Today was a good day. The fact that it’s noteworthy means that there’s been a lot going on. Life has been difficult lately. Blending families isn’t always a bed of roses, so to speak. The challenges that we face aren’t things that most of our friends can even relate to, unless they’re also part of a stepfamily. It is easy to fall into negative self-talk and other destructive habits. That’s why self care is so important.
Find an activity you love and make the time for it.
This morning, I went for my first run in ages. Running helps me to clear my mind. Running hills helps me change my thoughts. I have to focus on getting up the hill. If I think I can’t do it, I won’t be able to. But when I’m able to shift my thinking and believe that I can, the hills don’t seem as difficult. Running helped change my thought processes when I was a single mom just trying to make it through the day. It helped me to have more patience and to be in a better mood. After I ran my first marathon last year, I took some time off of running, and then never really got back into a consistent habit. That will be changing, as I’ve been reminded that I’m a much better mom and wife when I am consistently exercising. Maybe it’s not running for you, but find an activity that you can enjoy and take the time to just do it!
After my run, I came back to the house to get ready for the day. Normally, I’m a jeans and t-shirt, no makeup, hair in a ponytail kind of girl. This morning, I decided to take a little extra time and treat myself to a sugar scrub, and then took a few minutes to add a little bit of makeup. Take the time to pamper yourself. The better you look, the better you’ll feel.
Spend time with friends.
I then headed off to church for a ladies event. I have really been wanting a girls night, so I was excited about this time. I met some ladies that I knew by face, but didn’t really “know.” It was lovely to just have a conversation with other women! I hadn’t realized how much I had missed this! I can’t tell you the last time I went out with girlfriends. It’s been months… It’s so easy to not go to these types of events, or to decline a social engagement. There is ALWAYS something that needs to be done. But, it is important to take time out to just relax with friends, both as a couple and as individuals. Have a girls night out. Go watch the game with your guy friends. Make the time.
Don’t feel guilty.
DJ and the kids spent the morning at our old house waxing and buffing the hard wood floors. They were working on this while I was out running and hanging out with the girls. It would be easy for me to feel guilty about this. However, DJ made it easy for me to NOT feel guilty about prioritizing me over chores. Obviously, this can’t be the case all the time or nothing would ever get done! They did a fantastic job on the floors, and I really appreciated their hard work. The boys then went back home and did boy stuff while us girls went shopping (ok, it was only at Goodwill looking for pants for the twins, but she was having fun helping choose things she thought they would like), and then off to a gymnastics birthday party! It was good for the kids to get some one-on-one parenting time, and the good start to my day really helped me to enjoy that time!
Take back your joy.
So today was a good day. Maybe none of this seems extraordinary. It wasn’t really an extraordinary day. Except the last several months, I have been weighted down by life. I have felt overwhelmed by the craziness that comes with our lives. Work is crazy. Dealing with exes is crazy. Juggling schedules is crazy. Managing financial changes is crazy. Starting a business is crazy. Being an introvert in a family of eight is crazy. But today, I felt like a weight had been lifted. The change in my spirit was visible when you looked in my eyes. Having had several coworkers ask me multiple times the last few weeks if I’m ok, it was becoming very clear that I was no longer hiding the inner turmoil that’s been brewing for months. It’ll be interesting to see if they notice in the coming weeks. I am working on shifting my thoughts, making conscious choices to ensure that I am not sacrificing too much of my sanity, and taking steps to do self care.
“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
John 10:10 NLT
Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. I know it is hard to not get caught up in the daily struggles we face, but God created us for more than that. I am still learning to truly let go and let God, and I think that’s part of my struggle… But today, I’m choosing to lay them down at His feet and just enjoy life.