Taking Care of You

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On an airplane before you even leave the tarmac, you are reminded of a very important concept. In case of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop, and you are instructed to put yours on first, before helping others. This is because if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you possibly take care of anyone else? Hello! This is your friendly stewardess reminding you to take care of yourself before you take care of anyone else.
This may seem incredibly selfish and against your instincts as a mother, friend, or human, but I assure you, it’s necessary. If you’re already taking care of número uno first and foremost, that is great! Maybe you will enjoy some of these ideas.
Like any good intervention, the first step is realization and acceptance. Are things that are less important coming before your health and wellness? Do you consistently put tasks for others before tasks for yourself? If you’re unsure, ask a spouse, parent, or friend. They generally will tell you like it is.
The first step to breaking the cycle is to start doing something for yourself. For me it was taking time for myself everyday and not feeling guilty about it. Ok, so maybe I took the time first and had to work on the whole guilty thing, but now I am so thankful I did. For you it may be starting to put your health before your kids wants. Or possibly taking fifteen minutes at the end of the day for a bubble bath. Whatever it is, make sure you remain consistent.
What can you do for yourself today that will make you a healthier, more well rounded individual?

You Are The Heart Of The Home!

What is your role in your home?  Are you a peacemaker?  A chef?  Are you the brains?  Or are you the brawn?  Are you the refuge in the storm? Or are you causing the storm?  I have caused quite a few storms in my marriage and want to share with you my journey to be the heart of the home.   IMG_0009

I have wanted to write this post for awhile.  I have really been contemplating my role in our home lately.  I truly believe women are supposed to be the heart of the home.  Not that they can’t lead, or shouldn’t make decisions, but that they really should model peace, love, and kindness in their home.  If I learned one thing from watching all the seasons of “Wife Swap” is that the wife sets the tone, mood, and feel of the home.  If she is harsh, the children and husband are generally scared and also react harshly.  If the wife is obsessed with a sport, craft, or hobby, so is everyone else.   If the wife is not fulfilled, everyone feels her discontentment.  I think the phrase, “If momma isn’t happy, no one is happy,” is wiser than I realized.

What tone do you set for your home?  If your curious, ask the other people in your household or a trusted friend.  If the words “tiger” and “mom” are in the same sentence you may want to continue reading.  For some women the error might not be as obvious.  Being perpetually busy, always stressed, disinterested in life, obsessed with the wrong things, and more can set a bad tone in your home.  As a the woman in the house you don’t have to be a mom to be an influencer in your home. I have no kids, but I realized that the tone I have set in our home is as I say “no bueno!”

It took me awhile to realize my faults, however, four years I have been on the wrong path and I just now realized it.   My husband has been gone most of the time now for about two years and I have taken on all the roles in our home.  I didn’t set out in our married life trying to rule the home.  I just noticed that when he was gone all the time everything fell on me.  This is no excuse for being a controlling super ninny, but this is how it happened.  Now when he comes home I have a hard time letting go and letting him take over.  When did I become such a controlling wife?  So what if he makes a mistake?  Isn’t that how I learned?  Isn’t that how I grew as a person?  By trying things and making mistakes?  I should have realized the tone I was setting was one of business and to-do lists.  When I am constantly working to try to catch up with the ever growing workload I don’t take time for the things in life that matter most.

My mother in law Jennie and I had a heart to heart a few months ago and something she said didn’t really hit me until recently.  She said she was afraid to call me because she knew how busy and stressed I always was.  She didn’t want to bother me.  How could I not see that!  People are afraid to call me because they know I am barely keeping my head afloat!  It’s my fault entirely that I am here.  That I have set an improper tone in our marriage.  I have always chosen to try to get everything done.  Thinking if I could just work a bit harder, one day I will be done and can rest.  But here’s the kicker, I am never done! I have never been done and will never be done.  That’s life!  Right now my to do list spans three pages.  I mean BIG pages, like the 8 1/2 by 11 type of pages lol.  But I am making it a priority to write to you all because I really feel like this is important.

Don’t make the mistakes I made.  The house doesn’t have to be perfect, the laundry will be there tomorrow (unless you don’t have clean underwear and in that case, please, do the laundry), and your tv show can be watched on netflix five months from now.  I feel like women, myself included, have forgotten the most important thing in life, LOVE! It’s the people that matter! You can literally take NOTHING to the grave with you, but you can live on through the impact you made on others in your life.  That starts at home, but it’s also the hardest to do at home.  I know that most people treat their closest family and friends the worst.  Why is that?  That we give our best to the people we will never see again, but we cannot be kind and gentle with our own family? Please don’t stop reading because I have really great news!

Heart of Your Home

Even if you have been the abominable snowman in your household you can change.  You can be the wife, mother, daughter, and friend you were intended to be.   I would never bring you down and then not show you the way back up!  I know it’s hard, but there are ways you can change and make your household the safe, loving, and joyful place it’s supposed to be.

