Less than a week ago, the six of us were bed ridden with a flu that took over the whole house. It forced us all to slow down, relax and spend time some much needed time together. We weren’t feeling great but we had each other’s company.
Monday morning came and I was more than ready to get everyone back to school. Not only to play catch up with the things I had wanted to get done the previous week, but I was looking forward to getting back on my self care daily schedule. I hadn’t had the energy to work out, do yoga, meditate or even write. I also only did my three daily gratitudes some of the time when I felt I could pick up a pen.
As this week went on, I was feeling more complete as I checked things off my list. Then today arrived and I had nothing planned. After dropping the kids off at school, I hit up the grocery store to pick up some toiletries and then went home.
I stood in the kitchen for awhile, staring, trying to figure out what to do with the free two hours I had to myself.
I knew I wanted to do yoga in order to take some deep breaths to relax but it was weird, when I was done, I didn’t feel calmer like I normally do but instead I felt a wave of anxiety. I had spent all week playing catch up so there was nothing pressing on my list but the days were flying by with little to no time to slow down and pause.
And now I was handed this quiet time but all I wanted to do was fill it up by keeping myself busy doing things that needed to get done instead of doing something for me. I could feel the overwhelming tears start to swell inside me but I couldn’t explain the emotions coming to the surface. I, then reminded myself to pause and breathe.
The overwhelm has come in waves today and when it shows up, I stop to take three or four deep belly breaths in order to center myself. When I finally felt the anxiety go away, I was able to open a book that I am engrossed in (Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver) and let go.
I let go of the need to be busy.
I let go of the feeling that I “should” be doing something.
Then I leaned into the things that make me happy and find peace throughout my day. I paused to sing silly songs with my younger two kids. And now we are snuggled together on the couch under our giant, soft blanket enjoying the time together before the big kids get home from school.
It takes me being very intentional to slow down because it is ingrained in my brain that I must stay busy. But it turns out that I actually function on a higher level when I’m able to slow down, focus on me for a bit and stop worrying about how to answer the age old question of a mother of four… “How do you do it all?”