At 3:00 p.m. I still had my PJs on. The door to my room was shut, candles were lit, quiet was instrumental music playing in the background while I enjoyed some time to do a few of my favorite things.
I don’t normally indulge in rarities such as this, but after leading a ladies retreat, trying to wrap my head around what my son was doing in Challenge B, tutoring and helping my daughter understand Essentials, I was spent. By Tuesday I crashed and couldn’t move.
And I decided not to fight it anymore.
Why do I feel like I need probable cause and someone’s permission to take a break and rest? I wait until I can’t move to slow down. So that morning, instead of enforcing a strict school schedule, I sat on the couch nestled next to my children and watched Maria steal Captain von Trapp’s heart in The Sound of Music.
The kids couldn’t believe I was giving them the day off!
We even paused the move halfway through to bake some homemade chocolate chip muffins together, which we ate for lunch in the living room.
Do you know what I noticed when I took time to stop and breathe? My kids also need to breathe. They needed a break too. I can put so much pressure on myself as a homeschooling mom and my kids as homeschooled kids to finish their work and go, go, go, that we totally burn ourselves out.
I also noticed that I tend to put off doing the things I love and enjoy until everything else on my list is crossed off. I feel like I don’t deserve to have fun until all my work is done.
The problem is, my list of need-to-do’s continually grows. It never stops. And by default, the things I love and enjoy doing keep being shoved further and further to the side. I think, “Maybe tomorrow this will go faster and I’ll have time in the afternoon for that….”
But something else happens tomorrow morning, pushing a need-to-do item over into the afternoon slot and the fun, enjoyable or restful thing I had planned is pushed back to another day…again.
After a while I start cracking. I start gasping for air, because doing the things I love breathes life and joy into my soul.
And the longer this cycle continues, the more I grow to resent the things I need to do because they are keeping me from doing the things I love to do. Subconsciously my brain labels them the enemy, when actually they aren’t. I just need to stop and prioritize my time better.
When I choose to keep myself healthy, and make time for rest and enjoyment, the chores and school time stop being the enemy and fit in their rightful place.
This one small tweak makes such a difference! After fiercely reworking my schedule to accommodate for this new realization, I found that once I made time for a few of my favorite things, I had more enthusiasm to do my not so favorite things. Now they aren’t competing for my time, and my everyday work isn’t keeping me from the things I love.
My kids noticed a difference as well. The day we watched The Sound of Music, I also let them pick something they wanted to do. I had the emotional energy to say yes, go play outside and then take that long bubble bath in the big bathtub!
While they did that, I grabbed my pen and paper and wrote the blog post that was brewing in my mind. I texted a note of encouragement to the friend on my heart. I spent some quiet time in prayer and then turned some music on to worship the Lord, without being distracted with the things that needed to be done.
And that night as my head hit the pillow, I realized that for the first time in a long time, I was tired, but not exhausted. I didn’t feel like I was about to shatter in a million pieces and that felt good.
So what do you enjoy doing? Have you ever just made a list of the things that breathe life into your soul? Go grab a pen and some paper and do it right now! And then, when you finish, figure out how you can incorporate at least one of those things into your day tomorrow and then the next. You have my permission to rest and do something you enjoy. You won’t regret it!