via jojoretroandvintage.blogspot.comI'm in bed.
I'm wearing track pants and a maternity shirt. Next to me is a book, a ball of yarn, a plate... there's chocolate crumbs and half-eaten drumstick.
(what. like you've never eaten cold leftovers and cake for breakfast...)
And it occurred to me in the middle of my boil-a-lobster bath this morning: I'm self-soothing. I'm in self-soothing mode. I'm surviving to sooth.
Because stress, that's why.
Last week, I had pretty much the same amount of stress on me and I was doing much better... although I will admit that when my husband disclosed the equivalent of a dump-truck load of confessions on me, I listened and then went straightway to the kitchen.
"I don't know what I'm feeling," my brain said, "But I'm pretty sure it's negative and now I need chocolate."
But last week I cleaned my house on Monday. I scrubbed it and aired it and played beautiful music through it. Monday night I bathed myself and my children. I styled my hair so that when I woke up on Tuesday morning all I would have to do is remove a headband and curls would appear!
Tuesday morning, I woke up to a clean house. I rolled out of bed and ten minutes later was completely dressed and ready for the day. I ate better, was more available, accomplished more...
the rest of the week followed suit.
This week? I woke up in the wake of a busy feelings-family-friends-food-filled weekend, and as much fun as it was, it's left me feeling drained and stressed.
My house isn't airy or clean or playing beautiful music.
And I'm in full-blown sooth mode which, as I know but never seem to truly LEARN, compounds the stress.
I forgot about Silly Sock Day at school and my sweet poor Kindergartner came home and responded to my apologies with, "It's okay. Invisible socks can be silly too..."
I didn't even HAVE socks for her to wear.
I forgot to email my missionary sister about her own nieces blessing.
I forgot a play date. I relied on Netflix. I left food out all night -expensive food out -and it spoiled.
I had to spend $30 (one student's payment for a month of piano lessons) on dinner for the next night because I had invited friends over and couldn't feed them spoiled food.
And I've been near-tears all week wondering, "What in the h-e-eck-eck is my beef? Why was I awesome last week and a fat failure this week?"
Hormones are partly at fault, I will admit. And I DID have one big "ah-haaaaaaaa" moment Monday night when I realized the reason for my weekend jelly bean and chocolate chip cookie binge was NOT so much because I was a lard-driven animal and MORE because I was a natural, cycling woman.
Luckily for me, I have a few natural supplements I can take to ward of hormone-induced depression.
Self-soothing has a place in my life. A passing, fleeting place.
I stay in it as long as it takes for me to realize I'm in it, and then I get out.
Prayer, scripture study, good music, a round of yoga, a mopped floor, a salad, a conversation about Power Rangers with my son, a few minutes of solitude with my peaceful baby... THESE are my self-care.
I could make an educational t-chart listing my self-cares and my self-soothes... but I think I've made a pretty good illustration.
And you know what? Self-care is hard.
Self-soothing is easy.
But, as I remarked in an embarrassingly tear-filled testimony from the stand on Sunday, hard work brings miracles.
And you MUST permit me to insert a little Manliness whenever possible:
Self-soothing? You've officially been checked.
It's time to move on to self-care... it's not going to be easy.
But (say it with me):
It's going to be worth it.