When we started this blog the girls and I all decided that we wanted to focus on more than just our lives as mothers, our lives as women, workers, colleagues, friends, health-nuts, DIY-ers, fashion mavens, wives, and everything else that goes into making us “us.” It is not to say that motherhood is not a significant role in our lives, but more so to emphasize that it is not the ONLY role in our lives that defines us or give us meaning. I think many moms can admit that they often give up, or neglect, a huge part of themselves and their relationships when they take on the role of motherhood, some more willingly than others. But today I want to remind everyone how very important it is to BALANCE and VALUE the many roles we have.
Recently I went to a conference in San Diego with the intent of fulfilling and enhancing my working role in academia. My husband decided to join me for the trip, as it happened to fall in perfect timing with the 17-year anniversary of our first date (awwww, I know right?). The over cautious mom side of me was saying “No way, not gonna happen” as I was totally apprehensive about both of us being away from the kids for several days, but the cougar in me was saying “Holla!” Thankfully the cougar talk won out and I embraced not just the idea of reconnecting with my husband, but also my role as the wife to an amazing man who has put up with all of my levels of crazy for close to two decades.
From the moment we got to the gate, before we even boarded the plane, an amazing sense of togetherness started to settle over us. Yes, we make time for the recurring date night and nights out with friends, but this was clearly more intentional, purposeful and meaningful. We were simply enjoying one another’s company in a way that we don’t often get to do in our typical, semi-manic, rushing, multi-tasking day-to-day lives.
We drank coffee together and smiled at one another, we held hands, slept in past 6:00 on a weekday (don’t be haters), FINALLY caught up on the season finale of House of Cards, relaxed on the beach by a firepit and watched the sunset, sat in silence for extended periods of time and enjoyed not answering phone calls or emails for an entire afternoon, we talked about things that had nothing to do with groceries or homework or broken water heaters or laundry or appointments, we even spent the good part of an hour comparing/ contrasting one another’s top bucket list items. (FYI – I want to jump out of a plane while he would prefer to play on a prestigious golf course). We also drank wine, lots and lots of wine, and some Bloody Mary’s…..and a mimosa or two.
We got to spend quality time together reminiscing on the “good ole days” of when we were first dating (a time long, long ago when I actually shaved my legs EVERY day and slept in makeup so he would think I always woke up looking fabulous, and he would put the toilet seat back down every time he went to the bathroom). We also spent time appreciating who we are now as a couple, with a deeper understanding of one another having years of tribulations and triumphs under our belt.
So what is the point of telling you all this? Why am I wasting your time talking about this awesome week that I got to enjoy away from reality? Because I know all too well that this is NOT reality! Reality doesn’t have daily maid service, drinks with a panoramic view of Temecula, valet parking, and complimentary double-upgrades. Maybe your reality does, mine does not, not even close, not even just a little bit.
Can anyone out there relate to this??? Anyone? In my life I tend to neglect me, along with some of the things that bring me small bits of happiness, because I get too caught up in the ruck and muck of adulthood. I find that I actually feel guilty when I try to reconnect with things I enjoy. I’m not even talking about the big things either; I’m talking about the pure, small simple things. Let me just tell you that I have not even had my lip waxed in months people, MONTHS!!!!! I know I make it to the salon for my bi-monthly hair appointment, and a lip wax could easily be taken care of at the same time, but I don’t because I try to keep it as cost and time effective as I can. I could also run inside to the strip mall lip gal after work too, the one who always rips off the wax strip and reminds me “ohhh honey, it’s been a while huh?” but I feel guilty taking the extra time to do that instead of going straight home to pick up the girls from after- school care.
But, and this is a big BUT, I think I may have FINALLY figured out a way to try and make time to reconnect with the little things of personal value that I neglect, and infuse just a tiny bit if this alter-reality into my daily routine life (the one filled with laundry, empty snack wrappers, knotted hair, dirty dishes, papers to grade, and “other duties as assigned”). And I think you can do it too. So, here’s the plan.
I am committing myself to a 30-day challenge and I want you to commit along with me. The rules are simple. Each and every day for 30 days, we will do one (1) thing for ourselves and keep a record of it. That’s it. I know I make it sound easier than it will be, so here is a list of suggestions to get us all started on a month of minor indulgence:
- Sign up for and attend a yoga class
- Read one chapter of a new book each night before bed
- Schedule brunch with your girlfriends
- Have an entire glass of wine without interruption
- Sit in a hot bath and lock out the world for 20 minutes
- Eat a cupcake, like a gourmet, calorie-filled decadent one
- Go for a run with just you and your favorite play list
- Create a journal to note one thing that made you smile each day
- Treat yourself to a coffee
- Get out and enjoy nature: walk around the neighborhood, dig in the garden, watch the sunset, collect shells on the beach
- Call an old friend just to say hello
- Download a morning meditation app
- Hit up that spin class you’ve been dying to try
- Take a nap, like a real nap, not the power kind
- Color one of those tranquil art therapy pages (you can download tons of those for free on the internet)
- Go on a date night
- See a new movie – while it is still a new movie
- Start your own blog
- Eat some carbs, remember those??
- Give yourself a pedicure
- Wear that pair of sexy underwear that has gotten shoved to the back of the drawer. Who cares if it’s only Tuesday and you have no plans, you’ll still feel fierce knowing you have them on
- Print off a favorite picture and put it in a little frame for your office
- Buy (or pick) a bouquet of flowers for the house
- Take five minutes to play tag with the kids in the front yard, dinner can wait
- Walk around Target ALL BY YOURSELF
- Turn up the music in your car on the way to work and totally rock out
- Other suggestions………
Who is with me??? I am going to keep my daily log and post it in 30 days. I want to see yours too, so please, please, commit to reconnecting with yourself in one small way for the next month and keep track of it. Then share it here so we can al relate. I bet you’ll be glad you did.