Thursday, August 03, 2017

More Reflections on Choice (Don't Worry, it's Short)

The vacationing is now over. Reunions were attended, #5 was baptized, birthdays have been celebrated, summery-summer things have happened and next up... school! School starts in two weeks.

I will have 6 children in school (if you didn't know this already) and they will all leave in the early morning and return in the afternoon. This leaves little girl and me alone all day. She will become my buddy and it will be the first time since #1 was a baby (before her sister was born) that I will only have one child with me all day during the school year.

So. Weird.

I told my therapist recently that because I'm doing so much better mentally and emotionally, it's time to focus on getting physically healthy. I won't say anymore to this, because I have some goals. But I don't want to make those precious, raw, and vulnerable goals public, for fear of imminent failure (and the fact that it will be very slow going). Sufficeth to say that I have time, now, for this particular goal --time that won't be interrupted by anything but my own agency.

I'm on the other side of having children, too, and this will help tremendously. We counted it, and I have been pregnant for 5 1/2 years (maybe slightly longer). I have also nursed babies for just about 7 years. So, for nearly 13 of the last 18 1/2 years, my body has been used for others (in a positive way, of course). That means I've been through a lot of change, back and forth, over and out, inside, and upside down.

During that time, I did do things to keep myself healthy. I haven't always been so overweight. It's ebbed and flowed and I feel like I've done a good job. I won't beat myself up for doing the things I needed to do to get through the years when I was stretched so paper thin you could see yourself reflecting back in the sheen of exhaustion. What's done is done.

I want to focus on tomorrow and today. Mostly today.

Did you know, dear reader, that I have been able to make my bed every day for several months, now? In fact, I have been making our bed so long, it's a habit. I also have been feeding the cats every day. I have done it so often, that it's just part of what I do. This is an example of how well I am doing mentally. I can make choices. Daily, small, normal choices. And not only do I make them, I am making the right ones. Not because making my bed is morally good (honestly, who cares half the time, right?) but because making my bed shows I care, I can choose to do it, and that I did it. My goal: make my physical health the same kind of habit. To care about it, to choose it, and then to do it.

Agency is one of the most underrated and overlooked tools we have as mortals. The ability to choose is powerful. Choice is powerful! There are consequences to choices, of course, but the fact that we can make them is miraculous. Agency is a gift. And as someone who was limited in her agency due to the sickness in her mind, I don't want to ever take it for granted, again.

This is why my bed making is crucial --it proves I can choose. It's one of the biggest hallmarks of my mental healing.

So, dear reader, when does school start for your kids? How many will you have in school? Do you make your bed every day? What do you do for your physical health? What good choices have you made, lately? 


Sus said...

My kids are all grown, so I don't have back-to-school prep anymore. I DO, however, make my bed every day. I have made it nearly every day since I got married 40+ year ago. (Can't stand getting into an unmade bed!) I'd probably even make it just to get into it if somehow it got missed. LOL

As far as physical health, I've been exercising three times a week with my BFF for the past ten years. We actually met at a ladies gym. We walk (and talk) on a treadmill for 30 minutes, then lift weights for 15 minutes more. I probably should do more. LOL Ain't happening. ;)

I'm struggling with depression as well, have done for many years. I'm on medication that doesn't seem to quite 'fix' it, but maybe that's just normal. We tried changing to something else a few months ago, but I had terrible side effects, so went back to my old tried and true that I've been on for 20 years. I'm not a person who believes in suicide and I'd never do it. It sure would be nice to feel happy and interested in things again, though. I wish I knew how to get there...

Best choice I made this year was to cut back at work to two days a week. I love my time at home. <3

Mary said...

School starts for us on Aug. 23rd. My V. will be in 6th grade! 😮 I do make my bed every day. I think it's the ocd in me. Knowing it's not made makes me anxious and I can't relax. There are some things in my house I can't stand if they aren't done. And yet, other parts of my house are cluttered and messy. Go figure. 🤔 This Summer I haven't really done much for my physical health. V. isn't comfortable being home by herself yet so I haven't been to the gym much. We've done a few walks together but it's been a hot Summer so those walks don't last long. As soon as school starts back up, I'll get back into a routine of hitting the gym or walking/running outdoors. Good choices I've made lately? The last 12 months or so I've been working on loving myself just the way I am. Not worry about my weight, but exercise because I like how I feel mentally when I exercise. Where clothes I like and not worry if they seem old fashioned, or not on trend, etc. Take time to curl my hair every so often because that makes me feel glamorous. Realize that I have social anxiety and that's okay. That doesn't make me weird or odd. And it's okay to not want to be around people sometimes. And say no to people sometimes. I've learned that I stress out quite more easily than others do and I don't handle stress very well. So it's okay to say no to the PTA, to say no at times to family, to not feel like I need to be a Pinterest Mom. And that's all okay. I feel calmer, and happier and I think my family appreciates me not being so snappish towards them. ❤