Ok, so writing is a bit challenging at the moment with everything that is going on. I’m in week 4 of my Cognitive Processing Therapy for my diagnosed Non-Recovery PTSD. This is EXHAUSTING. And there is a substantial amount of homework involved that really drains me.
Also, I have started a new job and, in the words of a co-worker at the moment, “it’s Oscar season!”
I’m planning the organizations largest event. Not only is it, typically, the largest event but, apparently, I’m very good at my job and have almost doubled the numbers from last year.
And then, I am continuing to work on the lifestyle and mindset changes necessary to become the healthier me I desire to be.
Also, of course, I am a Mother and a wife.
But, I’ve been doing really good at trying to take care of myself in the midst of all of this. I have made huge strides forward. I was recently very sick, and still have a bit of a cough and some sinus yuckies, and I didn’t binge-out on comfort foods. True, I didn’t totally neglect myself either, but I was mindful through it all.
And, for a while, I had stopped doing my mini-workouts during my workday. But, I realized how unfair that was on me. I had stopped taking breaks at work and was even eating my lunch at my desk, while working.
I could feel how the lack of these breaks was, actually, draining my energy and making me less effective in my work. So now, I am back to focusing on taking 2 breaks during my workday to get active. I climb the stairs, go for a walk or close my door and do some yoga or a 7 minute workout (the App).
I have refocused on trying to ensure that I am eating more veggies and fruit during the day as well. It all makes such a huge difference.
There are a few more changes I am trying to make for my personal well-being. One of them is to do some kind of household chore every day so that it doesn’t all become too much at once. If I do a bit every day, I should be able to stay on top of it and it will decrease my stress. Bonus- It’s added energy being spent. Like free exercise.
I want to be in bed, eyes closed, by 10:30pm. I have this persistent eye-twitch lately that’s driving me nuts. I know that it is the result of way too many nights awake past 11:30pm.
And, ultimately, I’d love to have more tv/video/game-free time. More still and quiet time. Even if this looks like 30 minutes of yoga before bed. Which is also a thing I want to make a “staple” of my day-to-day. At least, a little, yoga. It feels so good to stretch-out.
Part of “putting me first” is actually letting-go of part of me. I have a tendency to want to do everything, and have everything, absolutely perfect. I have had to work on letting-go of this desire and allowing things to be done “good enough” or not at all, so I could do some self-care.
I’m not that great at putting myself first, but I am learning to find some times when I allow myself to become the priority. Even if just for 10 minutes. I really believe this is helping me, my marriage, my work-life and my family be much healthier, happier and well-rounded.
As a Christian, all glory is meant to be directed heavenwards. It doesn’t matter how much work, effort or intelligence you put in, if something is successful it’s: “Praise God” or “Hallelujah” and “thank ya, Jeezus!”.
As an atheist, I have learned the joy of being able to claim my hard work, intelligence and effort as my own. It’s great at the end of a hard day, to crawl into bed with a sigh of satisfaction knowing that I did it.
I’m the one who kept my patience and loved my son through another screaming fit and remained calm while he puked all over me for the umpteenth time. I’m the one who still had the capacity to care for and feed my family after a long day at work. I’m the one who did the dishes and gathered the energy to clean the bathroom.
For someone who has spent the bulk life having to accept all my shortcomings as being my own sinful nature or my fault, while giving credit to god for anything good in me, it is extremely freeing and empowering to be able to say, actually, this is all me. Everything. The good, the bad and the ugly. When I fail, when I succeed, it’s me.
It is from MY strength, MY power, MY wisdom, MY tenacity that I have done the amazing, incredible, wonderful things I have done.
Just as it is from MY weakness, MY stupidity, MY laziness, MY complacency that I have made mistakes and fallen-short.
I have learned that, without relying on a god, most things in my life have remained absolutely the same as they were when I did rely on one. And it’s because there is one majorly important factor that didn’t change when I became an atheist:
I’m still here.
My personality, my characteristics-all the things that truly made me who I am-have stayed the same. I still fight for the things in which I believe. I still show compassion to others. I’m still very giving of my time, energy and resources. I still feel deep empathy for those suffering. I still face every day hoping to do my best to handle what comes my way and to love those around me to the best of my ability. I still lose my temper. I still whine about things that make me uncomfortable. I still get lazy and loaf around.
The only difference?
When I’ve done a good job at something, I can take the credit for it and feel proud instead of having to give all the credit away to someone or something else.
Now I feel whole.