I made a to do list this evening of things I wanted to accomplish before I went to bed. I also, knowing myself a little to well, added in when I wanted to be in bed so that there was a time frame rather than an unending list that kept me up half the night. I budgeted my time to have 3 hours from the time my last child was in bed until I wanted to be in bed.
My original list looked like this:
tie up trash bag
switch out the laundry
bring up/set out tomorrow's work and school clothes
That sounds like a reasonable list, right? Maybe to a normal person. For me though, one very important thing was missing on my to do list. Wanna guess what that is? I'll give you a hint, it goes under the "me" category. Yeah, it was eat dinner that I had missed writing. How many people actually have to put "eat" on their to do list to get it done? Seriously?!?
After a rocky night of bedtime with the boys, ending with my oldest in bed an hour late, I had to give myself some grace and re-write my list. So now I was down on time by an hour and I have added in another thing to get done, one that simply must get done. I had also already been mentally adding to my list things I had forgotten, like make school lunches. So what is going to give and where?
my revised list looked more like this:
-load/start the dishwasher, the pots and pans will have to wait till morning
-skip making the school lunch and spend the extra $2 to let him have hot lunch (besides, tomorrow is pizza day, he'll think I'm a hero!)
-re-sweep the kitchen floor that I just swept last night (sadly with a family of 5 was already gross again) while myson is brushing teeth and getting ready for bed
-get crying child in bed and promise I will write a note for Daddy to see when he wakes up to not check the computer to find out what happened in Monday Night Raw (wrestling) so that my son can tell him the details
-get other child back in bed after his foot fell asleep
-think about dinner and nearly cry because I know that if nothing else on my list gets done, this one cannot be missed but I really don't feel like eating
-pop a potato in the microwave to "bake" while I begin the mopping
-stop mopping to eat said potato, by this point I have decided a glass of wine is in order as well
-finish mopping floor
-head downstairs to gather laundry and blog
whew! Somehow my simple list became really, really complicated (at least to me) all because of a stupid meal. How many people actually have to schedule eating into their to do list? How many people would be totally thrown off schedule by having to sit down for a few minutes to eat? Sometimes recovery is a pain in the butt! Tonight I ate dinner instead of exercising and showering. Still taking care of me, just not in the way that I wanted to be taking care of me.
I had to get my dishes at least started. My husband says I do this thing he calls "subconscious sabotage". When my kitchen is a mess, I don't like to cook. When I don't like to cook, it is easy to make excuses to skip meals. Every time I start to spiral, my kitchen does too. Since he pointed this out to me, I have been trying to make a concentrated effort to keep up with it. It is way harder than it sounds. I love to bake, can tolerate cooking and despise cleaning the kitchen afterward. Keeping up on the dishes is a very simple and very difficult way that I help myself keep up with recovery. The dishes couldn't be the thing to slide either.
The kitchen floor? Well, think to what I just said abut the dishes and now add that my 3 year old spilled apple juice all over the floor last night. Though I wiped it up, there were still some sticky spots on the floor. That is just one more thing to try to keep me out of the kitchen, and it often works. So that also couldn't slide.
Bedtime? Well, I usually do push that one out but I am trying really hard to get on a sleep schedule. I am getting over an ear infection and I know my body needs the rest. Tomorrow my kids want to be at school 40 minutes early for an event. That means that I could get everything done on my list but I would still not be taking care of me because I would be in bed really late and getting up really early.
Tonight I am opting to show myself grace and take care of my body. My brain is screaming at me that my living room is still a disaster from the "toy tornado" that swept through. My brain is wondering why I am on the computer blogging instead of any other number of things that need to be done. My brain is a wee bit pissed off that I am slowing down/stopping for the night. But I know my body will thank me even as my brain flogs me. I chose to eat dinner tonight, I chose to rewrite my plans, I chose to listen to my body over my brain. That is indeed a step in the right direction!
so what about you? Do you have any chore that helps keep you on the right road for recovery?
How do you listen to your body's needs instead of your brain's punishments?