I really hope that when my time on this earth is up, my kids understand how much I have enjoyed my life.
Maybe I enjoy it so much because I've been forced to endure just the right amount of crap to make things interesting. And of course- "What doesn't kill me, makes me AWESOME!"
But this last week I was reminded of one of the easiest tools that anyone can use to quickly turn their frown upside down.
This is especially relevant to me this week because I had the luxury of replacing my reality with a salty-aired, beach laden escape to visit my best friend. I didn't realize how smothered I had been feeling by my tiny house, with its never-ending loads of laundry, and forks that had been lost in between the couch cushions, and 3 sticky kids practically demanding my life savings and kidneys at gunpoint every...second...of...every...day.
It never occurred to me that the lump in my throat, and the chronic stomach aches, and disorienting brain fog were a direct result of chronically ignoring all the needs that I had tightly rolled and stuffed inside myself. I had forgotten the mystical powers of vacationing until I found myself toe to toe with Corona Del Mar, in all her aquamarine glory.
Clearly- The Ocean and I were having a moment. My soul is still a little sore from the spiritual spanking I received there in the sands of California. But it was a wise reminder.
Take a break!
Okay- so I might not be able to fly to California whenever I need a day off. But...
I can go for a walk.
I can go to the bookstore and flip through magazines about hair, and lipstick, and other pointless junk.
I can lock my kids in their rooms for "quiet-time" and take a bath.
I can go to sleep at a decent hour.
I can open the window while I'm on the interstate and let the wind take my mind to somewhere tropical.
I can sit in my closet and eat chocolate.
I can take a nap. Anyone can find 10 minutes to take a nap.
Therapist and life councilor Martha Beck claims that, "There's a big piece of getting fit that most of us short-change: Rest. The majority of my clients who complain of depression, anxiety, irritability, and weight gain are actually chronically tired. The problems caused by a lack of rest can feel so intricate, but the solution is so simple: Lie down, dear. Just lie down." (O- Oct 2012, pg. 61)
So if I'm no longer around tomorrow kids, please know that your mom wants you to remember the value of taking time out for yourself. One of the reasons we have so much fun together, and why I don't resort to beating you when I find that you've taken red nail polish to the cat, is because I take vacations. Big and small vacations. And I nurture and protect my need for sleep and relaxation. I lovingly urge you to do the same. Your insides will be so happy you did.