Blog hiatuses are a bit of a pattern with me.
Things get in the way – tax season (it just kept going this year), kids, summer (Kits Pool, biking and hiking!) and life…
In the past, guilt would have been included in the above list but I have learned that guilt is not needed in my life. The only thing it does for me is drag me down and sucks up time I don’t have. Don’t get me wrong – guilt’s voice still pops into my head but I face it down and tell it to go away. This takes about 30 seconds now when in the past it would drag me down for days, weeks and months.
Self blame would also have been on that list. Self blame used to suck up tons of my time. Such as “I suck at time-management, I’m self-indulgent, I’m inefficient.” I would spend hours trying to justify – yes, with myself – why I wasn’t blogging. It is time consuming arguing with oneself and defending against personal attacks. What did this look like? Like this:
(me talking to myself) “Renée, you just spent every night this week watching Netflix after you put the kids in bed – you could have been catching up on work, blogging or exercising…”
(and my response) “I was so tired – I probably would have made mistakes, written poorly or hurt myself.”
Then I would go eat chocolate chips to cheer myself up. Then I would pass out.
Funnily enough guilt and beating myself up did not bring me back to blogging.
What has brought me back?
Taking time for myself.
Last week I was camp with my kids. A fabulous cook made breakfast, lunch and dinner for me and my kids. There was no laundry and tax season finally seems to be over so I didn’t have work hanging over my head. My kids are also at an age where they find friends and disappear. I saw them for our daily 1 hour mom and kid activity and bedtime but that was basically it. Even at mealtimes, they sat with their friends and I got to eat with other moms. I had a lot of time on my hands. I read a book! I swam every day and I got to meditate and connect with other moms.
I had 5 days of extreme self-care and now I’m blogging. Self -care got me here and as I write this blog, I write it from a sense of peace.
It is so much easier than when I write from guilt, self blame or angst. I’ve been writing for 60 minutes. I can tell you that writing blog posts from guilt, self blame and angst often took me days!
What is so cool about this revelation (self-care leads to blogging) is this is a theme that has been playing repeatedly in my head this past year.
Let’s face it, there is a lot of angst, guilt and blame in the world and I see a lot of it in my work with people that are navigating separation and divorce.
I get that – the years leading up to and during my separation and divorce were horrible. I did not think I would survive the stress and emotional upheaval (literally – I used to sit on the couch and think “am I having a heart attack right now?” ). During that time I felt guilty when I took time for myself and tried to soldier on through to the next phase of my life where I thought it would get better. I also blamed myself and my co-parent (and my parents – don’t we all blame them?) for the state my life was in. I took very little time for myself and my life was hard. I got depressed. The arguments I had with my co-parent lasted days, weeks and months. Nothing seemed to work.
When I started taking care of myself my life got better. This took time (it’s 4 years since my separation). It took time for me to add self-care to my regimen and it’s still not a fixed part of my life though it getting there because I realize it helps me and by that fact alone it helps my kids, my co-parent, my clients and everyone around me. And blame is gone from my life (ok mostly – it is a sneaky one that blame).
When I’m not in emotional upheaval, things just run more smoothly. It seems so simple but I know it’s not. Did I already mention that it’s been four years since my separation :)?
So I’m going to be the one to be that good nagging voice in your head – “what can you do that is going to bring the joy back to your life? Go do it.”
I’m going to come back to this theme again because it needs repeating – a lot.