31 March 2009

back to reality

My extended weekend was so fabulous. So very fabulous. I slept past 10. I watched reruns of Felicity. I ate my favorite goodies. I watched Twilight (again) and Ghost Town (so funny). I got a pedicure, lounged in a hot tub, swam in a heated pool in the dark. I worked out in a 5-figure-membership-fee gym. I sipped on melon juice and biscuit cookies and napped in a "tranquility room". I talked until 3 am with my wonderful travelling companion (and sister-in-law) Stephanie. And on the drive there (and back) I blasted all my dark and twisty music from the days of yore... Paula Cole, Tori Amos. Sigh. It was so freeing.

I vaguely remembered what it felt like to be well rested before this weekend. Like you're on a cloud. Like you've got sunshine in your soul. Okay, lol. But it was THAAAAAAAAAAAAAT good. And I need that more regularly!

It's amazing how abruptly life returns to normal when you get home from "vacation". There's no transition period whatsoever. As soon as I walked in the door on Sunday evening my husband needed to "get out of the house". Hmmm, where have I heard that before? And there I was tuning out my own thoughts again and listening to small demands and pleas for my exclusive attention.

I missed my kids and husband, for sure. But honestly? I immediately thought "Why does everything have to be so hard around here? I'm well rested, I'm rejuvenated, and it's all gonna disappear in a matter of minutes. And by the way why don't I have that Bionic Woman feeling I was so hoping for?" Yeah, not so realistic thoughts. I do feel better equipped to deal with the daily stresses than I did before I left, but they are still there, and every bit as demanding. And I love being a mother, but it is hard, hard job. So of course I want to do what is necessary to keep loving it. Here are some ideas I've come up with to help me feel at least a portion of the invigoration I experienced over the weekend. Every day.

Get enough sleep. The main goal for this trip was to rest. I was a blob. No, really. I exercised twice but except for that I didn't move any muscle that didn't require my doing so. :) I needed all 3 days to stock up on rest, I was so deprived of it. I often feel like I have to stay up late in order to completely unwind. But then I am tired and grouchy the next day, and it has a snowball effect until I crash one night at 6pm on the dinner table. So 10:30 pm. That's my new bedtime!

Have some quiet time every day. I'm still working on this one. I am not a morning person, so getting up any earlier than necessary wouldn't work well for me. I can grab a few minutes between getting my kids off to school and getting the 2 little ones up and ready to go, though. I plan to use this time to read an Ensign article, pray or just lie back and think some happy thoughts.

Since I am a high impact exerciser 5 days a week, I've decided that my body needs more balance. I'm starting yoga once a week. To stretch out my body and loosen everything up is very relaxing for me. And I love the free movement of yoga. It reminds me of the years and years I danced.

Have weekly nights out with my friends and/or my husband. I was already getting pretty good at this, out of sheer necessity, but I am going to keep it going for sure. I need to go out and let loose and do the things I enjoy more often. Take in a show, explore new restaurants, or just sit around with my girls and laugh at stupid things. Usually the trouble of finding a sitter discourages me from the time out with my husband. But I'm going to make more of an effort, because it is always worth it in the end. Even if he is snug in bed by the time I get home from dropping off the babysitter. ;)

Go outside more. Take in the sun. It's SO good for you! Of course the weather will be turning brutal here in TX pretty soon, but we have a neighborhood pool now and I am going to use it often!

Teach my children more responsibility. It may take less time to just do it myself, but it's easier on me if I have them help around the house more. And over time they learn to do things properly. And hey, they won't be that roomate everyone hates.

Ask for help. This works especially well for men, who aren't mind readers (who knew?). My husband is happy to help but he's not going to know instinctively what to do. I need to tell him specifically what I need help with. It's not difficult to do - again it's just getting out of the habit of doing everything myself, like some kind of control freak. (Who, me?)

These things are really going to help me out. I want to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, not dread that tomorrow is upon me. Hope some of you might join me. :)


Tigersue said...

Oh, I would love to join you. I am having a hard time right now. Life has been so stressful with extended family drama and pain.

Now the sleep part will be hard. My darling husband is getting us up at 5:30 to read scriptures. Although I go to bed around 10, I really don't get to sleep until 2 or 2:30, or if I do go to sleep I wake up at that time, and have a hard time after that. It seems all those years of working nights have continued to keep me on a 4 or 5 hour and night sleep at best!

I wish you luck, you are right raising children is hard. It has its joys but oh it is not easy!

One thing I would add to your list, something I saw on healing adrenal glands, Laugh everyday. Make sure you have that on your list. It was the first thing on their list, even before getting enough rest!

Lara said...

All of these things are so important, and I do hardly any of them! My soul needs these things, too.

I think I will print this out and work on one thing at a time. Thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

great ideas. I need the date nights but I'm too lazy to find a sitter. And as far as my bedtime well it needs to get better.

Christy said...

I'm so glad you had such a fabulous trip! *so jealous*

Those are excellent goals for every mother to work on! Thanks for the reminder. I needed it!

Code Yellow said...

These are such great ideas. I need to think through some goals of my own in this area or I'm going to be tapped out. Soon. :)

Your trip sounds sooooo wonderful!

Amber said...

You and I would soooo get along in real life. You always have such balance and perspective (which I need) but girlfriend--we could totally watch Felicity and Twilight all day!

Yvonne said...

Such a great post, lei. (I know I write that every time I read one of your posts ; ) It's always good to get away, but you are so right about the no transition back to reality.

I used to hate to try and find a sitter--but it was always so worth it.

Being sleep deprived makes the day so difficult--so often we stay up late because we think we need our own time, but most of the time it's not worth it the next day. If we can get the kids to bed earlier, that usually helps.

Thanks again for another great post.

Morning Glory said...

Hi Lei, It sounds like a wonderful time away.

Just wanted to say hello.

Erin said...

Sleep is gold! I'm with you on all of them, but you nailed it with sleep. I want to go next time!