming out from under the mania. I am conquering it.
As I write this it is 7:30am. My husband has left for work. My kids (miracle of all miracles) are asleep and instead of “getting a jump on the day” and running throughout the house at top speed, I am sitting on my favorite chair with a nice cup of coffee and listening to the bird’s sing.
Do you know how long it has been since I have taken a moment like this? I can’t even begin to contemplate that. Sure there is laundry to fold, a bathroom to clean and oh yeah, a bedroom half-painted and client work to begin but instead, at this moment, I am blogging. I am blogging because I love it and it makes me happy.
And when I am centered and happy I react so much better. I prioritize so much better. I am a better ME. Which, of course, makes me a better wife, mother, business owner, blogger, friend and neighbor.
You might be saying to yourself, “Duh, Jen. Every magazine in the world runs stories on this topic’s importance. Why WOULDN’T you take time for yourself?”
I guess I just didn’t think it applied to me. It is the ole’ superwoman cliche. I guess I always believed that I was above all of those pressures. Like somehow I was different. That those rules didn’t apply to me. Stress? Health concerns? “Emotional breakdowns?” That was something that happened to OTHER WOMEN.
I’ve been chronically tired. I’ve gained weight. I’ve been moody and I have been disorganized. Combine them all and you get one hot mess of a woman.
So one day last month I literally said “FORGET IT!” (Actually, it was the spicier version of that phrase, but you get my drift.) And I turned down an future family obligation. Then I passed up an unbelievable opportunity. And then I didn’t post a blog. And then I sat down and READ A BOOK. AND I refused to feel guilty about it. So radical, right?
I’ve kept it up.
You know what? I am breathing again. I am feeling healthier. And I am managing life instead of letting life manage me. Now, I evaluate every opportunity that comes my way. As exciting as it may sound, I weigh it against my goals. And if I can’t do it well or it will add too much stress, then I turn it down.
Revolutionary, I tell you! I’m happier. My kids are happier and my husband is much happier. And my clients get my undivided attention.
So, I ask you, are you managing or are you manic? What steps are you taking to simplify your life and gain control of your sanity? Is it a constant struggle between obligations and opportunities?
A resource: 72 Ideas to Simplify Your life