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I remember when I was devoted to a long work-week scheduled at the office serving a director’s position managing staff, going to school for my Bachelor’s of Business degree, raising my 2 precious sons and doing this all while going through a divorce; the sentence alone is a run on and inappropriate. It is hard for me today to imagine juggling all of this at the same time. It was horrific. While I was at the office, I was present because I didn’t have a choice not to be: I felt I had to support a single household so I gave it my all. I was lucky my sister’s and parents were there to help me. I took as many online classes as possible in school and, of course, I gave this my all; I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. My super-human mindset was motivated by the need to provide a good life for my kids and while I was with them (evenings into the nights and weekends) I gave them 100%. We played, cooked, read books, visited family, went to the movies, explored and we did anything else we could think of that was fun. I remember when we used to lay on the trampoline at nightfall and watch the bats swoop down to catch bugs then we’d go in and research and read about them. The time with my kids made everything else worthwhile to me but the havoc of juggling so much was stressful and, because I never gave myself a break or allowed me to slow down, my body took the toll. I became very unhealthy and my own worst enemy during several years of this routine. I was so hard on myself. Mentally I would beat myself up for my faults and physically I was diagnosed with ulcerous colitis, migraines, Barrett’s Esophagus and reflux. On the outside it looked like I was holding my life together and pushing it forward but inside I was crumbling.
I didn’t like myself at this time. I never felt like anything I did was enough; it didn’t matter what I overcame or how much I accomplished, I would just beat myself up for my mistakes.
Since then I have learned so much through the moments of self-reflection gifted while on my spiritual journey. I realize if I had continued that life, my prognosis would not have been good. I had sacrificed way too much in an effort to do it all!
Today I have many goals and I am busy but this agenda is held together by self-care. I am kinder to me and this makes all of the difference. The forty-something me could not step back into the shoes of the early thirty-something me and move it along like I did at that time. The wiser me would pick quality over quantity. She would still be driven and goal-minded but this would cover a reasonable timespan. My health would be a priority not an afterthought. Today I have put to rest my inner perfectionist and instead I welcome my, sometimes disorderly, peacemaker to surface.
How do you view the world? Are you flexible and forgiving or rigid and cold?