At the end of 2013 I made it all about me …. so it can be all about them…

There were times this past year I thought I was losing it. There we go. Blunt. To the point. Straight no chaser. And the truth.

It started earlier this year when I realized the household income was not what I thought it was. After all, it takes a lot of work to live a “the” American dream – husband, house, cars, kids, nice schools, decent standard of living. But I was wearing blinders. Once I took them off, I realized some fixes were in order. So I started working. Hard. Two jobs. Often 7 days a week. I knew within myself it was too much – activities with my sons at school or the library during the day, followed by errands, household chores, then working each evening into the wee hours of the morning. It was a grind; one I told myself I could handle. But one I knew I really couldn’t.

A couple of months into my journey to insanity, symptoms started to crop up. A pit in my stomach here, nausea and dizziness there. I shrugged it off. Guess I should slow down, I’d tell myself. Then I’d remove a few hours from one of my days of work – and went right back at it. One morning in particular I was sleep driving (ie barely awake), taking my oldest son to school, and severe dizziness started. I looked like a pirate, minus the patch, with one eye closed to finish the route. Okay, I thought. I hear you Lord. I’ll take a day off from working per week.

Yep, that’s all. One day. Still being hard-headed. Not listening to His voice nor my body.

I went to the doctor and got the dizziness to subside by taking one day off consistently. But I replaced it with more activities – you know, the never-ending to do list – to achieve more, to climb higher, to be the consummate wife, mother and career woman. After all, I could handle it. I then had guests in town back to back to back, and took it in stride.

Welp, my body had enough. I started having internal problems. The knots in my stomach never left – a mixture of nervousness and nausea that rested like a literal rock, right below my rib cage. I cried for no reason. And was always always always perpetually tired. I’m not talking normal mom-running-after-two-boys tired (and believe me, that’s already tired enough), but crazy, can hardly move tired. I broke. I’d had enough. Forget holding onto the house … the car … the bills. If I don’t make some changes soon, I won’t hold on to me.

So, finally listening to God, my hubby and my body, I made it all about me in December, with a few necessary steps:

1. I decided how much of the working was about what we needed, versus what I wanted. And trim the fat. Thus, I stripped away the second job and additional hours. Worked less, rested more.

2. I let the kids just … play. Okay I know that sounds strange. I’m the type of mom who always wants the kids doing something, never bored. So I’ll think I have to help “make” that happen. But hey, they’re kids. Let them do what they do. Play. Together. Alone. Without me.

3. I gave myself permission to not achieve every goal I had for this year. Yes, I took pressure off myself to complete the next great screenplay or produce the next wonderful script in 2013. I’d aimed high, done all that I could, and will pick it up again next year.

4. I put career projects on hold – temporarily. I turned down a few lucrative projects I really wanted to do (sorry – you know who you are and you know I wanted to do it!). Yes, it was hard as I love writing, and I love tv/film production.

These weren’t things I wanted to do. But I had to. For my health. For my life. For my sanity. And ultimately, for my family. I can’t be who I want to be for them, if I’m not taking care of me.

9 thoughts on “At the end of 2013 I made it all about me …. so it can be all about them…

  1. My dear LaKeisha – your post was timely. So many of us are caught up in “the American Dream” and not in the reality of our lives. So many times we hear, but don’t listen to God, to our bodies, and to family. I went through a similar experience of not “listening” several years ago. Thanks be to God for waking me from that dream. I’m glad you finally “listened”. Always be reminded that you have to make time to take care of yourself so that you can be there for your boys (hubby included).

  2. And all the Marthas of the world say, Oh me and amen! Thank you for being so real, in order to help others heal. I love your writing and I am encouraged by your message. Transformation happens when a woman says, Yes to God. Thank you for saying, Yes. I want to be a Mary, too.

  3. Ok I am totally with you on the just letting the kids play thing!!!! This is why I started this blog… Just so totally over all the activities and constant guilt of having to be this mom who is super organized with loads of crafts and activities … Trying to just enjoy this time instead of stressing like this is a challenge or project!

    1. Thanks so much for the reply. Why oh why do we do that to ourselves? I bet you are also an incredible mother. If I’m honest with myself, I am too. Yet I let myself be plagued unnecessarily by guilt. It’s getting better, but it’s hard because my oldest son LOVES spending time together. In fact, he can really make me feel guilty for not spending enough time with him (in his mind). I do love being with him, but it just can’t be all the time, you know? So I’ve gotten better at distancing those “guilty” feelings :) I love your last sentence – “enjoying the time” instead of making it a “challenge”. What is your blog? I would LOVE to follow you!

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