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Nov 12 2014

Note to self: Balance isn’t just for tightropes

Note to self: Balance isn't just for tightropesI missed posting yesterday. Oh well. Such is life.

This week I’m learning…again…that if I don’t take care of myself, that if I burn the candle at both ends with a blowtorch to the middle, that I will flame out and end up on the couch. My couch is comfy and all, but I’ve been holding it to the floor since yesterday afternoon and I’m a little sick of it now. Tom has been sick for the last two weeks, my system has probably been busy keeping that crap at bay, and finally the stress of recent events just crashed me. Again. This is, by my best guess, at least the third time I’ve done this to myself. Not as bad as other times, but still.

Irony alert: my next book is on the needs of parents as they raise G2e kids, and how self-care must be a priority. Double irony: I’ve been so busy keeping plates spinning on everything around here that I’ve done close to jack squat diddly on that book. This is not tasty, tasty irony. This is sour and bitter irony and I’m not a fan.

Yes, pity party, table for one. Skip the bread basket, send over the sommelier.

I’m actively working on clearly things out of my life that no longer serve me and my family, and bringing in that that does. I wish it were easier, but I’m balancing the well-being of four people here, not just mine. It’d be super easy to balance everything if it were just me, and didn’t have to consider the effect of my decisions on others. That’s the truth for any mom, whether she likes to admit it or not. The trick is to not lose yourself while balancing for everyone. I’m very good at doing that.

This flailing back and forth between being totally on top of my shit and wanting to do more and doing too much and losing my shit has got to stop. Burning out is painful and a waste of time. I’d say energy, but I just don’t have any to spare, it is gone. Fumes. Nothing here. I gotta balance it out and not feel guilty when I take breaks and care for myself, or my body will do it for me at a most inconvenient time. Like right now.

My word this year was story, and I’ve done a miserable job of writing my own story. I’ve allowed others to hold the pen while I dictated. Too many words were lost, others deleted, still others transcribed poorly. It’s time to take back the pen.

It’s going to be slow-going for awhile. There are things I can’t change yet and more things that are entirely out of my control. But no more crashing. It’s too exhausting.

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  1. Robin at OurOwnFlavor

    Oh my, I totally understand. I finally have my family on the mend after two weeks of strep that required a second round of antibiotics for the kids and landed my husband in the ER as he was developing an abscess. I completely ignored the nagging pain in my own throat until today….

    How many times have I told patients, “Put on your own oxygen mask before helping your children with theirs.” (A la the flight attendant’s speech). But here I am not listening to my own advice. Perhaps those of us in an advising role just get a better opportunity of seeing the irony in it!

    Take care of yourself! Hope you feel better soon!
    Robin at OurOwnFlavor recently posted…Stuff You Need to Create Holiday TraditionsMy Profile

    1. Jen

      I know intimately that I must care for myself before I can care for others, but the implementation is rough. When it all hits the fan the first thing to go is my self-care. I haven’t worked out in months, haven’t done yoga in years (I love yoga), time away from the house just for me is almost non-existent (because when I’m wiped I don’t want to go out and be social, no matter how desperately I might want or need it). It takes me crashing hard and bouncing before I remember I’m not superwoman and have to actually make sure *I* am cared for, because no one else is going to make sure I am.

      1. Robin at OurOwnFlavor

        Me too! I don’t go out, see friends, do things I love… Just too wiped out, as you say. Which I know isn’t healthy but it’s so hard to push through!
        Robin at OurOwnFlavor recently posted…Stuff You Need to Create Holiday TraditionsMy Profile

  2. jenmarten

    Oh, are you sure we aren’t twins separated at birth? I feel the same way so much, and your book and my dissertation are hanging out somewhere in writer’s’ world.

    I needed this. 🙂

    1. Jen

      The theory of multi-verses is huge in this house, so I hope that somewhere out there on a different metaphysical plane my book is done and I’m not having heart palpitations from stress. One can dream. 😉

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