The truth about self care is that it is as much what you don’t do as what you do do. A couple of years ago I heard Danielle LePorte speak. Her” Desire Map” began with an idea, “How do you want to feel?” No more needless resolutions that we forget quickly. Not about things I want to buy or be. “How do I want to feel?” Is the question that needs to be answered. And one that I almost ignored. Due to the progress I was making on my book before and after our trip I didn’t want to stop writing to do anything else.
If you follow me and get my newsletter you know that writing is at the top of my list. Heck, my word of the year is “devoted.” It may not always be at the top of my family’s list but I made it the top of mine.
So last week I booked all my doctors appointments to get them out of the way for my starting a college class. Because I put my writing first. (note the mild sarcasm here) The college class was one big road block I chose to put in the way of the book I am working on. What was I thinking? Perhaps I wasn’t.
Like the good student I began my class Monday morning and by midday I was jumping out of my skin.
I didn’t want to be doing science. I wanted to work on my novel. Then I realized as part of the class I would need to learn new skills. How to do lab reports along with learning how to write a correct analysis of a peer review article. I didn’t want to take the time to learn how to do something highly specific for the class before even beginning my work. I was feeling more and more trapped and wanted to jump out of my chair and run screaming into the woods. My neighbors would have been surprised! I am grateful though because if the class had been English or History I would have barreled on through.
Instead I said, “No.”
This is not what I want right now. What I want right now is to be working on my novel. As soon as I cancelled my class(without penalty thankfully) I got an email from a friend whom I had asked to read the book. She is rather busy in her life but said, ” If you can get it to me by the 12th I will read it on vacation.” Timing is everything, indeed.
I now have time. No more college class this summer. I will finish my latest round of edits in time to send it to her and I will have time with our girls. Moving our oldest will be much simpler because I will have handed off my book and I will not be trying to do science class the week of the move.
Listen to those feelings deep inside.
The ones that make you feel so pressed for time and ask “why do I feel like this?” And listen to the answer.
Timing is everything.
And sometimes you need to let yourself off the hook. Last year I took several classes, but our oldest was in transition, our youngest was in summer school, and I was going to two conferences and speaking and teaching. I actually had time because I wasn’t fully committed to my writing.
This year is different.
This is the year I said, “What are you waiting for, Angelique?”
How do I want to feel? Where do I want to be in two years when both girls are living away from home and I am here. What do I want my life to be? I will tell you.
I want to feel accomplished.
I want to feel successful, which for me isn’t about the dollar amount(though lots of dollars would be nice). It is about feeling like I did what I set out to do and didn’t give up halfway there. I want to finish what I start. It is about feeling committed to myself and my dreams. I now have kids that are old enough that I can do that. I love being a mom but at this point, almost an empty nester, they need me when they need me and they don’t need me every second of the day. I want to spend time with my husband just being us. Travel when we want to, pursue our interests and visit our kids and welcome them home.
I want to be a published author in fiction. I want to be writing. I want to be speaking and I want to travel. I am ready to step out from where I have been the best mom I could be and take my moment to fulfill my dreams while supporting theirs. While assuring our girls of roots and wings I will allow myself to take flight.