You Deserve to Slow Down

Welp, I'm sick. Chills, fever, burning cheeks, nausea - no joke I am lying in bed as I type this. But if you read my posts, and know me, you know that when I feel compelled to write something, I do. It's like an itch, but a good one, that I just can't ignore. So here goes.

I've been home with sick fellas since Thursday. First Porter, then Stetson, with hand, foot, and mouth. Let's start with the shame and guilt there - despite it being a very common illness in young children. I feel like a bad parent and a bad housekeeper. We are essentially on quarantine - and I don't blame anyone - it's not a fun one to get. So there's that.
Then there's me. The idealist, the pleaser, the everything to everyone. At home. Away from work for two full days, and counting. Rescheduling and missing meetings. Trying my best to answer emails and still produce. I'd be lying if I said I haven't been planning in my head, repeating over and over my to-do list. Recounting to myself all of the things that I will do just as soon as I can produce again. In fact, just typing that stirs up the nausea. Here's a good one, I cried today. Not because I'm sick, or necessarily because my kids are sick. I cried because I realized they wouldn't be well enough to go anywhere, anytime soon, and well, that's a whole lot of anxious for me. It means missing more work, shifting more meetings, missing them. That makes me sound like a bad mom, but it's the truth. It's a funny thing to balance a career and being a parent. It's not always easy, even with the most supportive of work environments.
And it's not because I don't have help. Oh heck, I have some of the most reliable, dig-in-and-help family, neighbours, colleagues - or rather friends, around. My problem is feeling called to serve - everyone. And chasing that, while neglecting to serve the person who is serving everyone else - me.
Yesterday I felt called to re-read my soul's purpose, as determined by my fingerprints. Yes - I believe in this, agree to disagree if you don't. I was reminded then that I am walking life through the school of service and that my biggest risk is neglecting to serve myself. Thanks God, and Universe.  You'd think I would have learned this when we had infants, when depression and anxiety brought me to my knees and for the first three years, at least, my husband and my sister carried me. Then, Today I took a bath and started to read Girl, wash your face. It hit me again - serving everyone, racing to get things done, neglecting myself - not cool. Later today the illness hit me, not like a truck, that seems a bit graphic but perhaps like a toddler on a bicycle, speeding out of control ( I know these well). Nausea turned to chills, burning cheeks - essentially where I'm at now. I huddled in bed and scrolled Instagram, because even that hasn't stopped, yes stalled, but not stopped, in the face of this illness. "Do you really need to work so hard?" Danielle LaPorte with the final nudge, or rather smack. Thank you God, thank you Universe, thank you Cynthia, and Rachel Hollis, and Danielle LaPorte.

This year was supposed to be about loving me - according to the intentions I set at the outset of twenty-eighteen. And you know? It was. But not necessarily in the way I thought - sneaky, sneaky Universe. This year I did love me, but in a way so very different than more walks, better meals, more downtime, etc. Loving me came in the form of believing in me with the same fire that I would my husband, my children, my sister. This year it took me until March to stop denying myself as a leader and then until August to really step into my leadership role at Vivo - to believe myself an expert, a humble one, but an expert nonetheless. To truly come alive - shameless plug for The Greatest Showman because it's my theme for twenty-eighteen. And stepping into that leadership role has meant letting go of certain things - leaning on others to complete, carry forward, bring to life.
All the while - I am still working on serving myself. Do we ever stop? Does anyone have an answer for that? My guess is no. My guess is that this is something we must remind ourselves of every single day. Every single day we need to settle down, sit back, go for a walk, watch Call the Midwife, read scripture, read anything, feed our soul. So even though it's not yet twenty-nineteen I already know what I'll be intending to do next year - and this nearly ninety day lead up seems like the perfect time to start. Thanks Rachel Hollis and #last90days - but full disclosure, why the need for the perpetuation of diet culture even in something as simple and beautufbe as intention setting?
This weekend I am grateful for so many things:
- a husband who takes over without being asked
- family and friends who support from near and far
- an incredible organization that understands life, grants flexibility and freedom, and empowers women to lead - even when that leadership looks less traditional and different.
- I call it God, the Universe, whatever you like, the reminder from something much bigger than myself that slowing down is okay. That being everything to everyone is not realistic and that to truly serve others to the best of our abilities we must first serves ourselves.
So moms, parents, humans - don't forget about you. Let the Universe slow you down, or rather slow down before God steps in. Practice serving yourself. It's okay - you deserve it. And yes, that's essentially my mantra.

- lovefrommaria


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