I have the hottest date ever planned this evening.
Me and Me, dinner that’s been in the crockpot, a glass of red wine, a warm bath and bed.
I’m beginning to believe I am my own best company and certainly more dependable.
I have this gut feeling that some intensely real part of me has been hibernating for years and like a baby bear coming out of a dark cave, it’s beginning to awaken. 2019 will be my last year of grad school. Working full time, momming, daughtering, schooling, working, interning….blah, blah, blah. It’s going to be a whirlwind of a year! I am amazed when I look back and see how far I’ve come (and I am overwhelmed when I see how far I have to go!)
We humans are ever-evolving, exploring creatures. I am in awe of our capacity for resilience and growth. That capacity gives me hope for us all. It especially gives me hope for myself because I dream of the day I am all grown up in the ways that matter.
Here’s what I am trying to grasp about being a grown up:
The magic is in the mercy. The gift is in the grace. Over and over and over I fail. Over and over and over I receive these compassions. I am surrounded with grace giving, magic mercy making, lovers of my heart and I am intensely blessed.
I’m not looking for easy, I’m too much of a realist for that. I am hopeful that the deep inventory I continue to take of myself is not a futile effort and that there is great goodness in what I find. I am still searching for freedom from the things that bind my heart…there are many. I am yearning for the things that make my tummy have the best kinds of butterflies, there are several of those things too.
There was a time that I walked every single day. My goal was to reach 100 days straight of walking at least 10 minutes a day. Most days I walked 45 minutes to an hour. Then, at 91 days of walking…I sprained my ankle and couldn’t bear any weight on my foot.
Looking back, I can’t believe I stuck with a form of exercise that long. I am a wiggle worm, I have a hard time sitting still. I normally hate exercise but somehow in that process, I had learned to cherish my daily walk. I spent the time talking with God and at the end of my walk, I’d lay in the grass and listen to worship music and ask God (again and again and again) to help me surrender everything to him. This small act made the biggest impact in the way I lived my life and in the peace I had in my heart. It wasn’t that life was easy, it was that I took time for myself; time to ‘be’ with God and just time to be.
This is definitely missing from my life. I avoid connecting with myself. I run from God. I sure as heck don’t take time to just ‘be’ and care for myself. I have read countless studies about the effects of long term low stress levels. Weight gain, lack of motivation, trouble sleeping, etc, etc, etc. Name a side effect and I have experienced it at one time or another. I am amazed at me. It’s comparable to my ability to handle 32 crazy kids in a classroom while I struggle with my perfectly imperfect 2. I can counsel people all day on the significance of self-care. Preaching to the choir!
I touched on this when I last wrote, I believe that somewhere along the line I quietly decided that I wasn’t worth it. That’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to my kiddos. They need to know their Momma is a beautifully confident, capable and compassionate woman who is doing her best to raise beautifully confident, capable compassionate kids.
I’m beginning with what I have and where I can. I took a 30 minute walk yesterday. My phone died immediately after my feet hit the pavement. That irritated me and I nearly went back to charge it. I had wanted to make a phone call or listen to something. I had a dear friend (maybe more than one at times) tell me that I was so stubborn and sometimes needed a figurative smack in the head to listen.
Ouch! I know why I haven’t been walking and it’s not because I am lazy. While I might say that I desire that time with God and to care for myself, I truly do not. I just stated that I’ve been running from God and can’t stand to be alone with my own thoughts. This is truth. I would rather read, talk, play candy crush, do dishes, eat, drive….anything that keeps me from being alone with my thoughts. Sometimes, when I am still, the tears still come. I’m tired of the tears. So I run in various ways. I’m beginning to see what a self destructive pattern this is.
I walked. I noticed six beautiful geese and I wondered if they were partnered. (you know…because they mate for life). They were in close proximity but not right next to one another. However, when a car drove by or there was a noise, they would immediately pair off with their mate. It was the coolest sight to observe and I doubt I would’ve taken time to notice God’s intricate design among the geese had I been on the phone. Ironically, I was able to turn my phone on long enough to snap a few pictures of my feathered friends. No accidents, ever.
Tonight, I will walk again. Not because I have to but because I can. I am on a journey of learning to love myself. It’s not all bad but I’m honest enough to express that much of it really sucks. I’m taking some scary steps, pretty consistently stretching out of my comfort zone…because that is where life begins, right? I’m ready life! Oh, what’s that? You say you’ve already begun. Oh dear! I better start living!