1.  Search for the areas you need to work on.

-This could be anger, sadness, lack of energy, hostility, judgement, laziness, disorganization, business, harshness, too high expectations, etc.

-Ask your family what they would like to see you change and you can’t get mad!

-If you can ask your parents or a trusted friend.  I am lucky enough to have both who are not afraid to tell me what’s what! 🙂

2. Make a physical list of the traits or qualities that are negatively impacting others in your home.

-Since your home isn’t perfect I am going to assume there will be other’s who may test your resolve and patience, but remember, it’s your home.  No matter what hubby or the kids do, it’s you who will make the biggest impact in the long run, if you can make it!

3.  List out things you can do on a daily basis to combat those traits and write them out next to each one.

-For business I wrote that I will never turn down time with others to do things that don’t have to be done that day.

I also wrote that I will take time for myself to workout or do other things I need to do in order to take care of myself.

-Next to unloving, I wrote that I need to find the love languages of the people in my life by the end of the week, so if you don’t get a call or text,  please send me your list, I would love to know! (If your not sure what love languages are, please look up the book and read it! It’s pretty dead on.  Basically it says that everyone has different ways of giving and receiving love.  Most people don’t receive love the same way. For example, please don’t buy me gifts, they do nothing for me, but sit and talk to me for an hour and I will feel so loved! But my friend Kate on the other hand loves gifts and they make her feel special and loved.  So for each person it’s unique, but knowing that information about others can help you to be a better friend, mother, lover, daughter, and whatever else you happen to be.)

In addition to finding out their love languages I wrote that I need to do something with that knowledge.  I need to say the things I feel, or send the gifts that I think of when I am shopping, or just spend the time I would like to with the people I love.

-I could keep going, but trust me,  you don’t want me to!

4.  Put the list where you can see it everyday, and don’t be afraid to tell your family what you’re working on in order to get accountability and support.  I am sure they will be excited and it might encourage them to do the same.  One of the greatest qualities my parent’s instilled in Rini and I was a drive to be better.  We constantly saw them working on improving themselves while we were growing up and we definitely never forgot.

Please feel free to comment or contact us with any ideas or questions.  We would love to hear from you all.

In addition, the woman is the heart of the home spiritually.  If you want to change your home for good in the best and purest way possible start praying for yourself and your family.  The loving, kind, peaceful woman you want to be can be found through God’s love and searching for Him is the quickest way to change your home.  It happened in mine and I will never forget how amazing it was to see the changes unfolding in our lives.  I just hope that over time I can learn to be the woman who God wants me to be for my family.  I am also thankful for the friends He has brought me who are such great role models in their own homes!

-Jess

 

 

Media Fast Day Five – Googled “Effects of TV on the Brain”

Day five of my fourteen day media fast where I don’t watch TV, listen to music, watch movies, stalk people on social media, or listen to the news.

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This is our second day at the beach on a “workacation”.  We dubbed this term since just calling this a vacation brings different thoughts to everyone’s minds.  Rini and I traveled to the beach to regroup, replan, and refocus while working in a different setting.  Day two here and needless to say I am missing the mind numbing effects of television and music right about now.   But that’s not the point of today’s post.

What I want to say is there is only so much information I can hold in my mind. At this point in my life,  I technically have started three small businesses.  I guess I love to challenge myself and learn new things, but with the steep learning curve of many of my projects I have little processing room in my brain left.  Plus, if you account for all the completely useless information I can’t help but remember, I am completely tapped out!

Mental exhaustion is a problem I suffer from often, but I am surprised that it has lessened significantly since cutting out TV, music, and media.  I mean, don’t get me wrong I am still stuck in front of a screen for hours, but it’s not the same.  I found that for me, thinking creatively and constructively (depending on my task) doesn’t cause the same mental exhaustion as mentally checking out for a period of time in front of the television.  This had me questioning why this was the case.  Isn’t actively thinking supposed to cause more mental stress?  Anyways, I ended up Googling it.  (This is my go-to strategy for anything I don’t know in life.  Don’t know? Google it!)

The search for “effects to television on the brain” brought up a lot of interesting information. Below is a link from Psychology Today which discusses the overall effects of television on the brain and mood.  I am not going to try to convince you not to ever watch TV so I will not repeat any facts, but the overall search was pretty convincing.  I am considering extending the fast or at least limiting the amount of digital content I consume.

Interesting day overall.  I am physically tired, but very content.  I am glad I chose to do the fast over vacation.  My fast has enabled me to be more present in my life and aware of the people and places I see.  It’s wonderful.  If you haven’t already, I would definitely start a media fast.  It is worth trying.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inner-source/201110/your-unhappy-brain-television

-Jessica

Day 1- Media Fast

Day 2- Media Fast

Day 3- Media Fast

Day 5- Media Fast 

Day 6- Media Fast 

Day 7- Media Fast 

Day 8- Media Fast 

Day 9- Media Fast 

Day 10- Media Fast 

Day 11- Media Fast 

Day 14- Media Fast