Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Reclamation of Self

After my busy weekend, I was worn out. My body was tired from the physical work, my soul was tired because I had been in a mood while the house was tore apart, my mind was tired from trying not to explode due to the house being torn apart, and Jack seeming to go out of his way to add to it, coupled with an extremely long moon time, and by Sunday night I was just weary to my core.

I decided to make Monday "Me" day. The race was cancelled Sunday due to it raining in Virginia, so they showed the race Monday instead. I got up, got something to drink and my book, and settled in on the couch to read and watch some TV.

I got up later and did some light cleaning. I swept and mopped the kitchen and bathroom, washed Alex's bed clothes. Later I made a kick ass dinner of cheese, onion, and bell pepper stuffed meatloaf, made with ground chuck and Italian sausage, mashed potatoes and gravy, and butter beans, and I watched a couple of movies ( Valkyrie and The Informant ) did the dishes, and did not get online until almost 10 PM.

It was a great day, a relaxing day, and yet I still managed to be productive. It got me to thinking however, how little I do just for "me".

Most people think that because I am a stay at home Mom, that my life is filled with sitting on my ass eating bon bons all day and lounging around like the Queen of Sheba. As any stay at home Mom will tell you, that is total bullshit. Granted, we do not get monetary compensation for the work that we do, but that does not mean it is not still WORK. I do not have to go into all the things we, as SAHM's, do on a daily basis, but we run our households, tend our children, and up to 400 other things on any given day. I have always put myself last since I reached adulthood, always making sure everyone else had what they needed, while I went without. Even when I was working, I spent most of my extra money on things for the house, or for Jack or Alex, or my other kids, or gifts for my friends and for the people who worked for me. That is just the kind of person I am, and it is the part I miss most about working outside the home, the ability to buy for others.

Anyway, the point of all that is in everyday life, I come last. Alex is the Royal Princess and she makes sure you will not forget it. Jack is demanding in his own way, but with him it is not intentional, it is mostly having to clean up after him. ( he is one of those types that will leave every light in the house on, and then bitch about the light bill being so high, and swear it is my computer that takes up all that extra money lol ). I "work" long hours, and the only "me" time I usually get is after 1 am, when everyone is in bed, the chores are done for the day, and I can relax and chat with my friends when they are around and play around on FB. Normally, this really does not bother me in the least. But sometimes, like after this last week, and I felt like I had been running in circles for days, I realized that sometimes I HAVE to put me first.

The problem with that is guilt. I am an internet junkie, I admit it freely. Even if I am not at the computer, it is still online, so if anyone does decide to talk to me, I will not miss it. And gods forbid if I have to actually be offline for any length of time. I lose my damn mind. Yet if I am online, which makes me happy, I STILL have guilt because there is always a book to be read, something to clean, time to be spent with Jack and Alex, or something else that could be done instead of me being parked in this chair. Then there is the total disregard for myself, to the point that if I want a cup of hot tea, I feel there is no point in making it, because it is just me that will be drinking it, after all, so why bother? How fucked up is that, lol?

I tried to compromise a while back, to try to spend time online and still do other things, like reading. I have dial up, and it takes some things forever to load, so I read my book while I was waiting on things to load. That worked for a while, but the more I sit in this chair for long periods of time, the worse I feel. As sore as I was after all this painting the last two weeks, I still felt GOOD to be moving and doing things and having that sense of accomplishment. I need to improve my body image, but hate exercise. Added weight makes my bad knees and back pain worse, but it also hurts them to exercise, so it is a catch 22. It is not even all about the physical however. A little while ago I posted about who I am as a spiritual person, but the honest truth is, my sense of spirituality suffers just as much as my body does.

After I wrote that post, and in the days that followed, I started to notice a shift in my life. First one of my best friends moved to another country, and while I knew things would change, I thought I would be upset and depressed and lonely, because I knew she would not be around as much, she had a new life to start after all. Turns out, it did not effect me a fraction as much as I thought it would. I should explain that, before she reads this and goes " Oh I see how it is bitch, you don't even miss me!" Rofl.

I DO miss her, but it is different. She is happy, after years of being unhappy. In the last two years she has been unhappy way more than she had been happy, and that is only since I have known her, not counting her life before I came into it. We have a bond that transcends the miles, and we are always with each other, it is an unspoken bond we are both aware of, and I could FEEL that she is happy, and that makes me happy. Granted, you miss that person who is not there like they were, but how can you honestly begrudge someone when they are so obviously happy? What kind of best friend would I be if I moped and whined and made her feel bad about living her life in the way she should? Not a very good one!

