Harder Than it Looks

Lately I’ve noticed that I have been a little bit more volatile that I normally am. Over the weekend I was disproportionately upset with the people who didn’t know how to navigate a doorway with a wheel chair and the seagull that almost crapped all over me. So I wasn’t all that surprised that when we went to counseling on Tuesday, Jared suggested we talk about my anger problem. Me angry? Yes. The worst part is that there isn’t a really good reason. I wish that everybody not thinking like I do was a good reason to be irritated but it’s not. As we talked, it also came out that I am tired. Sure part of it is that there was spring break and we had been sick and as much as I wished that was the problem, it wasn’t. You see, I had been doing really well. After a year of climbing back up after a crazy few years I thought I was rested enough. I started to add things back in. Harmless things. A bible study on Monday nights and volunteering on Tuesdays, slightly higher expectations of how organized our home should be, nothing major. The catch was that in the process of trying to get back to my more normal life, I cut out sitting on the beach for an hour every day. Who does that anyway? Nobody. Certainly not a mother of two young kids. If my goal was to get back to normal, then it makes sense that I would take less time out for myself, that’s what everyone else is doing. Sure I have had people tell me that it is acceptable and a good thing that I rest and take a few hours to myself every day but I don’t believe it. I want to, but it is hard. It feels extravagant to take that much time to myself even if I know that I need it. None the less, knowing that it is what I have needed I went back to the beach. On Wednesday Chloe came along.

On Thursday I walked with a friend along the bluffs.

This morning I was still trying to convince myself that it was alright, even when life isn’t in chaos mode, it is still alright to take this much time to rest and restore. Not just to get some reserves in so that when life spins out of control again I am ready to handle it, but just because it is good.

As I sat there this morning I noticed that I am a little bit better, my head a little clearer. I realized that I just move at a different pace. I have learned to slow down. Every once in a while I forget why we go slow and I start to speed up but I just can’t handle it. The hard part is that it seems there aren’t a whole lot of other people that move at a slow pace. It is hard to connect with other moms when they are going fast, manically moving from one activity to the next. It is true that Claire has helped me to see the value in slowing down. When you are with her it is the only speed to go. You just can’t see her success when you are going fast. In a way, she forces me to slow down because I do want to see her world and the triumphs that she has in it. Without her showing me the beauty of slowing down, I don’t know that I ever would have seen it. I understand why others don’t appreciate it like I do, most likely they haven’t been shown the true beauty of it. As I sit and struggle with this I am curious, do you struggle with this? Do you feel guilty taking time for yourself even when you know that you need it?

7 thoughts on “Harder Than it Looks

  1. good for you colleen. i never really feel guilty for taking ME time. but then not feeling guilty makes me feel guilty-b/c I feel like I am SUPPOSED to feel guilty! how sick is that? you do going to the beach very well, I say stick to it b/c its awesome.

  2. What exactly is “me” time. That is my question. What do I do for me? Not enough for sure. I don't even remember what I like to do? What books do I like to read? What sports do I like?…. I don't remember. Not a good sign.

  3. I really appreciate both of your honest answers, thank you! Deardra, I was there two years ago. I didn't even know what I liked to eat. I sincerely hope that through whatever process it takes, that you can get back to that spot where you find yourself and can answer the question of what me time is for you. Big hugs!!!

  4. I still feel guilt for the time that both kids are at school and I have a couple hours to myself. At the same time, I feel like a crazy person when those hours are taken away. I know I'm a better parent & wife when I'm not at my wits end, so I try to have some time to myself….for everyone's sake:) I think it would be a sin to be in such a beautiful place and not spend time on the beach! It makes me happy just to see the photos you post of you guys relaxing on the beach…and I'm not ever there. Lol

  5. I am learning through you Colleen. It's so hard to take time. I multi-task well and appreciate efficiency. I want every minute to be spent accomplishing as much as possible. I sometimes get busted by my girls who will say “MooooM!” and then tell me that I've said “hurry” or “hustle” or “quickly” or “we're late” 50 times. I have vowed to not say those things in the mornings. I have tremendous guilt about time spent alone. I don't do me-time well… at all. Your post has made me think, and smile and breathe a little less quickly. Thanks 🙂

  6. I totally recognise this, and I struggle with it too. I spend practically all my time, whatever I'm doing, telling myself I should really be doing something else. It's very tiring! But time out for yourself is good, and it's time well spent. (I find it so much easier to say this to someone else than to myself!) Like you, I find that I need plenty of time alone – and not just alone with a list of tasks to work through! I agree with Ann Marie – what a waste it would be to live beside a beautiful beach and not spend time there. If I lived where you do I'd do just the same as you and sit on the beach for a while every day – perhaps we could wave, and meet for time-limited coffees occasionally 🙂 xxx

  7. Honestly, I was just thinking today about how I feel that one of the most important things that I have done for myself over the past 6 months and has helped me recover from the slump of a diagnosis has been devoting time to myself. I feel like a person again, not just a mother or special needs parent, or a wife. I am still me and I still need to do things for myself that make me happy. Good for you to be taking that time for yourself, if you aren't healthy then you can't give what you need to everyone else. I think YOU actually told me that! 🙂 Love ya!

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