Lately, I have been thinking a lot about life. The nature of it, the quality of it, how to enjoy it more. Over the past couple of years, my stress level has skyrocketed. Primarily it was work related, but over time I started to get so incredibly stressed out that I couldn’t leave work at work. Of late, I have started realizing exactly how much I internalize stress and how incredibly difficult it is for me to let it go, even when I am trying to spend time with the kids and enjoy them. Well, I made a huge decision. I quit my administrative position and have decided to return to faculty. No more middle of the night calls, no more stressful politics, no more over reactive parents. On one hand I am so excited to have my first summer off in 15 years – yes, you read that correctly, 15 years! On the other, I’m terrified. Change has never been something I am good at. Never has it been something that I enjoyed. Well, there are few changes as big as this.
Now what? Finally, I get some time off. What to do with it? Obviously, spend a huge amount of time creating side walk chalk masterpieces, blowing bubbles and eating popsicles with two of the most charming side kicks I have ever laid eyes on. But what to do to restore my soul? I have been trying for years – no joke, years – to pour from an empty pitcher. You just can’t. It has taken its toll. I’m tired. So, again, I have had to make some decisions. Over the next few weeks, I am transitioning out of my current position and preparing to focus on myself and my family for an entire summer. I am hoping that I can recharge my batteries, start fresh. I’m seriously considering making this a summer of fitness. Not just physical fitness, but yes that too. In addition to trying to become healthier – we all know that is one of the first things to go when work and life are out of balance. Moms are not known for their ability to put themselves before all of the myriad tasks at hand. Unfortunately for my waist line, I’m no different. So, this summer I want to focus on the following things:
- Do three things each week to restore my soul – three things just for me.
- Exercise at least five days a week. Not walk around the grocery store or park at the back of the parking lot type of exercise, but real exercise.
- Eat healthier and lower calorie foods instead of so many processed and convenience foods.
- Examine my financial fitness and create a plan to pay off debt and put more in savings.
- Be a good example of how to take care of your family and yourself for my daughter.
- Sit down with my daughter and create a summer bucket list and do every single item on that list.
In that vein, I’ll keep you all updated on my journey – did you ever doubt? 😊 My first at order of business and one I can start now is to begin cooking and eating more nutritious and lower calorie foods. Since I have a three year old in the house, you know its going to get real the first time I “hide” broccoli or zucchini in something and it isn’t as well hidden as I thought it was. More vegies, more whole foods, fewer calories. That is the first goal. Game on, tiny people!
I still have some soul searching to do before I realize what I am going to find that really does restore my soul. I am tempted to try yoga, meditation, and just quite time with no electronics or distractions. I am starting to wonder if I seek to fill my days as much as I do in order to avoid feeling. Feeling what? Anything negative – anxiety, insecurity, regret, you name it. When I am overwhelmed, as I have been for entirely too much of the last few years, trying to balance work and life, but really just treading water, I don’t want to feel. It is uncomfortable. It is, sometimes, painful. It is also critical to resolve those issues, let them go, and move on – happily. It is time to move on and focus on being happy rather than being indispensable. I have recently realized that the only people I need to impress are snuggled in my nest every night. It is time to focus on the amazing little family I have already been blessed with, and it is time to put myself in a little mommy related time out.
Bring on the summer, I’m waiting with open arms to embrace everything it has to offer!