I used to brag to my co-workers on how I could get out the door in the morning in 15 minutes or less. Roll out of bed, throw the hair in a ponytail, and roll. What I am realizing now is that being able to do that was a sign of not really investing in myself. I literally was saying “I don’t care enough about myself to spend twenty minutes washing my face, brushing my hair, or feeding myself”. THAT was a rough realization.
In ALL the realizations that have continued to pile on over the last few months, perhaps the most important one (I think) is that I am worth my own time. I am worth at least as much time, love, and attention as that that I shower on those that I love and dote on. At LEAST as much. And that I am not defined by my role as a wife, mother, or employee. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with that one. On my best days I can flex my arm and go “yah that’s right” on my worst I spend them crying because one or more of my kids is too busy to call.
My morning routine has grown to include a lengthy routine with the animals which they get quite upset if it’s altered. TBH I alter it sometimes just to mess with them. 🙂 It consists of making the bed so I get that fresh sheet feeling at the end of the day. Washing my face. Occasionally including makeup. I have cut my hair so a ponytail is not an option. Man is that a paradigm shift. The pic is from this morning. I was just about to dunk my head and go dang it it’s too fluffy when I made myself look at it through the camera lens. I had been practicing the “beach waves” my stylist spent 30 minutes teaching me Saturday to do. Did I master it? Nope. Am I presentable for public? Yep. Did I run 30 minutes late getting to work? Yep. Did the world melt down? Nope.
I have spent 42 years trying to be “perfect”. Not Stepford wives perfect but guided by some suffocating sense of not wanting to let people down and feeling like I would be judged if I didn’t execute by some invisible set of rules. Allowing myself to be manipulated emotionally by those closest to me who know all the right buttons to push (that one was eye opening). Our sermon this week was on labels and how we assign ourselves the enneagram number or the personality labels that are out there and then we just…stop. We stop trying to be anything past those. If you asked me as recently as a month ago I would have told you I am a “2”. Meaning I will give you the shirt off my back even if it means I’m cold and people liking me is the most important thing to me. Yah. That’s not working for me anymore. Especially since it’s been used to pull one child out of my life and to emotionally beat the crap out of me like MOST of my life. My counselor said “what other people think of me is none of my business”. That may not come naturally yet but I am damn sure gonna get there. Because with that will come a freeing sense of it only matters of if I am proud of who I am and what I put in the world when I look in the mirror.
I am a fighter. I’ve had 55+ surgeries in 42 years of life. I’ve been physically and emotionally abused by my mother’s poor choices in husband’s. I lost the grandfather that was the only father figure I’ve known. I’ve lost the love of my life. I’ve raised three amazing human beings but that doesn’t mean I’m responsible for their choices. THAT one is freeing. I am strong. I am capable. I am a hell of an employee. I am and always will be a DAMN good mother. I have a heart like no other. I’ll love someone I care about until the end of my days. But I won’t be a victim anymore. I won’t be put down. I won’t be part of anyone’s rewritten warped lens history that makes them feel better about hurting me and justifying their hurtful choices. Being proud of who I am and the changes I am making doesn’t make me full of myself. It just means I’m me….and I’m done apologizing for it. Because I am exactly the person God intended me to be.