Wednesday, September 1, 2010

If it makes you happy...

I've been a little low lately...
But, I expect it at the change of seasons...
Or with the beginning of school.
I get so wrapped up with trying to make sure everybody and everything is organized that sometimes I forget to slow down some and take care of myself.

Over the years I've learned that there are several very easy things that help me "take care of myself"

1.  I have found that my own anxiety is much more in check if I get a reasonable amount of sleep at night...luckily for me, I have a 6 year old who needs much more sleep than most, and I can lay down with her at bedtime (that's my story anyway).
I am a sleeper...a napper...if I sit still for long, I'm asleep.
My mom told me that when I went to first grade, she worried about 2 things...
how I was going to carry my lunch tray all by myself...
and how I would make it all day without a nap.
I'm doing just fine with my lunch tray these days...
but I still need my nap.

2.  I also get a "rush" from having a meal plan and feeding my family on weeknights.
There's nothing like a friend of my firstborn who comes to my house at lunch during the week because our leftovers are "amazing!"
There's also nothing like sharing leftovers with my the crazy world of work, we take care of one another, and nobody has to run to McDonald's bc he/she is starving to death at lunchtime.
My firstborn's boyfriend payed me the best compliment a week or so ago when he was visiting from college. 
When I asked whether or not they would like to go out to eat or for me to cook something, he said, "Please cook something."
Now, don't get me wrong here; I am no fabulous, famous cook...I just think a homecooked meal makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside.

3.  Coupon clipping makes me feel as if I'm conquering capitalism and saving my family money at the same time.
It's a adrenaline rush when I make my strategy, draw up the plan and then head for the front lines.
I have never been a numbers person so this one is a little weird to me...but hey, everybody can learn.
Paying off my credit cards and becoming more responsible with our livlihood has made me feel much more confident and self assured.
I am a competent person when it comes to money.
The Head of My Household asked me today if I knew how much I spent on the kids back to school shopping (we were not able to shop with my mom this year, and my youngest had her surgery, so most of our shopping was online...all purchases I made were on his credit card)
I stunned him when I quoted the exact amount ($2500) and told him that I had taken the money out of my extra summer check and placed it in savings.
He about fell out of his chair when I asked him whether he would like for me to write him a check or just electronically transfer the money to his account :):)

4.  Blogging.
I would have never imagined when I began my blog that I would have so many strangers out there in bloggy world that I consider my friends.
Some blogs I read along with the masses; some I read for recipes or saving scenarios at CVS and Walgreens; and some I read because those bloggers live are in places where I have visited and loved...their photography and stories bring back memories everytime I visit. 
Then, there are those bloggers who I know would be my friends if we knew each other in real life.
Other moms with personalities similar to my own as well as trials and triumphs that we've all experienced at some time or another.
Sometimes it's just nice to know I'm not completely crazy :)
And other blogs I just read for information or even just for a laugh.
And, then there are the book bloggers.
Oh my.
The first day I discovered book bloggers I felt like the little girl in the library who had found a home.
For, I remember book smells, the sights and sounds of even my middle school library, the quiet peacefulness of the stacks when I was in grad school and oh my goodness the card catalogs. 
Finally, a group of people to talk to who honored the printed page as much as I always have.

5.  My family.
When we are all under the same roof, I feel complete.  I even happily take in strays when necessary.
We have our challenges, no doubt, but we are trying to work on those hopefully make us even stronger in the process.
Sometimes the world around us feels as if it is falling apart.
Our therapist talks about home as a harbor.
The harbor is the place where a sailboat can safely roam about and learn to sail...coming back in closer to the safety of the dock when necessary...and in the case of teenager sailboats, having to stay at the dock for an extended period of time if they venture too far too soon.
The harbor is also the place that a sailboat returns to after sailing about in the wild waves of the ocean.
The harbor is a place to mend, to float gently on the protected ocean and relax knowing that the rougher waves cannot reach you there...
The harbor is a place to rest and to trust that all who reside there have your best interest at heart.

See, isn't that a cool extended metaphor?
Our therapist is such a smart lady!!

6.  And, speaking of therapy...
Our therapist is not really "my" therapist.
But, committing to therapy to help our daughters has helped us all in the process...and helped our family.
I think therapy has made us closer, more open and honest with one another, and much more able to say what we think and feel.
I know there are folks out there with much bigger problems.
But, I've often wondered if those problems would have gotten so big if people would turn to therapy sooner, and not wait until everything is just catastrophic.
Sometimes an outside, objective perspective looking in might be all it would take for some families or individuals to see the danger signs ahead.
I certainly do not know the answers for everyone.
I just know how much therapy has helped us.

And that makes me happy.


  1. I absolutely love this post! You have listed some wonderful & powerful examples of why you should feel empowered and happy -- good for you! And I applaud you for any type of therapy -- I think sometimes people shy away from the word and are afraid about it, but why? There's nothing wrong with talking about things with someone who is objective -- life is already confusing enough as it is, and we only get one! It's important to live it and simultaneously figure it out!!

  2. I love this post too! I love the thought of home being your safe harbor. I have felt that way about most of my homes and am still trying to find comfort here at the new place. It's hard when I know I'm only here for less than a year.
    I think EVERYONE should have therapy at least once. I went to a counselor during and after my divorce. It was the wisest thing I ever did. If nothing else, it made me realize my feelings and thoughts were normal and I wasn't crazy. My oldest daughter benefitted from therapy and like I said, I think everyone should have it!
    I hope you continue to find your happy place. Sometimes for a mom running crazy, it's ahrd to see.
    (oh, and I SO love cooking for my family too :) )

  3. Oh, now, see? I've been so focused on my own perceived struggle, I didn't even realize that you, too, were having a low period. This is such a great job inventorying all the wonderful things in your life that make you happy - a healthy dose of perspective can give you just the right push back in the direction of good spirits again.

    It's funny, the healing and strengthening powers of sleep, isn't it? I, too, love (LOVE) my sleep and things go quickly downhill when I don't get enough. How kind of you to pass this delight on to your youngest daughter! :-) I think a little nap every now and then is an incredibly cozy thing! In fact, I think this long weekend may have at least one in store for me! lol

    Will you tell me what you are cooking in your kitchen that makes these wonderful leftovers? I love having leftovers that people swoon over!!

    (And thank you for your kind & supportive msgs on my blog)