However, all of this made me turn inward...not withdraw in a fit of despair and sadness, but to turn an objective eye on myself and realize that at much as I adore my friends, and no matter how much of an integral part of my life they are, I still need to be able to be content within myself, in those moments where there is no one to talk to but myself. It goes way beyond being able to entertain myself, it is about being able to have only me, and that be ENOUGH. To not be lacking anything, when all is quiet, and no one is around.

I have started to realize that I MATTER. My wants and needs, my desires and fantasies, they are valid and just as important as making sure everyone else around me is happy. Monday, when I was offline until late, for the first time in 3 years I did not feel guilty about not being there. I knew I had people wondering where I was, but for once, it did not effect me. I did exactly what I wanted to do that day, and I was happy. I have been lacking in mental and physical energy for so long, depending on others to make me happy, that is was so refreshing to rely only on myself to provide me with that inner contentment I so desperately needed. I felt more alive, and more spiritual that I have in years. I did not run to get my tarot cards, or go "do" something spiritual, I was just totally present within myself, and within my world as I know it. I felt connected with the universe, and m mind woke from it's dormant stage. I felt ALIVE. Not a zombie going through the motions. Alive!

I decided last night, laying in bed, waiting for my mind to slow down so I could sleep, that I would start taking two days a week for "Me". One day to do whatever I want, be it read, watch a movie, clean if I feel like it, ANYTHING I wanted to do, I would do it, and answer to no one's schedule but my own. The second day would still be for me, but it would be in the form of blogging. Even my blogging, which I love and am passionate about, felt old and stale. I started a new blog for my writing, thinking it would help, but all it did at first was to add to the guilt I had about not writing, because now I had THREE blogs I did not seem to be able to write in.

I realized that I have to let all that guilt go. It is not easy, because there are somethings I have been dealing with my whole life, but the truth of the matter is, I can not go back and change them, so what is the point of letting it eat at me for the rest of my life? Why should I feel guilty for wanting some time to be me? I do not need to go anywhere, it does not even really cost money, so why did I feel so bad about it? The world will not stop spinning if I am not online for a few hours. My computer chair will not run off in a fit of jealousy because I sit on the couch for a while. My bed won't hate me if I do not make it right away.

My energy is different. My mental processes are shifting. My life is changing again, and I finally realized waiting on everyone else to make me happy was not a life at all. I woke up this morning, and laid on my couch for 30 minutes, in a sunbeam, letting its light and warmth recharge me. Enjoying the silence, no sound at all except for the ceiling fan. Sunlight meditation. I let my mind drift, and every time a bad or unkind self thought entered my mind, or a guilty for not doing something else feeling came over me, I imagined it being vaporized by the powerful sunlight streaming down on me. I basked in the glow of the sun, inhaled the rich scent of my sun warmed leather couch, and was totally present inside my body and mind, and there was peace.....

If I want that cup of tea, I will get up and get it. If I want to spend the day reading in the comfort of my couch, I will do it. If I want to take a shower at midnight, I will do it. If I want to lay in a sunbeam like a cat and recharge ( cats are solar powered, you know! ) then I will do it! If I decide to kick up my heels and dance with self abandonment around my living room, then I will do it! If I decide I want to mop my floor and dust my house, then I will do that too. And if I don't? Then I will not feel guilty about it.

Because I am reclaiming myself, and I will not let go ever again.....


The Computer Connoisseur said...

Wonderful post, and I couldn't be more proud of you or happy for you. Alone time is severely underrated, but once you start having some, you never want to go back. Have fun doing what YOU want to do for a change, we're all going to cheer you on!

Ellie-TheForgottenMuse said...

Wait, what? We SAHMs get alone time? What's that? :D

Good for you Bella. Enjoy your "me" time!

Anonymous said...

I am so incredibly proud of you! I know that you were concerned about the transition and I am SO glad that you found yourself and are at peace with yourself finally.

It's about time you realized how amazing and wonderful you are and that you are worthy and deserving as much as everyone else.

I am so happy that you are making time for yourself. I am so excited for you! Rebirth time :D

I love you and I am so so so proud of you!!

<3 <3 <3 <3 xoxoxo

Mother Moon said...

good for you.... Love the last picture... explains it all.... It is hard sometimes for us women to do a little for ourselves and not feel guilty... so glad to hear that you are taking it on head first.... enjoy it...

Chatters said...

Thats great, good for you. Don't feel guilty. You need to look after you too. I don't have children, but I was teaching full time and then going home and cooking etc for me and my husband, felt I had to be busy all the time. Not any more, I realised that looking after your mental and emotional health is just as important as looking after your physical health too.

Nydia said...

Kudos for you, Bella! You're so right in every word...

Kisses from Nydia.