Make a point to check in with yourself regularly: are you okay?
As we approach the halfway point of this year, I share with you how I am “checking in” with myself and suggest you offer yourself the same opportunity. With June upon us, I have slowly watched my “new year, new me” mentality swirl down the drain just as it does every year, but in light of recent events, I feel deflated. What’s the definition of insanity again?
Y’all, I’m losing steam. I find myself asking: why does EVERYTHING have to be so damn hard?
Breastfeeding. Sleep deprivation. Getting up at 4:30 in the morning to work. Meal planning for a family and shopping. Keeping up with the housework and bills. The cost of groceries. Spending enough time with loved ones. Letting my toddler get ample hours outdoors. Finding time to myself. Gentle parenting. Watching the news and participating in activism. Married life. Having two children, two and under. Growing older.
It’s. All. So. Hard.
I find myself stuck in a rut where I have an overwhelmingly negative attitude that is sucking the joy from my life. I am making a conscious effort in this season of life to let both things be true: This season of life is hard AND this season of life is beautiful and monumental.
What must I keep doing? What do I want to keep doing?
I have to keep working, and I want to keep working. I provide for my family, and it provides me with a sense of purpose outside of my home. Getting up early is hard, but getting home early has its benefits. Breastfeeding is hard, but I am thankful to have a source of nutrition and bonding for my baby.
Can I ask for accommodations?
I’m becoming less intimidated to ask for what I need to be happier and more productive. Is it feasible to go part-time? Maybe I can come in later some days? Can I get a parking permit for a spot closer to my office so I don’t have to walk as far? Ask. The worst answer you can get is no.
How can I make the hard a bit easier?
Can I hire someone to cut the grass, clean the house, or watch the kids for a couple of hours on my day off? If I can’t afford that, can I ask a friend for help? If not, are there any community groups I can connect with to extend my network of helpers? Can I buy one pre-made meal a week or start using pre-chopped veggies? Is there someone else who would like to take the toddler to the park today? Can I arrange scheduled time to myself and not feel bad about it?
Is it time to stop? Or is it time to do more?
Know when your ‘why’ no longer has the power to propel you. Draw your line in the sand and make it clear to others so you can hold your boundary. There’s no changing that life is hard. But, every once in a while, I have to take a hard look at the hard things and identify my ‘why.’ Sometimes, I just need a reminder that two things can be true: this season of life is hard, AND this season of life is beautiful and monumental. Both things can be true. Do not let the hard shadow the beauty. Let your ‘whys’ propel you, maybe to do less or just maybe to muster up the energy and courage to do more.