This blog has given me so many gifts. I feel guilty taking things for free, but there is no price that can be placed on insight and friendship and inspiration and connection, so I'll take it.
This week I am on an Inspiration Diet. I had absolutely no idea how badly I needed one until I started. I didn't even choose to do it- it kind of chose me. I watched this CK Lewis video and I felt.
And I felt and felt and felt. It crawled deep inside my bones and just wouldn't go away- this feeling that I needed to do something to take care of myself in a way deeper than I am used to doing. Getting Botox or getting my hair done or working out- as helpful and necessary as they are for me- they mostly take care of the outside of me. I was searching and longing for something more fulfilling. Different. I needed to get in touch with my sad and my quiet and my alone. I wasn't miserable or dying or depressed, but something was off. I've felt disconnected. A little scared of Life. Angry at myself for my human and imperfect feelings. I felt like I was constantly doing and getting nothing done and I never had quiet time to catch up with my thoughts. I knew I could do one of two things with that feeling in my bones. I could ignore it. I could just keep phoneing and Facebooking and living that exact same life hoping somehow that empty would go away, or I could doing something uncomfortable and introspective and get quiet to find some inspiration.
And in my last post I shared with you my feelings of inadequacy I felt when looking at Facebook and social media. Looking at it made me feel sad and jealous and inadequate so I was going to limit my exposure to twice a day this week. My goal is moderation. I am AWESOME at cold turkey, but it doesn't work for me long term--Quitting something fully and outright. Because I quit it- for whatever amount of time. And then I start again but in small amounts. And then 5 minutes later I am right back to where I began stuffing my face with whatever it is because that's how I roll. After 39 years I'm on to my tricks.
And at first I thought Facebook brought those terrible feelings out in me. Just me. I thought it was ME because I have children with Super Powers. And then I realized that it probably wasn't only me - because we all have things we long for- but I had no idea that SO MANY of you feel the same way.
And it's not something privy only to Super Powers which makes me feel less alone, more connected. We ALL have something enviable. Yes, even YOU. I PROMISE. You got it going on, Friend. You've got gifts and skills. Just take a moment to take a look at them RIGHT NOW. Throw them a little gratitude. Single friends are envied by people in VERY difficult marriages. Boy they would do anything to go back in time and be single again, they think. And exhausted and overwhelmed Moms are jealous of the single put together gal or guy without poop stains on their recently steam cleaned couch. And the single gal longs for the Life of the Mom who is married because certainly- isn't that every girl's wish come true? Doesn't that mean they have it all? And some woman who just KNOW they are supposed to be Moms don't yet have a baby, because so far it hasn't happened. I can't imagine how painful it is to keep hope while seeing everyone else's children cascade down their newsfeed.
You are not alone. I am here. We all are here. And when we tell the truth about how we feel, it opens the world up for others to do the same. And when someone tells their truth it is SO BRAVE. I'm so proud of you guys.
Usually when Greyson ipads, I phone. But today instead I just sat and watched.
It's the tiny little details I love the most about Mom'ing. Sometimes I want to rip out my hair, yes. But sometimes I feel love wash over me so fully that it feels like I'm addicted.
I urge you to go on an Inspiration Diet for a week. Only you know what you need to add or remove from your Life to find your own sweet slice of happy. I don't think we can make our life 100% better or 100% stress free, but I think we can maybe find 100 different little ways to make it 1% better at a time.
Yesterday for my Inspiration Diet Day 4 I went to bed early. Even as a young little girl, bed time pained me. I remember that fear of missing out on Life as I slept. I wanted to watch movies and have snacks and be awake in case anything amazing happened.
I remember one night my neighbors were going through a difficult divorce. The Mom brought the kids over in the middle of the night because the Father was threatening to take them away. I thought it was the most exciting thing that ever happened and I then assumed that night time was when all the exciting and outrageous things in the world happened. I also remembered only getting half way throughout that story during Girl Scouts Show and Tell. My neighbor's divorce and custody battle was my Tell because I forgot to bring something that day.
I still feel that same fear of bedtime at night, despite the fact that many days I am longing for it to arrive. I often find myself writing until late at night. Because I need it. But I also need chocolate. And to watch TV. And to read. And sometimes when Michael is out of town it's midnight before I finally fall asleep. The day after that happens, I am not okay. It contributes to that feeling of always doing and never getting anything done. The feeling that I don't have just a minute to sit and catch up with my thoughts.
So last night I didn't write. And the funny thing is- for the first time in a long time I didn't feel the need to eat copious amounts of chocolate which I feel is a direct correlation to my Inspiration Diet. I promise my empty was even just a tiny bit smaller. I kept the TV off because I know it sucks me in. I just read in my bed with everything off. Lights out by 10pm. No thinking was allowed, just deep breathing. And today was easier, I was more rested and calm.
Today's Inspiration Diet had to do with judgement. First thing this morning I was driving the boys to therapy. Yesterday was Trash Day and the neighbors down the street still had their emptied trash cans out. I can't believe they didn't bring their cans in. Even when Michael is out of town I make sure to go out after the kids are in bed and bring them in, I thought. And all of the sudden I realized - not only was I judging, but I was literally judging my neighbor about something that really doesn't affect me in the slightest. And instead of calling myself names or yelling at myself - I decided to simply be aware of things that I judge. I did it again at Physical Therapy. Why is she wearing jeans? She should have work out stuff on. BAM. JUDGEMENT.
And today I became aware that I judge much more than I realized. I judge people who never give their kids candy or sugar. I judge people who constantly post things on Facebook. I judge the put together Mom with the perfect snacks and strict schedule whom I assume is judging me. I'm judging someone for IMAGINARILY JUDGING ME. What is that?! In the end, the judging is all the same.
And the thing about judgement- is that it's IMPOSSIBLE to feel judgement and happy at the same time. I actually feel judgement and annoyance. And it's heavy. I think not judging others will help me not judge myself so hard. That sounds like the kind of break I could use.
I'm taking a lesson from the Littles. No judgement. Just love.
You can't judge people and touch their souls at the same time. Tama Kievs.
Doodle's play date yesterday and brown-eyed doppelganger, Liam! His Momma is one of the many gifts I've received from this blog.
Inspiration Diet. Are you in? What are you going to do?
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