Summer Beautification Program: Assignment 2*- Rest Your Weary Head

Ugh. I’m So frustrated! I went to sign up the kids for a day camp through our church and Luke’s age group is full. I knew I waited too long! Now I will be scrambling to find activities for them to do for a week during the summer. Oh well, it’s not like they don’t have things to do. Grace has horseback riding one night a week. Luke will be doing golf. Noah wants to do a basketball camp. Plus I’ll be busy keeping up with everything around here…laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, play dates, working three days a week…Hey! Wait a minute! Where does my time fit into this schedule? I guess my time doesn’t matter as much. It’s fine. I can deal with that. I am sure I’ll get a night out with the girls here and there. Oh but wait, we have those two weddings, three baby showers, the neighborhood bar-b-que. Hmmm. I guess my summer weekends are all accounted for. Sigh. It’s ok. They are only little once. This is just a season of my life. I need to find joy in what I have, not looking to escape. I’m so ungrateful.”

Does anyone else’s internal dialogue sound similar? Guess what, it’s okay to want time for yourself. It doesn’t make you ungrateful. In fact, it’s important that you make time for yourself if you aren’t getting this time on a regular basis. This is time that you need for yourself. I mentioned that before, this concept of becoming a “human doing” instead of a human being. You are the hands that make the sandwiches. You are the ears constantly perked for a crying child. You are the eyes being peeled open to help a friend who lost her job and needs you to help her find one. And these are all beautiful examples of selflessness. We should be eager and willing to help others. But we also need to prioritize ourselves so that we don’t get burnt out. 

  So here is your assignment for this week:

Schedule a Date With Yourself:

 If your spouse isn’t available to be with the kids, talk to a friend whom you trust and would feel comfortable with her/him watching your kids for a few hours, or if you can swing it, hire a sitter, or ask one of the kids’ grandparents to watch them. If you don’t have children, schedule a day off of work. I know this seems like crazy talk! But we all need a break. 

  Now this doesn’t have to be this week. It can be, but I just want you to get something on your calendar and STICK TO IT. Unless you have a kid home sick or something else unforeseen happens, reschedule the date immediately. But you are going to take yourself on a date. 

Rules: 

  1. This is ideally a solitary adventure. We should get comfortable with being alone. 
  2. This is a minimum of two hours from when you leave the house to when you step back through the door. 

3. You are not allowed to feel guilty. This is part of your assignment.

4. This date must occur some time between now and June 30. No exceptions. 

Ideas of things to do:

  • Get a pedicure.
  • Go to a movie.
  • Grab a coffee and macaroon at the cute little coffee place you’ve been meaning to stop into (Proving Grounds in Milford is my favorite).
  • Go to a resale shop and look for treasures.
  • Go to a museum.
  • Go on a hike or walk at a state or metro park.
  • If it’s a rainy day, and you want to be around nature, go to an indoor botanical garden.
  • Workout for an hour then treat yourself to lunch.
  • Go shopping (try small business shopping in a local downtown).
  • Take a cooking class.

  These are just suggestions because I can tell you from experience, when I don’t have the kids for a few hours, I suddenly can’t decide what I could be doing so I end up pacing around the house and freaking out that I can’t think of anything to do and how pathetic am I that I don’t know what to do?!

  It’s not only acceptable for you to make time for yourself, it’s necessary! It’s important! We need to recharge our batteries now and again. It’s not something to feel ashamed of. You’re not weak for needing a break. Actually, I hope you enjoy it so much you decide to make it a regular thing. Even if it’s once every other month, you deserve this! 

 

If you need proof, check out these scripture verses:

“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3:4  I take this to mean, you are more effective in your efforts carrying out God’s work when you have peace and stillness in your spirit. This comes from self-care.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test what God’s will is: his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2  My interpretation: Don’t get so caught up in “busy-ness” that you forget to renew your mind and spirit. We can channel God better when our minds are rested and at peace.

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” – Mark 6:31-32  Look, even Jesus needed rest and to regroup! He is God’s son and he needed a break. If Jesus can take a break so can you. 

Motivational self care quotes to inspire you to embrace self care and encourage self love

  So please, friends, give yourself grace. Take your well-deserved breaks.

  Oh and if you happen to take a picture of your date with yourself and would like to post to social media, feel free to use: #SummerBeautificationProgram –Shameless promotion, I know! But I want others to know, it’s ok to rest. Even strong, intelligent, beautiful women like yourself prioritize self-care.

