Motivation Mondays: Taking Care of You!

Where are you sitting on your Happy Meter today?

Taking Care of You!

So, how are YOU doing? If you’ve been a reader of Motivation Mondays on this blog, then you already know that I talk a lot about the importance of taking care of yourself.  As a mom I know from experience that it’s super easy to get caught up in schedules and to-lists and continue to push “me time” to the side. I should know. I did it for years.  After I had kids, I convinced myself that taking time out for me was a luxury that I’d get to on another day, or when the kids go older, or when they started school, etc.  One year turned into 5 years and 5 years turned into 10. Just like that! I was looking around thinking, “Where did Shannon go?  For that matter, where’s my body? My energy? My confidence?” I hadn’t realized it but I’d become so consumed with making sure that everyone around me was taken care of that I completely let myself go. Of course, from my perspective, I was just fine. It took a couple of eye opening experiences for me to realize that something had to change.

One experience remains engrained in my mind to this day. I don’t remember how old the kids were, but I’m sure a couple were in the throws of potty training, or the “terrible two’s” , or something like that. From sun up to sun down, my days were absolutely crazy! By the time my husband got home from work, I was making a bee-line out the door. It didn’t matter where I went, I just needed a break, and on this particular day I had to go to the grocery store to run some errands.

Now, this was our local grocer that I’d been going to at least once a week for a few years, so  I was pretty familiar with the cashiers, and I’d like to think that they were used to seeing me in the store. Well, on this day, I ended up in the checkout line of a new cashier. Everything was going great until I took out my checkbook to write a check and she asked for my driver’s license. I didn’t think anything about it until she called the manager over and gave him my license (The check was for a small amount so approval was *not* necessary). He looked down at the license, looked at me, nodded his head to the cashier and walked off. And, then it occurred to me. She thought that I was trying to use someone else’s license. GASP!!!!! What did I look like? When I got home, I went into the bathroom and looked at myself. I mean I REALLY looked at myself. I looked so very tired, and I was a mess. I’d made no effort (whatsoever) to look decent before I walked out of the house. When I looked at my driver’s license picture and then looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t fault the cashier. I probably would have drawn the same conclusion. I just couldn’t remember when I’d stopped caring about myself. This frightened me.

I can be pretty hardheaded sometimes, so unfortunately, this wasn’t the only “eye-opening” experience that caused me to take inventory, but I learned a valuable lesson. Taking care of me is important, not for vanity’s sake or anything like that, but because I need it for me. When I eat right, exercise, get enough rest, and manage stress, and take time to do things that make me happy,  I feel better about me. This enhances the quality of my life and the lives of others around me. We only have one body. We only have one life. Why not make the very best of it?

For the last 4 or 5 years I’ve been on a mission to to reclaim me. While the kids have gotten older and become more self-sufficient, amazingly, my schedule is still really crazy (if not more so). The difference between now and back then, is that I consciously place myself into my schedules. This means that I have to wake up 2-3 hours before everyone else, go to sleep at a descent hour (still working on that one) and make dates with myself for some alone time a few hours every week, but I’m doing it, and it has made a huge difference for me. By honoring me, I’ve placed value on my life. And, as I’ve said before, when we learn to value ourselves, we open ourselves up to value others and this a really, really good thing.

Have a fantastic week!

Keep doin’ what you love,

Shannon

[yellow_box]Motivation Mondays is a series that I started to share encouragement with moms. I use my past struggles as well as triumphs as a backdrop for my writing in the hope that just as others have helped me along the way, my readers will find something beneficial to carry along with them throughout their week. I believe that community is important as well as honesty and transparency. Feel free to send me a PM at littlekidsgrow (a) gmail (dot) com. My welcome mat is always at the door.[/yellow_box]

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