It’s been a week of projects around our house. Tween has been working on a science project. Teen completed a career project. Tween had a music lesson in preparation for his first big concert. Teen and I both finished reading books; Tween has almost finished the book he’s reading. And of course Guy and I both have had work projects.
I’ve also been loosely participating in a month-long online life coaching project. The focus is spring cleaning, not so much the house as our lives. This week’s work centers on relationships, and I realized I’ve needed some work on my relationship with myself.
I want to live intentionally, but too often I make lazy decisions. So this week I have worked on making good choices and thinking well about myself in order to break bad patterns in thought and action.
*I have made healthy choices in food and drink, including starting each day with half a lemon squeezed into hot water. I drink less coffee and still feel energized.
*I have gone to bed with a cup of tea and a book. And sometimes Tween piles in bed with a book we’re reading together, so we enjoy some bonus snuggle time.
*I have used the good skin care because, really, what’s the point of having it if it’s too precious to use, if I preserve it for special occasions? Today is a special occasion!
*I have exercised more days than not – a brisk walk does wonders for body and soul. I have caught myself thinking negatively, “I’m lazy. I’ll never be fit because I always give up.” Blah, blah, blah! I can be healthy, even if I’ll always be curvy. Hooray for curves!
*I have asked better questions: not “Does this make me look fat?” but “How do I feel?” Not “What’s wrong with me?” but “What am I good at?”
*I have smiled more. Have you noticed how contagious smiles can be?
*I have said “YES!” to life-giving situations, and I have said “No” when necessary. Here’s a biggie (for me): I went to bed before Teen was done with his career project. He put it off till last minute, and I allowed that to fully rest on his shoulders and not mine. I did get up early (not much, though) to proof-read it and offer a few suggestions, but I did not allow his procrastination to jeopardize my rest. And hallelujah, it all worked out just fine.
*I have told people precious to me how much I appreciate them. I told Teen I am proud of him and added specific reasons I like him. One of the life coaching prompts was to choose your own personal board of directors. When a friend popped into town and we were able to grab a spontaneous lunch, I told her that she was the first person who came to mind. And how glad am I that she responded with a thrilled hug?
*I stopped for a car backing out of a driveway onto a busy road. The sweet old man who walked to the edge of his driveway, helping the car out at a trafficky time of day, gave me the brightest, kindest smile in response for my simple act: I only just stopped. That’s it. But he gave me a gift of his smile.
*This one scares the life out of me but I’m putting it in print anyway: This week I have begun writing the book that has been on my mind for years. I haven’t done much, but I’ve started. It’s something. I’m ready to stop talking about being a writer and actually become a writer.
*Today was not my best day, bumps and annoyances beginning to end (maybe because I simply couldn’t get to the gym first thing? Something to consider…). Still, hard as it sometimes can be, I am choosing to forgive. I am choosing to set good boundaries. I am choosing to focus on the things I can do and let go of the rest. I am choosing to be grateful, to say “Thank you!” to God for the beautiful things.
As I began to write this blog post, I thought the words had run away with the gunk in this day. I felt sad. And then I read this – oh, how I long to leave beauty marks on the world! And just as I finished, tears brimming my eyes, Tween came in needing extra mommy snuggles just because that’s the lovebug that is our Tween. Sitting in my favorite chair, I hadn’t bothered to turn on the overhead light. He said, “Why is my mom sitting alone in the dark?”, the dark being something completely foreign to this Child of Light who must have on all the lights in all the rooms at all times. He sat on my lap. He snuggled in close. He whispered, “I love this mom.” He kissed my lips.
I accepted it all as a gift: from my child and from my God. It might not be too long before Tween decides he’s too old for mommy snuggles so I will soak in them now to remember later. And I recognize the timing as all God, since Tween couldn’t know just how much I needed those snuggles just then.
So, thinking well about myself: even when I care for myself first in order to care for my loves and responsibilities with my best self, things will not always go the way I plan, the way I hope, the way I want. I can react, lash out or walk away, hide; or I can respond, pray, do the right thing, keep moving forward. I can look for the gifts when they aren’t obvious, and then accept the gifts and say “Thank you!”