I lost momentum on this blog thread for a good while this year. My commitment to post once a week no matter what fell to the wayside in March. That month heralded the onset of early-pregnancy nausea in the evenings (my prime writing time). Wisconsin’s stay-home order also went into effect and I just felt lost for a while – head spinning, trying to understand everything going on while feeling utterly exhausted from the pregnancy. The pause became a gift. I was quiet long enough to hear the whispered wishes from my heart. Quiet long enough to prioritize what’s most important. This busy mom is finally prioritizing the juggling act.
Your One Thing
Some time ago, I wrote a post about Your One Thing. It’s based on a book that recommends prioritizing based on the one thing that – once done – will make everything else easier. I actively employed that idea – my One Thing at work, my One Thing for housework, my One Thing for this blog, my One Thing for health. But I ignored the wisdom of someone else, who said there has to be a One Thing for all of it. One thing that I care most about and prioritize above all else.
For me, that was health. And I knew it. But I so desperately wanted to run a blog and start up a business where I feel challenged. I so desperately wanted to be part of a choir and make friends and make music. All this while holding a full time job and giving all my love to the sweetest little one-year-old on the block – dinner by 6 pm, stories and songs and bedtime by 7:30 pm sharp.
I wanted to do it all. So to Lady Health I said, “I’ll take care of you, too, but it’s going to have to be mixed in with everything else.” Then the pandemic hit and like you, I was suddenly at home all the time. No choir, no going out to see people, no date nights with my husband. I was suddenly relieved of the daily, intensely stressful routine of getting my daughter to daycare and myself to work relatively on time. I no longer had to spend 40 minutes a day commuting during rush hour.
Suddenly, health could take a front seat. With my usual activities gone, my body has been slowly remembering how to relax. Relaxing, it turns out, isn’t something you can will your mind to do. Not something you can force a body constantly in fight-or-flight mode to shift to. I find myself holding a softer smile, a more joyful, open presence. I didn’t know I was so constantly tense. I had no idea. But now I feel like the me I remember from years ago. I’ve missed her and I don’t fully know when she disappeared.
It’s safe to prioritize the juggling act
So, my path ahead is clear. I must be infinitely gentle with my body. This body that carries me and sustains me and is me. This body has wanted to be this calm for a long time. Continuing this may mean some major life shifts – a reckoning with what success means for me, a willingness to let go of who I think I am for who my heart wants me to be.
My personal vision for self care has also changed. It’s more than the occasional self-pampering get-away and saying kind things to myself. It’s a deep acknowledgment and honoring of what I need most as a physical being in this world. A commitment to honoring those needs while trusting that all my dreams are there and will still come true. It’s safe to prioritize the juggling act. I don’t need to push so hard. Neither do you. <3