Monday, January 23, 2012

Manic Monday: Re-entry

Vacation is wonderful, isn't it?
Coming home is even better.

Except for that awkward day or two when I am back in my real life, but my brain can't quite remember how to do it. 

Where did I leave off?  
Where do I start? 
How do I get myself back into the life that I left? 

I read somewhere about a woman who always gave herself one day "off" between vacation and real life.  I like that idea. I also wonder if she had children. 

Here is my Re-entry for Real Life plan:

1. take the morning slow. don't get dressed. drink my coffee. have another cup. eat a late breakfast. extra snuggling and talking with the kids.

2. make a list. what comes to my mind? write it down. plan a time this week to return emails/calls (not today). plan a time to go through the mail (not today). 

3. do laundry. it is the perfect chore to do when my brain is not functioning very well.  fold clothes while I watch a show or two (or five-we sort of got addicted to Once Upon a Time on ABC).

4.  buy food. make a run to the grocery store for the basics. (it might be good to get dressed for this excursion.) this is not the week for me to get into delicious dinners.  just the simple stuff.  Always preferred by my kids and perfect for the week after vacation eating. 

5. go to bed early. maybe just maybe I will wake up well-rested tomorrow and my Real Life will make sense to me again. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Manic Monday: basic self-care

Self-care is a popular term for women, but I have realized we often think in terms of girl's night or pedicures and although those are certainly a part of self-care, sometimes we need a reminder to do things that are even more basic.

ZZZZZZzzzzzz. Let's start with sleep. One of my favorites. Do you know how many hours of sleep you need a night? Have you given yourself space and grace to take a nap? For years, I thought taking naps meant I was lazy, now I know they are a common secret to many of the most productive (and happy!) people. Get your rest. So important. If you are not rested, it will not make a difference how cute your toes are. (To read: The Promise of Sleep.)

Food. My second favorite. I am a huge fan of treating myself to cupcakes and ice cream when I need some extra love, so I am all for treats, but I am talking about real food. Especially breakfast! Moms, wake up and eat. Eat some protein, eat some fruit, fill your tank for the big day you have ahead of you. You could be tired because you need sleep or you could be tired because you need food. Probably it's both. Pack a lunch and snacks for yourself, just like you would for kids. We need good food to function. Have treats in addition to real meals, but call treats a meal. You deserve healthy delicious food. Try to eat every 3 hours. It will change your life. I am also a big fan of juice plus, especially if your body has been fed by kid's leftovers for the past several years. (To read: The 3-hour Diet.)

Get back into your body. This body is yours. Does it feel like it belongs to you? Get inside of yourself. Remember how your legs and arms and muscles feel? Are you in pain anywhere? It is time to schedule that appointment to get that problem taken care of. In fact, schedule all those important annual exams. Get that tooth fixed. Do physical therapy for your shoulder. Take a walk in your neighborhood. Get a gym membership. Try any and every class that looks interesting. Consider yoga, spinning, boxing, or body pump depending on what is FUN to you. My personal favorite form of fitness is Zumba. You might make some new friends and that is a self-care two for one deal, right there.
(To read: Spark: the revolutionary new science of the brain and exercise.)

Water. Water. Water.  What do you pour yourself (or pick up at a drive-thru) when you are feeling tired or stressed? Coffee? Diet Drinks? Wine? It is a joke in my family that if anything is wrong with anyone, my solution is drink water.  It does a body good.  Like miraculous good. There is some wonderful research out there, but when you understand what dehydration does to your body, you see that of course we are tired, anxious, not thinking clearly.  If you can make no other changes to your life today but drinking more water, do it. My personal goal is to drink 100 oz. a day.  I have a couple of water bottles that I love and I keep one with me at all times, refilling it about 4x a day. (To read: Your Body's Many Cries for Water.)

Even though you already know that sleep, food, exercise and water are essential to meet your basic needs, we are so busy driving kids around and meeting deadlines at work that these basic needs get ignored.  
You cannot take care of your children, your job, or pursue your passions if you are not taking care of your basics.  It takes intention.  

Whatever you have to let go of to make this basic self-care possible, you must. Just ask Maslow.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

december 24th

In the Advent Calendar Today:

"Read the Advent Devotion
Today, help Mom and Dad pack up the car and enjoy the drive...
Laughing all the way!"

We are taking our Christmas over the river and through the woods this year.
I had planned today to be a packing, traveling, doing kind-of-day, so I was surprised with the gift of a quiet, contemplative morning.  

The sun was not even up when I smelled coffee brewing.  I came down stars to the softest music, candles lit, tree glowing and my sweet husband reading by the fire.  We sat in the stillness, the pause, between yesterday's grand celebration and tomorrow's big plans.

I am looking forward to our quaint Christmas in the country.
But the anticipation, the waiting, the planning, and the new traditions we have started this year make me just a little sad that it is almost over.

I have NEVER said that about the holidays before.

May you find the quietest moment this Christmas Eve to savor the thrill of anticipation.

december 23rd

In the Advent Calendar Today:

"Read today's Advent Devotion.  
Take notice of all your blessings today.
Try to count them."

We had "Grammy Christmas" today.  It is the climax of the holiday season for the kids.  So many cousins.  So much food. Too many presents to count.  We watched a movie of our Christmas together 12 years together.  We watched a movie of our Christmas together 2 years ago. They all add up to something pretty wonderful.  

I have been so busy years past trying to make it through the holidays that I have missed being IN them.

It was this day last year that was Granny Black's last day on earth.  Maybe we felt that this year.  I am not sure what it was.  But there was an awareness that what we have today, this moment and all the moments that we've shared up to this time, equals something very special.

Merry Grammy Christmas to YOU!

december 22nd

In the Advent Calendar Today:

"Read today's Advent Devotion and tonight, as a family, 
read The Night Before Christmas"

december 21st

In the Advent Calendar Today:

"Read today's Advent Devotion!
After you have done that ask Mom about our plans for the day."

december 20th

In the Advent Calendar Today:

"Read today's Advent Devotion 
send an email to someone who has been a good friend to you."