Headaches and Epiphanies

I stayed home from work today. Basically I did not sleep last night due to a few issues – and had to admit to myself that trying to jump into a work day on 2 hrs of sleep was not going to be a good idea.  Having a headache all night – one I could not kick, helped drive this decision as did the fact the warm weather brought out everyone’s lawn services kicking up more dust and allergens in the house.  Yeah, all were reasons to send in my regrets to work – and just stay in bed.

I almost talked myself out of it.  But I had a few realizations this weekend that made me go back to bed.

  1. I cannot do it all nor will I continue to try.  I have people in my life that love me – they want to see me whole and not stressed out or frustrated all the fucking time.  And I want that too because when I’m like that, I short change them – these people that love and care about me.  Why am I allowing myself to short change the people like this?  Something came up whereby more of my time is needed – and I said no.  I can’t do it.  Not because I don’t care but because I just cannot do it without compromising my time with the people I care about – compromise the time I need for me to be me. So, I said no.
  2. I need to take care of myself more.  I used to take time to do things – run, workout, take photographs, read real books, knit things for people I love, etc.  I used to come home and say “this can wait 30 min, I need this run to rest” – and no one died, no one did much more than grab an apple if they were hungry, and they went on their way. I used to make certain things I needed a priority.  I stopped doing.  I know why I stopped – it involved the word ‘selfish’ and the wrong people flinging it at me.  It is one of those trigger words for me.  Trying to be a good mom,  to be good in my career, to be a good partner – having the word selfish used when I take 30 min for me…..well, struck the bad nerve.  And in hindsight, sent me the wrong way.
  3. I need to laugh more.  I had three moments that stand out in my head this weekend where I laughed harder than I had in a very long time.  Friday night, G and I discovering that a favorite comedy had another season on Netflix.  We watched an episode and laughed until we we almost in tears.  One was Sunday morning when SB and I were in bed talking – and laughing to the point where we couldn’t talk.  It was a great way to start the day.  Then Sunday night, we took the girls to see Weird Al in concert – and laughed with them (and at them).  We laughed at them when they acted like they did when they were really young by running around seeing the animals before the concert in the zoo started.  “I want a mongoose” text messages were sent – including a debate about the plural of mongoose.  (mongooses, btw) Then we laughed with them at Weird Al.  I came away realizing – I need more of that – less of stress.
  4. I need to ask for help.  This goes along with the first point about not being able to do it all.  This weekend, I started delegating stuff that needed to be done that I knew I couldn’t do alone.  Next thing I knew, I had people asking “what else”.  A nice feeling knowing this shit can get done – no one felt put upon – and it got done faster.  Funny how simple that is yet how complicated I can make it.
  5. I need to cut myself some slack.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to do it all – to be it all to everyone I care about.  This morning while laying in bed, sleep deprived with head aching, I kept thinking of everything I needed to get done today.  I felt guilt about leaving someone hanging. I felt like I needed to just suck it up and go do what needed to be done.  And, in the end, I was like “WTF am I thinking? I can’t be at my best today – I’m going to spend more time feeling horrible than I am actually getting anything done. Tell them all to fend for themselves, and go back to sleep. Work isn’t going anywhere.”

This is going to be interesting as I try to shift things back into balance.

But it’s past time.

Because if I’m not in balance, I cannot expect anything else to be in balance.

And, well, I need balance.

What do you think?