Pulled in too many directions, so tired. I'm always running. Sleep.... what's that? There's bags under my eyes and I'm not sure the last time I washed my hair. I keep telling myself that if I can get through this next week, then I can rest. Then the next week is here and I lie to myself again, just make it through this week.
I have a family, a husband, four daughters, 2 jobs and I'm constantly on the go. I meet with gads of people each week and I love what I do and what my life looks like. I wouldn't trade it. It's easy to forget about yourself when you are caregiver, healer, confidant & coach. You want so badly to love on everyone around you that it often comes at the expense of you and your health. I share my most recent slap in the face because it's so real. I share it because I'm proud of it and it's hilarious, because I listened and it was AMAZING!
I have a group of people that meet once a month. We discuss our losses, our hurts, trials and we walk along side each other like a warrior tribe to lift each up. We support, we fight along side and we show up for each other. This last month, I had us doing an art therapy activity that I wanted to get on film and I brought my daughter along to capture the moments. But before that I had us write on a piece of paper what we were struggling with this holiday season. We then folded the papers and exchanged them so many times that we no longer knew where our paper was, then we went around the room and read them. It's not always easy to admit your struggles out loud to a group of people, that's why we exchange them, so we can stand up for our sisters. I often sit back and facilitate these activities, however I thought I'd join in this go round as my daughter was also participating. Never in a million years could I have forecast what was about to happen.
We went around the room, there was some really tough situations we talked about. The holidays, when you are grieving, can be so painful. Lots of great insight was shared. The hearts that people in this group have for each other is absolutely incredible. It was a magical moment to witness. Then it came to my daughters turn to read the paper she had. She read it out loud and it said "Pulled in too many directions, so tired!" She then began to give her 14 year old wisdom that sounded something like this "You just got to realize that you are important too. You can't be everything to everyone. You have to get your priorities straight, you have to realize that YOU are a priority." The whole room went quiet and I could see her face start to turn that bright crimson color that comes when she gets a little embarrassed. Then someone breaks the silence and says "she is definitely your kid Kira" I was so proud to hear those words of wisdom come from her mouth. It was extraordinary to witness her using the skills I've been teaching her her whole life come out in front of a large group of people. It was one of those moments when all your hard work has paid off as a parent and you get a glimpse of the adult she will become. There was a lot of agreement of the group in that moment and some giggles as this 14 year old girl gave the rest of us adults some priceless advice. Yet it was in that precise moment I received a punch to the gut like I haven't in a long time. See it just so happens, that was my piece of paper that my daughter read out loud. It was my own words coming back at me through the mouth of my babe. It was exactly what I needed in that moment. I AM A PRIORITY. She had no idea what she had done, nor the impact she made until the next morning when I shared this story with my husband in front of her.
So that night I took wisdom and applied it, I warned the whole house that I would be sleeping in. I didn't get up and cook breakfast, no laundry was started, the house was still a mess and yet I slept. I didn't get out of my pjs till 11am, something I can't remember doing for the last few years.
I am a priority and so are you! Here is what I want you to get from this.
1) Stop lying to yourself! it's easy to brush off self care and fib to people and yourself that that you do it. Lets be honest for a moment shall we?? List the last 5 things that you have done to recharge, fill your own cup or invest in your own well being? If you can't list 5, then quit fibbing to yourself!!
2) Tell others around you what you are doing. I told my family I needed rest. Sleep needed to happen and I expected them to leave me alone. Guess what... they all made it through the morning without me. Breakfast still got made, just not by my hands and it tasted wonderful!
3) Anytime you get in the go, go, go mentality I want you to shout "I AM A PRIORITY!" It's easy in the hustle of the holidays to into game on mode. To run around doing all the things. Each time that has happened to me during this holiday break I speak out loud and say it, I AM A PRIORITY and the whole family stops and allows me some space and they chip in a little more. Many hands makes easy work.
4) Just because a 14 year old said it, doesn't make it any less true. wisdom can come from many different areas. Don't be so quick to brush it off just because it came from a place you didn't expect to hear it, or from a mouth far less experienced than you. Be open and less quick to judge.
I hope this helped you, like it did me. Even though I have 2020 planning to do, even though I have to move my office to a new location, even though I had to paint said office during holiday chaos, even though I started the break with w cold and felt a bit under the weather and even though we had to drive all over the city to visit family.... I am a priority! I slept in longer each day of the break, I let others step in and help with chores, I took quiet time to myself, I went to bed earlier, I cooked less and IT WAS AMAZING!
I know we all have our stuff. How much more effective will you be if you take the time to recharge yourself?