This question was based on a comment from A Day In The Life of MonicaB.
your day in the life sounds heavenly. all that time to yourself to juice up and give yourself what you need.
the trick i need you to teach me is this: how do i incorporate these learnings and teachings when a day in the life of me is so different than a day in the life of monicab? i have a 6 year old in a full leg cast (and the wheelchair and walker that goes along with it), an 8 year old, a husband who works and travels, an ailing mother, a pregnant best friend, a full time job (and a part time one), etc. i’m sure this isn’t out of the ordinary, i just need guidance.
most of these things are blessings in and of themselves but still, when i get home from work it’s all downloading the day and homework and dinner and clean up and don’t fight and no more candy and bathtime and yes it’s already time for bed and what did you say, babe, i can’t hear you over espn and the girls singing and was that just the phone and whoops, no, i didn’t get the dry cleaning and man i need to call these six people back and check email and pop a load of laundry in and get halloween costumes and where are we going for thanksgiving and which party do we hit first this weekend and who wants a playdate and i love you so much too, goodnight, and then it’s 11:00pm and where does the ayurveda go?!?!?
much love and respect.
Anybody familiar with our friend’s day here? I know I am! I mean I do not have kids and, I can imagine that is a whole other ball of MonicaB wax yet to come. But I’ve had up to 4 jobs at once and have exhausted myself to tears (I’m not even going to go into it). And…one day I just decided to stop. I lied. It did not take a day, it took years. It took therapy, books, yoga, self-discovery and learning what are the most important things in life to do right now. Most likely, Thanksgiving plans can wait for today if it’s not yet Halloween… ;) Btw, the note above is typical of how a busy vata mind works.
My friend, I have suggestions for you to help balance your life. I will be honest, because not only do you like that (I know you!), but you need my honesty. Here we go:
• Ask for help. Friend, you have 1, 2, maybe 3 other humans in your household, with 6 arms and 5 legs…so why does all of this fall on your shoulders? Whether it is pitta control, kapha being to shy to ask for help, or vata being so overwhelmed that she can’t stop, something is preventing you from delegating tasks to others. Dig deep to figure out why. Cause really, the 8 year old could throw in the laundry or fill dishwasher or dry dishes. When he’s not traveling, hubby could pick up dry-cleaning or answer the phone or start up baths. Look! That’s 5 things done just like that! And they will probably be happy to help you, but you have to ask them. ASK for help! And if they say no, um, you’re the mom. Teach them to help and make it fun. Maybe the rule is to sing while dusting or dancing while vacuuming. Whatever – you’re creative, make it cool and have them help. They want to be part of the household because you are raising mini-adults afterall ;)
• Prioritize with Love. Love yourself enough to end the looooong list of things you have to do, because you are setting yourself up for failure. Then you’ll just end the day feeling defeated and exausted. No bueno treating yourself that way! You wouldn’t give the girls a list of tasks that they can’t possibly finish, right? So be nice and set realistic expectations. Focus on today or the week and then break it down. What is really necessary for today? You have a long list, but you probably don’t have to do these things on the same day – just pick the most important ones for today and be sure to delegate a couple. Even if you don’t get to Thanksgiving planning tonight, you will be happy that the kids are fed, the dishes are done, the laundry is now in the dryer, the girls are clean, and one is drawing a flower on her sister’s cast ;) That’s GOOD for an evening! Lower the expectation bar, you’re not being graded.
• You as a WHOLE. A friend of mine (married with two kids) told me that one of the successes to her marriage and family life is that she takes time for HER. And her husband takes time for HIM. They trade off so that one can go for a run, go meet the guys, go to therapy, or whatever it is that makes the person feel whole. YOU have to feel whole because without a whole you, you don’t have enough to give your family. And then it’s kinda like you’re doing them a disservice as well as yourself.
• Voicemail. You mentioned you also had a friend who was pregnant – that’s great! But how much time do you spend on that per day/week? I understand if she needs support – totally. But so do you. And maybe if you let the phone go to voicemail, you could enjoy 5-10 minutes of stillness sitting on the porch, enjoying the leaves. Learn to use voicemail so you can call them back at your convenience. They will be okay – you don’t have to hold them together. And you can even call them back tomorrow!! Btw, that’s totally allowed! My therapist taught me that :)
• Boundaries. Block out time. I clean on Saturday or Sunday mornings starting around 11 and I don’t clean much past 12:30. I move fast! After that, I enjoy the day. Whatever is not done is not…but look how much IS done! Yeehaw! I also have a boundary of writing in the morning for 10 minutes. Just 10. That’s it. But it makes my whole day better. I also don’t practice violin for more than 30 minutes (I’m useless after that anyway). Control your time – don’t let it control you. Block it out and you’ll make it happen.
• Rewards. Maybe you say at 8:30 you are done with “tasks” for the day when you and the girls can play spa and rub eachother’s feet :D (hah! trying to sneak in Ayurveda…). Or maybe play a game OR sit in a massage circle and draw pictures on each others’ backs. Make it chill and make it fun. This can be a calming reward for helping you out earlier.
(as I’m writing this, I just found my dog in my closet chewing a hole in my favorite jacket. Frickin awesome. At least it still zips.)
• Part Time Jobby. Is it necessary for funds or is it more of a hobby? If it’s the latter, treat it as such. Enjoy it and create! I get stressed with my full time job + HeyMonicaB sometimes. But then I’m like, “Dude, all my readers are not sitting around griping because there is no post today…” And I just take a mini break until I’m inspired, and then it becomes fun again. And that’s when the best posts happen! Make time for it maybe once a week. Or one Saturday afternoon a month. Take it slow. Easy breezy. When you make time, more time will appear. Then you will have two fun hours…and so on. Sounds lame but it works.
• Sleep. Make sure you get enough. Bed by 10:30 if you can. It’s key to your sanity and balancing vata. If you don’t, your emotions will be all over, you won’t be able to think properly and you will feel constantly fatigued.
• Small Bits Make a Big Difference. No matter what you want to accomplish, chip away at it in small doses. If you try to do tackle any project in large doses, it’s going to be a stiffer journey. Because life gets in the way :) Sitting for 5-10 minutes can do wonders for your level of happy (see? It’s late and I can’t write anymore) which is pretty small, but it makes a world of difference.
• It’s Life. All these things coming at you will not stop, ever. That’s just how life is. The only thing you can control is you :) You can choose to pause, take a breath, ask for a moment to yourself and take a time out. Or you can choose to become swept up in all of it. Once you start taking time for yourself, others will see it, and they might become more self-sufficient, relying on you less so you have even MORE time to yourself :) All healing starts from the inside out. Heal yourself first and watch the world around you change. But you HAVE to start with you first. Namaste sweet friend. I hope this helped some. xo