 

*I had a typo when I first published this post and typed assignment 3 instead of 2! This is only the second assignment. You haven’t missed a week. Sorry for the confusion.

Summer Beautification Program: Assignment 1

First I just want to let you know I am giddy as a three-year-old at her own birthday party over the response this idea has had. Thank you for making it possible. I usually just throw these ideas at the wall and pray something sticks. Like when I was ten-years-old and tried to get my neighborhood friends to band together to raise money for fireworks and a pizza party but I killed the idea cold in its tracks when I decided to call the group “Autumn Splendor” because the fundraiser was to take place in August with the celebration over Labor Day Weekend and my friends didn’t have the heart to tell me I was a super dork who specialized in being cheesy with my love of words. But obviously, this isn’t anything like that because I have lived a few more years and most people have secretly discovered that they are as nerdy as me. Or they appreciate my nerdiness because it makes them feel better about themselves. Or they’re benevolent souls who take pity on us socially awkward ones. Or you got peer pressured into taking on the challenge because another friend asked you to and you thought, “Eh, what the hell…”

Whatever your case may be, YOU ARE HERE; Welcome to the party! There may be pizza and/or fireworks. It just depends on how far we decide to take this thing.

So here we are approaching summer even though Michigan is being a cantankerous crone and refuses to warm up appropriately, have faith it will be warm soon! I have talked to more people lately who are in a self-proclaimed funk, especially my mom friends. We don’t know why. We are just less than enthused with life. Everything has lost its sparkle a bit. We are underwhelmed looking at ourselves in the mirror. We are feeling tired, drained, and depleted. We may even be angry at ourselves for letting resolutions slip through our fingers yet again. 

Social media doesn’t help us. Scrolling through my feed it looks like everyone is having the best days of their lives. Meanwhile, I think I need to reapply deodorant, I’m hoping I remembered to buy bread the last time I went to the store, my hair looks like it’s about to take flight from my scalp with these fly-aways I have, and I don’t know if it’s considered neglect to have your kids eat cereal for dinner three days in a row, but I’m hoping not because I don’t have enough cash to tip the pizza delivery driver tonight. 

So, do you feel me? The problem is, we are so stuck in our own heads all the time. Judging by what we see, it’s hard to believe anyone feels unhappy anymore. We think we’re the only ones. But how can I be so discontented? 23 people liked my Instagram picture? I had ten really sweet comments from people who saw the picture I posted of little Timmy at the zoo…why do I feel sad? 

Let me ask you  a few questions: When was the last time you played?  I don’t mean Pokemon cards with your seven year old. I mean, when did you do something for yourself that made you feel creative or joyful like painting, writing or journaling or even photography—not with the intention of posting it to social media? When was the last time you ran around outside and had pink cheeks, tangles in your hair and were out of breath from doing something fun for you, not just your kids ? When was the last time you connected with another soul in a real and meaningful way, like by having a real discussion, one-on-one with a friend or family member. A conversation that made you think, “Wow! I never thought of it that way.”

When was the last time you became completely vulnerable, opening yourself up to be judged and found not only did that friend not judge you, they loved you harder than they did before because in that split second, they saw your humanity and your imperfections laid open bare and decided that they see the real you underneath it all? And when was the last time we did that for someone else? This, friends, is LIVING a creative and meaningful life. This is LOVING yourself and those around you exactly as you are, not worrying about what anyone will think of you. And so many of us have lost the ability to do these things.  

SO here is where we are going to spring board from. You are going to catapult yourself right into living with purpose. Each week, I’ll post a prompt or assignment for you to do at any point in the next seven days. It will help you to get in touch with your inner self. It will require you to use imagination. You will need to make a little time for it.  But before you say, “I really don’t have time for it,” may I please point out to you that you make time for each of your kids to do their things? You make time to help other people every day. There is that metaphor about being on the airplane and securing your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else with theirs. You cannot effectively help anyone else until you are willing to help yourself. Make time for this. Make time for yourself. You will notice that you’ll start doing all of your work and duty with more joy when you start paying attention to yourself.

Your assignment for Week 1…Get ready, it’s a tough one. You might have to ignore your phone for at least a half hour after you get the kids to bed in order to accomplish it.

Write a letter. 

