Oh boy...this is the fourth blog entry I have started in the last couple of weeks and never make it around to finishing my train of thought, or get interrupted before I even get going. I feel like life has been so full, full of good stuff, time with friends, time to play, time with the kids, time with my dear husband, time to take care of myself. It's always a balancing act, yes, of course, but this past week, despite the busy schedule has been a rich one.
Last week I was working out in White Swan 2 days in a row. The drive out there is always a good time for me to either get jiggy with myself (also known as, rock out) or to have a long uninterrupted conversation with God (the Divine, life force, the Universe - insert your name of choice). As I shared in my last post, I've been out of sorts for several weeks, off center. I have struggled with a couple of relationships in my life, felt uncomfortable in my own skin at times, irritated by people I love (which I know is my own junk, not theirs) and overall had more tears than normal. I could feel the Universe holding me as I continued to walk through this difficult time. I think those times when we are more raw, more vulnerable, we sometimes pay closer attention. Someone's kind words that we might dismiss, we take to heart, they mean something different when our cup feels empty. I had an old, dear friend send me an email love letter. I've known her since childhood and we don't see each other often, but we always connect with a capital C when we do. She just shared with me what she values in me, kind of out of the blue, and I bawled my eyes out when I read it. Not anything I don't know about myself, but reading it in someone else's words is very powerful, especially when you feel a little lost. People just seemed extra nice, kind, intentional with me. I had extra help with the kids. Maybe I was putting out the vibe that I needed it (of course, I was).
So back to my long drive to White Swan...I was having this heart to heart with God. I said, okay, what's going on here, tell me what I need to do. I am lost, I feel fearful, empty. The response..."You have to take care of yourself. You have to put yourself first." That made me cry even more. Of course. Have I not learned this lesson yet? I get a glimpse of it and then I don't know what the heck happens. I know that when we have these deeply ingrained beliefs about ourselves (like I have to take care of others to be worthy? I'm not sure what the belief is for me, but I often put others needs in front of my own, in a self-sacrificing way that does not make the world a better place), it can be hard to change them. I get it in my head, but am still working on getting it in my heart. Of course, I believe I deserve to have time to myself, I deserve to do things for myself that nourish me, but somehow when the days shake out, I often leave that piece out.
But, not this week. I have had a great week, worked as much as normal, the difference was I carved out time for myself where I could. That meant asking for extra help, planning ahead, being away from the kids more than normal and asking for my husband to do a little bit more. But, damn I feel good and its Friday! Those little gifts of time that we give ourselves are really gifts to those around us too. What we do for ourselves, we do for others, and what we do for others, we do for ourselves. (Somebody wise said this and I'm running with it.) When I fill up my own cup, I have much more to share, to give to others. Which brings me back to what I wanted to write about in the first place...
It's the holidays. There is nothing like children to put the meaning of this season into perspective. When I picked up my sweet little Ruby from school yesterday, she was all a buzz. We HAD to get something for her 5th grade peace partner. They are watching The Polar Express at school today and she wanted to bring a treat to share. She decided she wanted to make those tasty pretzels dipped in chocolate with sprinkles. We stopped by the grocery store on the way home and got the supplies. By the time we left the grocery store, she had a list of 5 other people she wanted to give them to..her teacher, the teacher's aide, the principal, the school counselor, Will's teachers. I let her stay up late so we could finish the pretzels (decorated with more sprinkles than any one human should eat, but looking quite festive). While I cleaned up, Ruby wrote notes to attach to the pretzels..my two favorite were the one for her teacher and the one for the school principal.
For her teacher, "Dear Ms. W. I am glad you are my teacher. Thank you for spending all your money on us."
For the principal, "Mr. B, Thank you for all you do to make our school a better place."
Maybe it's just because I am her mom, but they made my heart fill, spill over with love. She has such a generous, kind and tender little heart about her. I'm grateful she chose me to be her mama. She reminds me what is important, often. She reminds me to see the goodness of people and to be grateful for all the good we have in our lives, even when we feel off.