Self-Care: Going Slow, Taking Time, and Accomplishing Nothing

This week I am on Fall Break from school. It’s been a quiet week. my husband and kids aren’t out for two more weeks for their break, so I’m home alone. When the kids were really little, I was working for a different school district that had two weeks off every nine weeks. The kids’ daycare was closed during those two weeks (it was daycare provided by the school district), so every October, December, and March, the kids and I had two fun weeks together. We went to libraries and apple orchards and parks. We went to the art and science museums in Nashville. We baked cookies and made crafts and played games and scattered toys all over the house. Those were lovely, treasured times. I miss them being little.

Those were also tiring times, though. Running after two toddlers makes you weary. I honestly cannot remember how I did it all back then. Since then the kids have started school and I have gone back to the school district I started in here in Nashville. The past few years, our fall and spring breaks haven’t lined up. And I use those times to be lazy.

I say lazy, but then I correct myself: I use those times to rest. To write. Read. Give my body and brain time to relax. I feel guilty for these weeks, for having time to myself. For watching Netflix and lying around and reading. For not counting the minutes, for not scheduling my time.

I keep thinking I should try to get together with a friend for lunch or something. I should go to Hope Depot and buy paint and paint the kids’ rooms. I keep thinking I should I should I should. Never enough never enough never enough. You don’t deserve you don’t deserve you don’t deserve. I am afraid I will become more selfish than I already am. I think I am not allowed to take time for me.

But this: The past two days have been lovely. I have had time to do whatever I want. I have not had to rush. I have mostly done quiet things like read, write, sit on my deck, and nap. But I have gotten a few easy chores done, too. I spent an hour in JCPenney today and used a coupon I’d gotten in the mail.

This back to school season has been hard. We moved. Steven coached volleyball and Madeleine played, which meant a lot of late nights. I had a lot of after school things. My dream of getting home at 4:30 every day didn’t happen. But we made it. Some of us thrived. I survived. Homework got done and lunches got made and everyone got to school on time.

But my soul got pretty parched. I think I need this week to regroup. To be quiet. To find a space for creating. To find a time for self-care. I still feel guilty over it though I tell myself not to. Those old voices about never enough and servanthood and self-sacrifice are never completely silent. This week is for them. This week is a way to fight them down again. This week is my reminder that it’s okay to go slow and accomplish nothing. My worth doesn’t decrease just because I didn’t accomplish something.

Go slow. Take time. Care for yourself. Hold your hands open and allow them to be filled. Be thankful. 

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