give yourself what you seek from others
I was home Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with Sterling because he had a sore throat and a fever, and then Thursday, when he was all better and ready to go back to school, I got Shepherd off to pre-school and made it to Starbucks with my computer and 45 minutes until my optometry appointment. I waited til I had about a week’s worth of contacts remaining, in typical human fashion.
Anyway, as I was getting ready to drive to my eye appointment, I got a call from the school nurse that my second grader, Scarlet, now had a fever and could I please come pick her up.
Now. This is just par for the course in parenthood and moving to Austin has made Matt’s schedule much more flexible, and though I still find myself behind this week on my day-to-day personal and profession stuff, I didn’t mind throwing my schedule out the window to stay home and take care of my sick kids and the house (as luck would have it, we had our housekeeper scheduled and she couldn’t make it in — isn’t it funny how it happens like that?)
It actually makes me feel really good to be able to do that for them and I have glasses if I run out of contacts before I can get in to the eye doctor. For the first time in eight years, my normal schedule is that everyone is at some kind of school from 9:30-2:30 and I usually have consistent time to take care of me, my business and all the ins and outs of running a household and family. It’s still tight, timing wise, and I don’t mind.
But. Sometimes an old feeling creeps in. Even though I was okay cancelling my week. Even though I was enjoying being home and taking care of my kids. I noticed this old feeling — really, more of remembering of the feeling — that I wanted someone to care about me.
I’ve wanted that since my first child was born. Someone to be like “don’t forget your needs, too". “Don’t forget, you’re deserving and worthy of time and attention, space and rest, too!” I had that within me, but not to the extent that I needed, or that I do now.
At times in my motherhood, not having much family close by and either having kids a lot earlier than the rest of our then single friends, or Matt and I being younger than the other parents at school, I’ve off-and-on felt sort of alone. Somewhere along the line, I forgot that I’m really good at this. This mom thing. This being me thing. And that I have all the value I need within myself to say, “Whatever is thrown at me…I got this, cause well, that’s a huge part of my history and who I am”.
Don’t get me wrong. We all need those interpersonal, encouraging relationships. But I’ve found that the most important person to get that validation, encouragement, acceptance and love from is myself.
So the beauty for me in watching that old way of thinking, that old feeling just pass me by — was big for me. That feeling of yearning for outward validation or notice is an old one I’ve realized doesn’t serve me anymore. Even though sometimes my brain tries to trick me (you know, like we’re new to this city and I’m kind of alone…again), the truth is, I do have empathetic relationships in my life. I have really strong ones. I just have to remember to notice.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, when you’ve held onto an old pattern in your mind that doesn’t serve you any more, learning to watch it pass on by, all the while changing and growing from it is something like an a-ha for me, and I’m grateful and open to that growth.
What if you try to consistently give yourself what you’re yearning for? Love, acceptance, validation, peace?
Let me know how it goes. (Ooh, and here’s a little video from Headspace, the meditation app that I use and love. Not an ad, just wanted to share).
P.S.S. - I know the weather’s been a little blah, so if you’re in the mood for some comfort food, make some loaded baked potatoes (my tips below), and serve with a “kitchen sink salad”. My kitchen sink salad in the picture is something like this: chopped romaine, garbanzo beans, a little parm cheese, roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic (from the olive bar at the grocery store), sunflower seeds and poppy seed dressing.