So, I'm gonna be real honest here. I was not in a good place not that long ago. I just felt lost. I didn't feel like myself. I didn't want to talk to anyone, be around anyone, do anything. Which is totally not like me. Some might call it depression or anxiety or a combination of both. And I'm not going to sit here and say those things aren't real. They are, for sure. What I am going to say, however, is that in my experience, when I feel this way, it's because something needs to change. There's something in my life that is causing this imbalance. Whether it's within myself or an outside factor. And what I've found is that if I make those changes, even if they're difficult ones, it makes a huge difference and I usually come out of it. Sometimes it almost feels immediate. Sometimes the difference I feel comes a little later, but it always seems to find it's way around.
In this specific case, I had way way way too much on my plate, but I didn't realize that was the case. I'm a people pleaser in the worst way and I always want to take on everything, even if it doesn't belong to me because I feel this obligation to take those things on. Sometimes, I even take on things that belong to other people without even realizing it! And it causes problems for me. Plus, the FOMO is real, guys. It helps that I've realized this happens, and I'm learning tools along the way to help me, but I still catch myself falling into this spiraling chaos and it takes me a minute to figure it out. I'm stubborn, or so I've been told! I've also experienced a lot of change in the last year: we moved to a new town away from my best friend, she got a new job that requires more of her attention so we see/talk to each other a lot less, my sister moved in with us for a bit and then moved out, 2 of our dogs died within months of each other, we got a new dog, my oldest started high school... it's been bananas around here!
So what's different now? Why am I starting to feel more like myself? I think this back injury was a blessing in disguise... which I suspected all along but dang! Can the Universe find a better way to tell me? Honestly, the message was probably there well before the back injury, but remember, I'm stubborn and I don't like to be told what to do. So I'm sure I was ignoring or denying signs. My back injury forced me to slow down, forced me to take things off my schedule, forced me to stop and think.
You see, I'm a stay-at-home mom, which is glorious and hell at the same time. Ok, hell might be too strong of a word, but I'm sure all you parents know exactly what I'm talking about! It's so rewarding, yet so demanding. I wouldn't trade my kids for anything in this world and I love them dearly. Sometimes they're so sweet, cute, courteous, kind, and just everything I think we've taught them to be. And other times, they're rude, forgetful, irresponsible, and so far up my butt I can't even have a full thought. Some days are just chill around here and other days I practically live in my car driving them to and from this place and that practice. I also practically live at the grocery store and I'm pretty sure almost every person working in there knows who I am because these boys can eat! But despite that, I still think of being a mom as the one of the greatest gifts I've been given. It's a weird thing, amiright? The good parts outweigh the challenging parts in every way possible. But the chaos of parenting takes up a lot of my time. Even when they're at school all day. There's laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, dogs to take care of, vacuuming, dishes, and other odd ass errands that pop up. Like new socks (because where the heck do they all go?!), supplies for school projects (I swear, I could run a pretty sweet art class out of my basement), random items needed for extra curricular activities (hello, insane marching band schedule!), and whatever else may pop up.
But there's always this intense need to add more without any regard to the fact that there are 24 hours in a day, and several of them are great for sleeping. More, like something for me. Because these kids will grow up and need me less and less, and then what? Plus I just want to learn it all, do it all, and see it all. I've always been that way. I can't seem to learn enough. I could be a student for the rest of my life and die happy. I'm a nerd and I'm not even mad about it. That's where cosmetology, college, health coaching, yoga, and reiki came in, and I still have a list about 100 miles long of things I haven't learned yet. I love to teach and I love to help people. So all of these things totally make sense, except for the part where I just do not have anything left to dedicate myself to others outside of my family life. In the chaos of the kids, I have a partner in there too that I like to spend time with.
So that's why my back injury has been a blessing. It gave me the time to step back, examine every part of my life, and find that I have taken on way too much. Which is why I stepped way back from the health coaching aspect of my website (that and coming at this blog from a health coaching perspective just didn't feel authentic to me). I also stopped teaching almost all yoga classes. At first, this was incredibly painful, and in some ways, it still is. I've been focusing almost all my time on healing and my stay-at-home mom aspect of life... and ya know what? I feel so much better. I feel so much more like myself these days. I'm less stressed and able to manage my time better. I'm also able to focus on keeping myself healthy which I had lost track of in almost every way possible (mostly food-wise, physical activity is still pretty restricted). And I'm able to be there for my kids in the way they deserve and in the way I want to be.
So I guess the lesson here is this: Sometimes, we have to remove things from our plate, not because they aren't good for us or because they make us unhappy, but because it can all just be too much! And it's ok to say, "This is too much."