This past year was wild. It was amazingly beautiful and hard and exhausting and heart bursting and it showed me what it was like to truly care for someone. My baby boy Marty was only a month old when the year began, and oh boy was it an adventure!
I didn’t even make it to creating a word of the year last year because I was so in the weeds. So lost. I was nursing, not sleeping and wondering what I got myself into with a newborn. After 42 years of doing what I wanted, I was now at the beck and call of a hungry, tiny tyrant. And most of the time I was totally ok with that, but I will never take sleep for granted again. 🙂
And things changed (as they always do), life was marching on and I wasn’t keeping up with my basic spiritual maintenance. I didn’t do a very good job of tending to myself + my needs which resulted in some PPD and many tearful days. I put everything I had at the time into my baby and it didn’t leave much for me personally or for my relationship. I was winning as mommy, failing as Steph.
I realize now that I ignored that age-old saying about putting your life mask on first before you can help others put on theirs. I know that any other mom would say that it’s just how it is in the beginning, you have to lose yourself a bit with the baby for it to work and I agree with that, but at some point there has to be a boomerang back. And I didn’t do that. Lesson learned.
And so for this reason, my word of the year is self-care.
To me, self care isn’t just about the physical–getting back to the gym or eating more than a PB&J sandwich–it’s also about creating time to do things I love. I know this will be a challenge for me in the beginning but I know when I take more time for myself, I show up for everyone else in such a stronger, more present way.
Navigating being a new parent is a tricky role to get used to: in some ways, it comes so naturally, in other ways I feel like I’m a stranger to myself. I’m just trying to be patient + compassionate when I think of all of the ways I’m failing. Because in reality, I’m succeeding wildly in many ways, I just need to focus on those areas more.
SO. These are some of the ways I’m going to express + practice self care:
- More movies and popcorn.
- Yoga classes that end with an awesome meditation.
- Acupuncture that blisses me out.
- A monthly pedicure (and foot massage!)
- More pleasure reading and less TV.
- Painting, painting and more painting!
- Conversations that go deep + provoke wild thoughts of expansion.
- Writing more on the blog and reaching out to connect with others online.
- Dates with my husband that aren’t always rushed.
- Juicing more, eating for energy. Less sugar.
That’s just the beginning, but it already feels good just to have said it; I’m excited to get back to being more me. Farewell 2016, you’ve been quite a learning experience. 2017, let’s see what you’ve got.
PS Do you have a word of the year, too? Come join my Facebook Group and tell me what it is.