Early in my 20s…it’d make me anxious if things didn’t go according to plan. I’d cling to the plan, and act like a toddler (if not outwardly, definitely inwardly) when things didn’t go how they were “supposed to go”.
I like to know what “the plan” is. I don’t like going into things blindly.
Somewhere, over time, I started to let go. If plans change, more often than not. . .I’m able to wing it. I think it was almost a coping mechanism. I couldn’t hold onto the stress of things not going my way, anymore.
So, I stopped making long term plans.
For my kids’ birthdays, I started planning last minute. And for most anything, it seems like my best plans always come together last minute, anyways.
When we started “planning” our road trip, I was so excited!! After years of not planning super far ahead, we had this plan of where we would go, and when we would be there. It was a general plan, but it was a plan that was starting to come together.
And then, 2020 happened. And I have to laugh. Because, like for everyone else this year. . .2020 has definitely not gone according to plan.
Through this year, I’ve been reminded of why exactly it is, I’m more of a “wing-it” girl.
The last couple of months have reminded me that not clinging to my plan, allows for God’s plan to unfold. And, His plan always ends up better than mine!!
“Your homework is to spend at least an hour, a week, doing something for you”. I had just gotten done telling my counselor that I wake up, go to work, eat, sleep, repeat. “Well, that’s no way to live. No wonder why you’re so anxious”.
I was in my first two years of teaching, we just had our second baby, and my husband broke his leg. And, I was barely hanging on by a thread. I had let so many other things take priority…and I had forgotten, not only who I was, but what gave my life joy.
So, after my counselor “gave me homework”….I didn’t really know where to start…I remember asking friends… “What do people do for themselves??” I had no idea what I liked. So, I set out to learn.
My husband would often kick me out of the house, for me time, and I would go try stuff…anything…
Enjoy a dinner by myself and read a book, at Wingstop.
Meet up with friends.
Go on a run.
Go sit by the river and take pictures.
Go on a drive.
And, on the days that I had the kids by myself, I’d stay up a little bit later and:
Watch a movie or tv show. Journal. Spend time in the word, or just listen to worship music. Bubble Bath.
Switching from a smart phone to a regular phone.
Dictionary.com defines self-care as the practice of taking an active role in one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during times of stress.
So, why is self-care important?! Well, I can only answer that from a place of personal experience. When I’m not taking care of myself…I’m not myself. I am more anxious. I get more snippy and frazzled. My body is constantly tense. And, when I’m in that state of mind…I can’t be who I’m made to be as a person, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, society member. I can’t be who I’m made to be for this world.
And lately, I have not been doing what I can to make sure I’m taking care of myself? Honestly, right now it’s just so hard. It’s not as easy. I can’t just go grab a cup of coffee and sit and chat with a friend. Or go grab wingstop and read a book. Or go to a yoga class.
And the self-care that I typically do at home, well…we live in a super small space, and it’s just harder. (Yes…I know that I chose this life..and no…that doesn’t make it any easier).
We are in a major transition period, and I’m finding with each passing day, that I really need to be making time to take care of myself.
It takes 21 days to create a new habit. I really need something to focus on, something steady that I can control. And, for those in that moment..asking that same question I was asking… “What do people do for themselves??” I want to give resources and ideas…because stuff like this sure did help me, when I was first starting out….
So, I’m going to a 90 day self-care challenge.
I’ll post once a day on what self-care I chose, and how I felt at the end of the day.
Last summer, I wanted to set up (some) structure for my two boys. I wanted my oldest to start practicing cursive, and my youngest to work on his handwriting and letter formation.
In my mind, they would be excited. They would get their activities done quickly, and we would be on with the rest of our day. WRONG. Haha. I got SO much push back. So, I had them do some practice, here and there, but decided not to be too structured about it.
Fast forward to the school year. I began to mentally prepare them how we would be homeschooling “next school year”. Lots of talk about, “next year, when we homeschool”…In my experience, kids do a lot better when you prepare them for what’s to come through conversation.
Little did we know, they would have, sort of a, transition period half-way through the year. I won’t go all the way into all of the uncertainty that the corona virus pandemic brought, including my kids’ last year in public school. But, I will say, that it sort of gave us a transition period.
At home learning gave us a preparation season. It gave us a “dip your toes in the water”. I’m thankful for this. I’m thankful we aren’t jumping in with cold feet.
So, as the school year ended, we took June off completely from any intentional learning, with an exception to a short Juneteenth lesson.
This week, we have started being more intentional. The goal? To work on our homeschool stamina. I want us to have stretched our muscles, before we dive into homeschool, in September.
So, right now…my oldest has to spend some part of each day reading, and practice 5 pages of cursive.
And my youngest has to practice two pages of handwriting practice and read one book.
Right now, they are “advertising” to a frog trying to get it to live in a toy house, so they can keep it as a pet…I’m sure they are learning something from this…right?!