It has happened before. I’ve been swept up in a spiral of “How much longer can I handle this?” and “How am I so ungrateful as to not enjoy this?” I’ve been lost in self-care and self-improvement overhauls that end up making me feel more drained than recharged. I’ve looked at all the ways my life could be different or better, and then I’ve beat myself up for thinking that my life isn’t perfect the way it is.
This time, it’s going to be different.
I’m sitting in the car outside my daughter’s piano teacher’s house. I am listening to a lecture on mindfulness, on being present in the moment instead of being swept away by my thoughts. A cloud shifts, and the sun shines on my face. I start to cry. Here I am. Here I am.
I am so fortunate, so grateful for that ray of sunshine hitting my face just in time, just at the moment I’m about to immerse myself in information, trying to study myself out of my feelings. I’m reminded that frantically searching for answers and working myself into a frenzy isn’t going to fix anything.
I breathe. I ask myself, “What’s wrong?”
I’m tired. I’m busy. I’m drained. And I’m not writing.
And with those words, my whole body melts into the seat.
I’m in a season of overwhelm, and it’s okay. I am still grateful. I still love my life—I don’t need to fix it. I don’t need to change myself. But I do need to change something, and this is the one thing I am going to change, the one thing I need most to change: I’m going to write.
Every day, I’m going to carve out 15 minutes to write. In the car outside piano lessons, in the tumbling gym’s waiting room, while my kids watch a quick show in the morning. It’s who I am—it’s what feeds my soul. It’s what makes it possible for me to be who I want to be for everyone else. And I know in this moment that if I do it, it will be enough.
QUESTION: What would you do with 15 minutes of “special time” for yourself?
CHALLENGE: Carve out 15 minutes of your day to do something you enjoy.
Edited by Kat Tilby and Sarah Monson.
Image from Shutterstock; graphics by Anna Jenkins.