This weekend, however, my mind isn't nearly strong enough to surpass the matter of being sick. Even though I told myself I don't have time to be sick, I don't have time to reschedule my mini-retreat to another day, I couldn't cajole or convince my body into feeling better.
I've had to make time for what I don't have time for.
My life is pretty busy; I'm sure you can relate. There never seems to be enough time for everything that needs to fit in the too short hours of a very full day. Lying in bed at the end of the day, I chronicle what didn't get finished, what needs to happen tomorrow because it didn't happen today. I make lists and set deadlines. What I need is another me: another me to make the shopping trip to Target, another me to contact the director of the art school I'm looking at for my younger son, another me to drive my older son to his jazz workshop on Saturday while another me is at a couples seminar with my husband.
There's not enough me to go around. The person who feels this lack most keenly is probably my husband. I used to think my husband got the leftover me at the end of the day, the me who had worked all day, picked up and drove the kids around and made sure they had what they needed, like clean laundry, clothes that fit, permission slips signed, and enriching activities.
Lately, it doesn't even seem like there's a leftover me, just an empty, exhausted shell on autopilot as I brush my teeth, wipe off my makeup, and crawl into bed.
Muscling through doesn't make me strong. As I've had to slow my pace and lower my expectations of myself this weekend, I've realized that rest gives me more strength than hard work. Working so hard that there's nothing left of me at the end of the day doesn't serve me or my marriage, my kids or my clients.
Years ago, I led a coaching + craft mini-retreat where moms learned how to determine how much time and energy they had each morning using a decorated dish and little glass coins. Each coin - up to 10 a day - represents a certain amount of energy you have to spare. Activities throughout the day, whether it's going to work or going to Costco, cost time and energy, represented by the coins. The goal of the daily game is to figure out how to plan and live your day so you don't end up depleted and overdrawn at the end of it. (You can download a copy of the coaching + craft activity guide here.)
This morning, I pulled out my little dish from where it was tucked away in a cabinet by my bathroom sink. I allotted myself three coins, just three to remind me to spend the day resting, watching the Olympics, cuddling with my hubby, and building my strength.