We all have different views of our life that we show people. We want to show we have our act together, our homes are always clean and our family is always happy, organized and on time. It’s like we’re trying to live life as it’s seen in tv shows and commercials. I’m not sure about your life but mine rarely looks like one on a pretty commercial.
Most days I live in stretchy pants or shorts, depending on the weather, t-shirts and bare feet. My hair is pulled back and I don’t have make up on. Since I can work at home with only some travel these days I enjoy the non-commute, lounge look. Ok I don’t necessarily always enjoy it but it is comfortable and well it’s easy. I can just get up, dress, wash my face, brush my teeth, grab a coffee and I’m ready. It’s honestly nice not to have to spend an hour in the bathroom getting ready every day and then driving another 30 plus minutes to the office. It gives me time to work on my small business, keep my family life more structured and well feel like I have a life some days.
There is a misnomer about people who work at home for their jobs. This misnomer is that we have all this “extra” time in our days since we are not commuting and getting ourselves ready to rush out the door every day. It is true we do have some “extra” time but more often than not you will find work at home people actually work longer hours at their jobs. They also do not get downtime between work and family chores that need to be done as soon as they stop working at their jobs. Most likely too they have the same piles of laundry and shopping errands as everyone else who works in an office. These things just don’t magically start getting easier because you shift work locations. I admit a lot of life things are more balanced with a home office but a lot of it is still the same.
I have had the pleasure of working from home for over the the past 8 years. I love it. Now most of those 8 years had a lot of travel involved for work but these days it’s much, much less. For me, it’s much easier to get into work assignments, focus on details and get progress made on tough challenges when I’m at home. I have room to think. My home office is pretty and I enjoy being in it. I don’t have an ugly cubicle wall or noise from an office surrounding me. Granted I’m on the phone a lot but there’s a great mute button on my phone. It’s productive, comfortable and feels good for me. More and more people are finding they too enjoy the flexible work locations and can really dig deeper into their work as a result.
The challenge I have with balancing work and home life is still the same challenge I had when I was traveling everywhere or commuting to an office. Namely it is finding that precious time to eat right and exercise. Amazingly even with a home gym that has a wonderful treadmill and weight machine in a beautiful space I still struggle with making time to use it. I can set all the New Year’s Resolutions, weekly goals or simple good intentions and still not succeed. I just don’t seem to get to it and some of it is my own stressed out exhaustion, motivation and well interest. It truly is not that I’m not interested in losing weight or feeling better because I am but I find I end up pushing those needs aside more than I should.
There it is my friends. The “should.” We are always faced with a “should” about something in our life. We should do a better a job at keeping up with our health. We should make working out a priority. We should eat better. We should put down electronics more. Yes we should to all of it. But we don’t. We feel the pressure of the should and shuck it off because it feels like one more thing we should be doing and we’re not. We let the guilt of should get in our way and win again. Maybe tomorrow right?
As I look into 2020 I deeply want this year to be better. My family has had some rough times the past 3 years with mental illness, career shakeups and just normal stress of living. It has felt like wave after wave of storms flooding over us at times and these times are not over entirely. Yet I feel called to create a different space for myself. To carve out room among the primary breadwinner and caretaker roles I now carry for my family to just be me; honoring what my mind and body crave. I spend a lot of time working and a lot of time doing for all the people and things I need to do in a day. If you are that person for your family then you understand that means your needs are always at the bottom of the list. Your downtime is spent numbed from being stressed and overwhelmed in stretchy pants binge watching Netflix. I realize long term I have to break that habit and my body wasn’t meant to live in a constant war of demands that have nothing to do with my own health and well-being. Yours was too my friend.
So this year as I thought about what changes, growth, fresh starts and new beginnings I wanted to foster in my life I picked this need for my own needs to rise up on the to-do list. As a primary caretaker that makes my heart hurt because it may mean I have to change how I do it all, figure out how I’m going to have the energy to include more on my crazy schedule and make it all look graceful. HA! It even sounds like a pipe dream when I see these words on my screen but even a small step in this direction feels right to me. It’s time and I’m ready to see some of those changes come to life.
I write to you all the time on this blog about how to live better, all the changes we’ve made in our home and recommending ways to do it in your own life. These things are entirely true and I follow my own advice. Yet I do struggle just like every other breathing person and I have my own challenges to conquer. Like I’d really like to lose weight that I’ve packed on in the stress of the all that has happened in the past few years. I’d like to improve my health so I can continue being this primary caretaker for the people who love and need me in my family. I’d like to just feel better and more like myself versus this rush of aging and exhaustion wondering where time has gone. That stuff won’t magically just happen though and I admit it.
Where I’m starting from is a place of admitting these changes need to occur and looking for those nuggets of opportunity to make it happen. Just like when I first introduced natural living to my home life I started small, cleaning the toilets actually, and let it take over. So I’m looking for that small area in my life where I can experiment, learn, grown and apply things that work. I can let it grow and expand, taking over into other areas until I am where I want to be. Healthy. Energy filled. Content. Strong. I’ve proven that method works in my home with swapping out cleaners, personal care products, medicines and more so it’s time to apply it to my own mind and body. It’s time to start loving my body again and recognizing those needs have to be filled with attention and strength only I can give it.
If you joined me in early January for the cleanse that I did using all natural support resources and tools (see blog post from January 6 – Your Gut Knows) then you have already made a crucial first step on this journey too. From that experience I feel renewed, ready and motivated. I feel ready to take on a challenge to figuring this out and finding solutions that work. As I enter February I’m ready to unfold the next chapter in my health journey. For me that starts with a focus on my heart and what is calling me. It means centering this change journey on love for myself, my health, my beauty and grace. It means moving in flow to my body more and letting go of controls that I don’t need to use anymore. It’s a reset of my day to focus on not only my obligations and demands as a primary caretaker and breadwinner for my family but also my needs. That beautiful balance between giving and receiving what I need to be a strong, confident, beautiful mom, wife, business owner and employee every day.
If you’re also a primary caretaker and breadwinner for your family I invite you to join me. Let’s take off the masks and look at our messy lives for what they are. Let’s garner that strength to realize we have to find ourselves in that mess and balance our needs with everything else in order to be that person our family depends on. Join me on the journey of releasing that to find our balance, stride and ability to truly live life on our terms more naturally and aligned to who we want to be.
Click here to get started with a Wellness & Lifestyle Assessment (it’s free): dragonspitapothecary.com/fresh-beginnings