It's hard to believe we're two months in - and fall is here! Our first theme was "Self Care" - and I wanted to share with all of you some of the things I learned over the last couple of months - what has been a pathway to a lot more peace and joy in my life.
I'll throw in a few random photos - just for fun!
How I Thought Self Care Should Be!
I said when we started out that I knew little about self care - and had a lot to learn!
When we started in July, I thought self care meant stealing away an hour or two, here and there out of my already overly hectic schedule that was "just for me"! If I got really good - I'd add in exercise to the daily mix!
So, I tried to do exactly that - I added a bunch of "me" time into the schedule - and fought really hard to stick to it!
After a couple of weeks - I think I reported to you all that I had been failing miserably on the self care thing - and I hoped that you all were doing far better than me!
In all fairness - this is what we're taught - "don't forget to take time for yourself" - right??!!
Adding in all of that extra "me" time - just made my already over-burdened schedule even worse (sigh)!
The Jamesport Trip and Veggie Soup!
It's so funny how things work out - I tell ya! One of my goals was to have a couple of date days with Studly - and on one of those trips we went to Jamesport to visit the Amish shops there!
And, Studly bought me this book to read (I mean I had "me" time on the schedule LOL)!
I was reading this part about a woman (Sue) who went to live with the Amish for a few weeks - I'll just quote from the book here -
"The use of time among the Amish captivated Sue. To her, time was a burden. 'There was never enough of it,' she felt. She noticed that the Amish valued the process as well as the finished product. The women she lived with moved through the day unhurried. There was no rushing to finish so they could get on to the "important things." For them, Sue observed, it was all important. There was no distinction between the sacred and the ordinary. To Sue, such a concept was astounding. 'In Berkeley I ran around breathlessly rushing toward impossible goals--and to that vague 'something out there'. When I explained how split I was, loving to do certain things and hating to do others, the women laughed and tried to understand."
An Amish woman responds to Sue - "'Making a batch of vegetable soup, it's not right for the carrot to say I taste better than the peas, or the pea to say I taste better than the cabbage. It takes all the vegetables to make a good soup!' Miriam said."
Now – my life was looking A LOT like Sue’s – and I began to wonder if these Amish women had something to teach me!
A New Approach To Self Care
So, about two weeks in - I changed my approach to self care.
1. First, I had to recognize and ACCEPT that I am not Superwoman - I can't do it all. Although I constantly overscheduled myself - God never puts more on my plate than I can handle with peace and joy in any given day!
2. No more insane "To Do Lists" each day. I went to block scheduling. So, I might have two hours for deep cleaning - what I get done is great! What I don't get done will wait until next week.
3. My singular goal each day was to do each task peacefully, unhurried, and with joy! Can one really find “joy” in mowing grass in the heat or cleaning a toilet! Surprisingly probably most to me of all people – the answer was YES! I mean – I even had fun grocery shopping (which was my most dreaded task)!
4. I think perhaps the joy comes not only from not being hurried, but recognizing the incredible value and importance of the work! Being a wife and mom truly are the most important roles in my life – and the tasks that come along with them are not only important – but enjoyable!
I am powerless over many things – BUT I do have a choice in how I will look at life and the work given to me! I get to choose whether to hate them, dread them, and rush through them. Or, I can choose to be grateful for them, to enjoy them – and to take my time in doing them well!
I've been amazed - and still am! In fact – I’m a little afraid the bubble will burst – and life will go back to the old way!
I wasn't so pleased about all of the time I spent with family and all of the things I accomplished in the last couple of months - but that I was able to really enjoy my time, that I wasn't anxious and hurried! That is was ALL "THE GOOD STUFF", ALL IMPORTANT!!
I’ve realized that self care isn’t about stealing away a few hours for “me” time – it’s about truly enjoying all of life, including work - especially work, since it is such a big part of life!
I used to think that if life could be one big vacation, I'd be one Happy Camper. But, I see now that it takes many things - cooking, cleaning, time with family, sewing, yard work, etc. - it takes ALL of it to make a truly full, rich, good life! Just like it takes all the different veggies to make a rich, good Veggie Soup!
I’m less stressed, I eat more healthy (less stress eating), and I’m getting plenty of exercise – just scrubbing and mowing away over here!
I'm a much better wife and mom – because I’m not all stressed out! I remember Dr. Christian Northup saying that the women are the “joy” or "fun" planners of the household - and saying if you don't believe me - who does Christmas at your house?
And - at least at my house, the old saying "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" holds true! I've loved really enjoying life - and the impact it's had on my two favorite guys!
Oh - and sewing is also good, and also on the important list now - GUILT FREE! You see, it's good, it's important for our home - for decor, for bed coverings, etc!
Who knew that a lesson from a wise Amish woman on
Veggie Soup could be used by The Big Guy to transform a life??
Why I Shared
I'm sharing all of this with you Charming Girls for a couple of reasons. First, I'm hoping that it will help some of you (like it did me) to reflect on what you believe, whether it's true, and how looking at things in your life differently might change things for the better!
And, the second reason is purely selfish - if I forget all of this, if I go back to my old ways and you see me here complaining about having too much to do, being all stressed out and anxious - I hope that you - all my Charming Friends - will throw me a life preserver
I hope you'll comment and say -
"Hey Kelly - why don't you relax, have a big bowl of veggie soup", and link me up with a reminder to read this post!
Alright - our Charming Theme for the next couple of months is:
I know that many of us struggle with getting our quilt tops quilted - and I'll be excited to learn from all of you on this one! I need some serious help in this department, too! So please - share with us how you quilt your quilts, tips and tricks we might need, books you'd recommend, and pictures too!
I'm including a Mr. Linky here - so please link to your Blog Posts to let us know to visit you - and learn some quilting tips:
P.S. For any of you out there searching for more peace and joy in everyday life - I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the book "Amish Peace" by Suzanne Woods Fisher.