I sit on the faded couch facing the French doors that lead to the backyard. With my feet tucked under my legs and a steaming hot cup of vanilla tea in my hand, I watch the birds at play. I daydream just a little bit. I fantasize that this is the year of dreams coming true. I think back to summer days in Connecticut and dream about the next trip.
They say that envisioning your dreams in action is the first step toward making them come true. And yet, guilt begins to creep in.
There is work to do, laundry to run, and phone calls to return. There are emails that need replies (“URGENT!” Aren’t they all?), groceries to purchase, and clients to help. There are things that need doing.
But I remain seated, sipping my tea and enjoying my dreams just a little bit longer…because ten minutes changes everything,
I’ve always been the listener – the one to call when life is hard. The one who knows just what to say.
I’ve always been the doer. The one who volunteers. The one who helps and donates and fights for change.
I’ve always been the one who stops the help the fallen, who holds the door open just a little bit wider, who forgives without hesitation and who looks for the good.
It’s who I am.
It’s both a blessing and a curse.
I will always be the giver in any given relationship. I will always be the one ready to help with arms open wide. I will always provide comfort, reassurance, and sometimes brutal honesty.
But I will not always get it in return. I’ve learned that over time. It’s been a long road to accepting the reality – my reality – that this just part of life. Sometimes I will reach out when I am drowning only to find that others can’t find the time, the words, or the actions to reciprocate.
Others will. Others will remember the times I was there and will hit the callback button before they even get through the message. These friends are the ones who hold a special place in my heart. These are the ones who will be there until the end.
But still…change has to be made.
While I fight for change whenever I see wrongdoing, I don’t always fight for change in my own life.
The problem with always being the giver is that the giver tends to end up with unfulfilled needs.
As a mom, as a wife, as a friend and as a therapist, I can only function as well as I allow myself to. If I always put my own needs on the back burner, I will never have time to just be me.
At the start of the year I made a pact with myself. This is the year that I think of me. This is the year that I let the calls go to voicemail without even a hint of guilt and let the “urgent” emails collect dust for a few days.
This is the year that I will daydream over a steaming cup of vanilla tea, even if the laundry is piled high and the sink is full of dishes.
This is the year that I remember to care for my own soul while caring for those of others.
This is the year of ten minutes for me. Every day. Ten minutes to rejuvenate my soul. Ten minutes to check out so that I will be 100% ready to check back in.
My only real goal in the past six years has to been to be the best mom that I can for my kids. Not the best mom in the world. Not the superstar PTA mom. Not the organic everything I’ve got it all figured out mom.
Just the mom that always has love in her heart and patience in her soul. The one who lifts her kids up and never cuts them down. The one who is silly and funny and full of life. The one who cuddles, soothes, and holds without question. The one who is always the port in the storm.
It’s a goal that sometimes feels simple and other times seems overwhelmingly complicated. And so I need ten minutes for me. Ten minutes to sort it out. Ten minutes to relax. Ten minutes to just be me.
The dreamer needs to dream…
What have you done for you today?