Right now, there’s a lot on my calendar that doesn’t feed my soul or my family.
I’m feeling stuck in the muck of my own making.
The smart girl part of my brain is used to figuring things out, finding solutions, knowing exactly how to make everything better. I’m trying really hard to think my way out of my funk. It isn’t working.
To clear my head, I take myself out for a walk/jog. Most Saturday and Sunday mornings, I head out at pretty much the same time and follow pretty much the same route so I run into pretty much the same people every weekend. My route takes me through two “hidden” parks in my town. I see the dog folks at the first park, where they meet so their dogs can play off leash. I see seniors doing Tai Chi on the tennis court in the second park.
And then there’s the older lady with the walker.
I first started seeing her several years ago. She’d make her way ever so slowly up and down the long blocks of my street.
She’s fast now. She still has her walker, but she zips along, wearing a bright red jacket and owning the center of the road.
I tell myself that someone, maybe her doctor, told her she had to start exercising. I imagine the first steps she took were hard. Maybe she was afraid of falling. It probably hurt to walk further than she thought she could.
The thing is, she made changes, not by thinking about them, but by doing something.
I remember her when I’m feeling stuck.
I find myself putting so much responsibility on what I choose to do, telling myself how I spend my time has to make sense, make meaningful change, or make money. I think my time is so precious that what I fill it with must be just as valuable. I convince myself I don’t have time, that anything worth doing takes time I just don’t have to spare.
But my day is filled with snippets of time. You probably have them, too. Those little moments when you’re waiting for your coffee to warm up, the washer to finish spinning, the baby to wake from her nap, the computer to wake up so you can start working, again. I find myself filling those moments with default activities, like scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, moving the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, putting dishes in the dishwasher, checking email, again.
Are you like me? You tell yourself that “me moments” have to be longer than a few minutes to count. That to work towards your goal, you have to have big chunks of time (and when does that happen?) That to truly relax, you’ll need to schedule at least a 60-minute massage, sometime in the future, maybe, when things aren’t so busy.
And this thinking bogs you down even more: if you’re waiting for big chunks of time to magically appear, you might be waiting for a while. Like when your last child is in first grade, or work slows down, or your husband isn’t so slammed at work, or you’ve found that great, inexpensive sitter.
But within your day, you have many, small “me moments” that can add up to something pretty big.
What would it be like, when you have a minute or more, to not default to chores or your smart phone?
You could ...
• Do yoga poses in the kitchen.
• Doodle in the margins of the recipe on the counter.
• Cut pictures from that magazine you’ll never read for your next vision board.
• Listen to the birds outside your window.
What exactly you do with these little “me moments” doesn’t matter as much as you think. The point is to do something. To do what makes you happy, sparks your curiosity, or simply sounds like fun. The smallest steps you take will pull your feet out of the sticky, squelchy mud, one after the other, so you can make your way toward more solid ground.
My moms’ gatherings this month will focus on the “me moments”: how to stop thinking, ruminating, scrolling, and procrastinating, and start doing what feeds your soul. We’ll brainstorm a list of Feed Your Soul activities that take only five minutes or less. We’ll decorate a little box to hold your activity cards so that you can refer to them when you’re feeling stuck, giving you a creative reminder that links this self-coaching tool with your day-to-day routines. For more information and to register, visit thewellcraftedmom.com/life-craft-cafe