Not an email, an actual paper letter hand-written (not typed) to someone you love. But here is the catch; you have to tell them what they mean to you. I know…warm fuzzies… Uncomfortable. But I promise, so worth the reaction. You may actually be really excited about this. Other ideas: draw a picture to go with it. Stickers. If you’re feeling daring, sprinkle it with glitter. Or “Elle Woods” it with a little fragrance.

Pro Tip: Shake out your hand if it cramps up while writing; it’s probably been a while since you wrote anything longer than a grocery list (if you don’t have Alexa). 

The Only Rule: This is only a letter. You cannot send a gift with it. The written words are the gift to the recipient. We are harkening back to the days when flashy things didn’t impress us yet. I repeat: You can only send a letter. Do not try to sneak in a gift card. This isn’t a birthday gift. This is a “Just Because I Love you and I Need You To Know Why” gift. If it also happens to be someone’s birthday, you can send a separate card and tell them it’s my fault and you will have to buy another stamp. Sorry. You should have picked someone else who wasn’t celebrating a birthday.

Last step: Put it in an envelope and place a stamp on it. If the lick-able seal on the envelope is a dealbreaker for you, two words that will change your life: Glue. Stick.

Last, put it in a mailbox. Wait. See what happens. You might get a phone call in a few days OR A LETTER BACK! 

Bonus Assignment: Take a twenty minute walk without your phone. Unless you are pregnant or diabetic, or have another health condition that requires you to have access to a phone. But the idea is to get outside and listen to the sounds of nature around you. Twenty minutes. You can do this as many times this week as you like. Just be sure that you disconnect and are alone in your head. 

Again, thank you for joining me in my quest to liberate our bodies, minds and spirits from the oppression of expectations and societal pressures that we and others place on ourselves. I look forward to reading your comments of your experiences if you feel like sharing them. And if you don’t, that’s fine too! 

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Easter at my sister and brother-in-laws. I didn’t plan on hitting baseballs but I was so glad I did! Everyone needs to let loose and have fun!

Summer Beautification Assignment

ozjykIsnRP6JMZ89lRo06QI drank coffee this morning which doesn’t happen daily. But when it does,  I go into spiritual beast mode. That coupled with the fact that I am going through the process to become a certified personal trainer has me feeling impassioned to remind you– YOU– that you are so much more than you think you are. This isn’t lip-service. This isn’t me telling you what I think you want to hear so you’ll keep reading my blog. This is me telling you from the center of who I am that you are a worthy, beautiful, glorious soul.

When I am reading my study materials for this course and I have to memorize the fact that “Roughly 2/3 of Americans are categorized as overweight or obese” I want to cry. Why are we killing our bodies? Why are we putting unhealthy foods and chemicals dressed up like “food” inside of our bodies? Don’t you know you’re worth more than that? And why aren’t we out walking in nature for just twenty minutes a day, or making time to sweat out the toxins? Why are we muting our spirits? Why aren’t we living the robust, healthy lives we were created to live? I’m asking–Seriously! Why are we burying ourselves in problems and addictions just so that we don’t have to face our feelings?

I know how real it is! I have struggled in my own ways. I will tell you for me, it was the simple fact that I was out of touch with my soul, my inner self, my truth, my essence…whatever you want to call it. I was a “human doing,” not a human being. I prioritized everyone else’s needs before my own and I got burnt out and I fell apart. The only thing I kept going was working out regularly, but I was doing it in a self-punishing way. My mental/emotional and spiritual health were basically in a coma until recently. I am awake now. I want to help others wake up. I want to do my part to help others so they don’t have to collapse like I did. So this is my mission in life.

Over the summer I am going to publish a weekly “assignment” of sorts to help you delve into the inner facets of yourself that maybe you’ve been neglecting. If you are not a regular follower of my blog and would like to make a small commitment over the next few weeks to delve into this low-commitment journey of self-exploration, please select the option to follow my blog. I promise these won’t be any kind of difficult assignments (Ain’t nobody got time for that). I just can’t think of a better way to classify these prompts without it getting really wordy…Exercises in unearthing your

unnamedphysical/emotional/spiritual self…getting off your butt and living beyond existing…I don’t know. It just seems like more than that.

No need to enroll or anything like that. It’s very informal. It’s my “Summer Beautification Assignment.” I am just putting this out into the universe with the hope that it will help someone who needs it. Happy Thursday.