If there’s one thing I preach it’s balance. I strongly believe in finding the balance in life between work, play, fitness, self indulgence, family, spouses, kids or any combination which applies to you. Throughout the past 10 years of my life I have worked hard on finding a balance with each new life change – whether it be a move, a baby, a husband, new job, school etc. At various times I have let one area dominate, particularly the anti-social, I love my own company more than I love your company side of my personality (the biggest part) and during the 9 months it took me to lose 60 pounds the fitness side definitely dominated and I became very anti-social (something I, ironically, didn’t even realize until years later reflecting because it’s just soo soo much part of my natural personality).
Because I am naturally very introverted, creative and independent it pretty much leaves for the perfect recipe to create the ideal hermit. Unlike many, many people out there who require the attention and company of others I, well… I simply don’t. In fact, I find the more I interact with other people in group settings the more unsure of myself I become, the less comfortable I become with who I am and to be honest I usually sit there awkwardly trying to to make sure not to call someone a “cocksucker” because something tells me they won’t feel it’s the term of endearment I aim for it to be. But then again, if they become offended they probably aren’t my kind of folk to begin with, hmmm?
I have never really felt the pull for other peoples’ company until motherhood approached and I found myself getting lost in the everyday of dirty diapers and runny noses. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have friends who knew where I was at, to sit around and bullshit with on a daily basis, but the truth is that as much as I sometimes crave that, the bigger part of me just simply doesn’t have the emotional and mental energy to deal with maintaining a new friendship that would suit my ‘now’ needs. Or really, to do the courting to find and lock that relationship in; because making new, life long friends is no different than finding, courting and locking in a romantic partner.
I have never had trouble taking time for myself; whether it be hour long baths, followed by an evening of nail painting and eyebrow grooming or curling up with a good book and ignoring everyone for hours on end. I enjoy solitary activities like reading, writing, and I’m a big painter and drawer (and not too bad of one either). I also love scrapbooking. Of course a big one for me is activity, and once again I prefer solitary activities to group classes. Hell, even my preferred activities of yoga and swimming leave very, very little room for interaction between myself and others.
Lately though sitting here typing away or working on my baby scrapbooks or anything else while chaos ensued all around me has left me with this tug of guilt and as a result I have a good 7 half written posts and am a good couple months behind in my life scrapbooks.
And honestly, when I have had a few uninterrupted calm minutes I have chosen my scrapbooks over the blog, perhaps because in my twisted little mind the books are kid related and family related and will leave for lasting photographic and print memories as opposed to my blog which satisfies and benefits only me.
It’s a funny thing, really. I don’t blink an eye when the husband takes up residents on the couch to enjoy some football, hockey, smithsonian channel documentary or anything else. In fact, we recently exchanged words because he’d come home from work and run around like a mad man unloading the dishwasher or washing diapers – things that could easily wait, instead of sitting down and relaxing and enjoying the couple hours before it’s little people bedtime. I encourage and enforce the belief upon him that soothing your mental being and enjoying life for an hour is more important than wether or not he unloads the dishwasher tonight or I do it in the morning.
And the reality is he’s just as supportive of my needs for hour long baths with books or getting lost in whatever soul soothing activity I’m engaging it.
For the past few months I’ve been acutely aware of my lack of time doing the Racheal things instead of the wife and mom things, but it never really bothered me until recently. Shortly before Christmas I was feeling like I was disappearing into the realms of dirty diapers and pot scrubbing and it was making into, to be blunt, a crusty bitch.
I was snapping at everyone, assuming it was the husband and everyone else who has changed their behavior when it dawned on me one evening that no, it was me. My once calm, let things roll off my back attitude had been replaced with one that had a tolerance level of -3.
Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about cooking, eating whole foods, being active and maintain good physical health; it’s just as much, if not more, about maintain a balance between the physical health, mental health and emotional, soul contentment.
So I started to reclaim my reading time, and creating time, and scrapbooking time, and yoga time.
I have this question that I always ask the husband when he’s getting worked up about something. I ask him if it’s going to matter in 5 years? No? What about next week? Still no?.. Then let it go. And I realized I had been ignoring my own fundamental question to a life of sanity.
One thing that has suffered greatly has been my blog. I don’t like that; and it’s not a matter of me outgrowing my space here in the interweb, but a matter of me not letting myself take the time for me.
So that’s going to change, because writing here – whether it’s recipes, fitness tales, body image issues or just sharing miscellaneous parts of my life keeps my soul happy. It’s one of those things that just makes me relax and allows me an outlet to express parts of my life I want to share… While still being anti-social and hermit-like.