It took awhile, but finally I got it. I realized that it was necessary to allow myself some personal time outs to be better; calmer, more patient, healthier, and more effective as a parent, a wife and an employee. You could say I finally recognized the value of my own well being and how that affected everything else. I decided (yes, it was a choice) to start being a little kinder and gentler with myself. I started taking time off from my job. Eventually I developed a meditation practice. I began journaling to find out who I was and what really mattered to me. I guess you can say that is when things began to change. I began seriously realizing my own value as a person and the value of time alone.
I’ve learned not to feel guilty when I take time for myself. Often in the middle a days worth of chores I will rest because that is what my body is telling me to do. I have learned to listen. Some days it’s a 20 minute catnap or a half hour on the sofa with my crocheting or a cup of coffee and a book. Some days just a little time in the fresh air connecting with nature or time spent here, connecting with all of you is just what I need. We all need to nurture and renew our spirit. When we neglect to do so, we can find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and/or resentful, stressed out, anxious, angry, tired, depressed and/or physically ill.
Managing your time is important if not crucial to establishing guilt free time for yourself as well as staying on top of responsibilities. For me, this is where list making is important. Either before I go to bed or when I get up in the morning and am having my first cup of coffee, I sit down at the table with pen and paper and make a “to do” list for that day or the next.
Knowing how I am about making extended lists, I will either make two columns; one for the “must do” priorities and another for the other things I hope to accomplish that day but aren’t as important. Or I will make one long list and put a little star beside the priorities. I do the best I can and most days accomplish more than I expected to. Other days I may not do as much, but I don’t lose any sleep over that fact. I just add those things to the next day or another. Sometimes I get caught up enough that I can take an unplanned day just for doing what I like; sewing, puttering, writing or spending time with friends. But again, managing your time is what gets you there.
Later in the week I hope to talk about why simple living is smarter living and how it frees up more of your time and energy. In the meantime, think about what nourishes and renews your spirit. If you’re not sure then be direct and ask yourself. Try to discover those things that bring you joy, relaxation and other positive feelings. It could be a craft or hobby, journaling, reading, walking, relaxing to music or any number of things. Add one or two of them to your daily list as a reminder that they are just as important as anything else you do and then do them. Practice doing not doing…you’ll thank yourself. : )