Wednesday, March 4, 2015

what's saving my life right now

i read something a few weeks back that got me contemplating. blog writer modern mrs. darcy, inspired by the book leaving church, challenged her readers to consider the things that are saving their lives.  she wrote, "even though most of us can easily articulate what’s killing us, few of us pay attention to what’s giving us life."

guilty as charged. 

i cannot tell you how frequently i catch myself saying the kids are killing me or this weather is killing me or all.the.legos are killing me!

so i did indeed feel challenged to shift my focus toward what brings me back to life.

1) waking up before my children. i'm writing about this first because i honestly feel it has been the simplest, yet most profound thing i've been doing to refresh my spirit. i used to read about moms who woke before their babies and thought they were crazy. now i realize there are different stages of motherhood. the season i'm in now, with children ages 6 and 7 who wake consistently around 6:30am and can dress themselves and even make their own breakfast if necessary, makes it easy for me to get up at 5:30am. i enjoy a quiet hour of reading, thinking, praying...sometimes wasting time scrolling through my phone...sometimes just staring out the window (to catch the sunrise!). all while sipping a piping hot cup of coffee. waking up in peace is the very best way to start the day and it allows me to feel settled and readied for the frantic before-school rush.

2) vitamins. i wrote about my vitamin regime here.

3) exercise. a friend told me yesterday about working out, "you're so dedicated". i'm not sure it's dedication, i just know doing some form of physical activity most days makes my brain and body feel better. 

4) writing. i process my life by writing it. i've said repeatedly that writing is my therapy. not everything is published on this blog because, although i'm a fairly open book, some topics are better left hiding in a file on my computer. or written long-hand and burned! but they all get written out. 

5) keeping a very simple schedule. routine is my life-blood and i enjoy a simple one. i know i am incredibly blessed to do so! my days are typically all the same: wake, quiet time, get boys to school, exercise, errands, pick up graham, housework, pick up harrison, homework, dinner, bathes & bed for boys, tv time with jer, bed for me. on thursdays i spend the morning volunteering at the boys school. that little tweak in my routine often throws me for a loop; i get home and need a nap! on valentine's day i volunteered at the school plus coordinated graham's class party, drove home to eat lunch, then headed back to the school to be with harrison during his class party. i was exhausted at the end of that day and woke up with a migraine the next! all that to say, i know a simple routine saves my life. 

6) saying no. i have become accustomed to saying no to things in order to keep my routine as simple as possible. not because i don't want to do them but because i've grown to understand they come with a cost. the things i can say yes to (meeting friends at the park) i'll jump at. the things i need to say no to (helping coach the soccer team) are easier to decline because i'm firmly grounded in knowing how much i can handle. we purposefully limit the boys' commitments (lessons, sports, teams) too!

7) daydreaming. regarding the photo, sometimes when jeremy or i feel like something (mostly parenthood, let's just be real) is killing us we put our arms around each other, close our eyes and whisper "mexico, mexico, mexico" until we remember the ocean, the breeze and the unadulterated stress-free beauty of our week there. taking a moment to transport ourselves saves us.

so that's what's saving my life right now. what's saving yours?

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