Late Night Thoughts: Timeout for TLC

During my 40 Days Lighter journey, I shared my struggle with embracing self-care. 

There always seemed to be something “more important” to be done. Of course, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Last week, I missed a couple workouts, for a variety of reasons. So yesterday, during a “tough love” conversation with my coach, he asked me if I “really couldn’t find 30 minutes for myself” everyday last week. 

The truth is that no matter how busy I was, there was probably 30 minutes at some point in the day that got wasted scrolling on social media. I’m pretty sure I’ve returned home from an appointment or taking one of the kids somewhere and just sat in the car in the driveway for 30 minutes… probably scrolling on social media… again. 

The answer to my coach’s question was a wholehearted “No!”, and the acknowledgement of this truth gave me great motivation to “get it together” this week. 

So this morning, I went to the track with the baby in the stroller, and did my mile running/walking. 

And tonight, I found ten minutes to give my face a little love with this amazing SheaMoisture Hydrating Mud Mask recommended by MoxieBexie. (If you aren’t currently following her Moxie’s Me Time posts – go ahead and do it now!)

I bought the small 2.75 oz size with some ExtraBucks at CVS, just to try it out a few times before purchasing a larger size.

 



And now, I’m laying in bed. Yes there is still schoolwork, work work, and housework to be done in the morning, but the cumulative hour reserved over the course of the day for Andrea TLC was more than worth it!

My new favorite definition for TLC?

Time that Lifts Cares – because I’m going to sleep tonight feeling so much lighter.

40 Days Lighter – Day 25: Finding A God-Honoring Rhythm (Part 1)

 

Rest

If there were any two areas along this journey to becoming 40 days lighter with which I have genuinely struggled and truthfully feel like an utter failure, it would be in finding times of rest, and moments for self-care.

I am constantly on the go, if not in the care of our family, for work, if not for work, then for school, and the list goes on. Even when I attempt to build in moments of down time or quiet, I somehow find a way to fill the “gap” in my schedule with something else. It’s so easy to plan to just sit in silence so that I can find the words for my writing, yet as I’m passing the kitchen sink to put down my laptop, I have a “let me just do these dishes really quick” moment. And before I know it, I’m sweeping, then I’m cooking, and a host of other household tasks not related to my writing.

I have put the baby down for nap, saying this is a good moment to rest myself, or sit and read, and before I know it, I’ve grabbed my phone or laptop to take care of “one last thing”, which mysteriously transforms into 10 more things, and before I know it, the baby is up, blinking at me with those beautiful brown eyes. And I haven’t read a single page or slept a wink.

I have taught myself to see rest or downtime as “optional”, or a thing I do when I’ve taken care of everything else. 

And eventually I crash.

And I become irritable, unfocused, frustrated, overwhelmed, and overall, so tired it seeps into my bones. And I am forced to pause, because my body and mind refuse to go another step forward without recharging first.

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun says, “Lack of adequate rest can ruin our families, damage our souls, even kill us. When we burn the candle at both ends we:

  • lose sight of what we enjoy in our work
  • find even the things we enjoy doing become a chore
  • fail to give people the gift of our attention and presence
  • impair our ability to hear God’s voice and discern his movement in our lives
  • become obsessive about the to-do list
  • lose touch with the human limits that are meant to keep us in touch with God

This last point struck me to my core.

When I neglect my need for rest and forget about my limitations as a human being, I lose touch with God. Could it be that to reject rest, is to see ourselves as wiser than God – since even He has given us a model for work and rest by doing so Himself?

I will close with this, and invite you to join me in reflection – and repentance if you find yourself rejecting rest as well:

“God created us in his image. He is a God who works and then rests. When we rest, we honor the way God made us. Rest can be a spiritual act – a truly human act of submission to and dependence on God who watches over all things as we rest.”

~ Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us