Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What Fills Me Up

Lately - maybe for months now - I've been fighting times of feeling really low. Sometimes it's a half day, sometimes it's a full day, sometimes it's off and on for a couple days. I do think that these feelings are often related to my health and maybe even food reactions I'm having, but sometimes it also seems like there's something else going on.

A couple weeks ago I was working in the kitchen, as I do most days these days, pondering over my at-that-moment horrible mood. As my frustrated, grumpy thoughts tumbled over one another, I suddenly had a realization: I was desperately missing being me. Through our life circumstances and also just the busyness that comes with motherhood, nearly everything that I enjoy, all those things that make my insides leap with excitement, had all but disappeared from my life. I thought through my day and the days prior. I couldn't think of anything I'd done for myself to truly fill me up. I'd taken care of the kids, run errands, meal planned, cooked, cleaned, done research on our health, and worked my job. Maybe I'd taken a hot bath or two. I'd squeezed in my quiet time with God and we'd done our church activities. Those are all good and much-needed things, and I don't mean to discredit the importance of God time and church activities - without Him in my life and my reliance on His grace and strength I'd be an absolute mess. But none of those things were just me being me, me doing the things that make my insides fill up with satisfaction at accomplishing something that brings me joy. I'd experienced joy, yes, but there is joy you feel simply from noticing all the blessings and grace in your life, and then there's joy that comes from doing something that is inherently who you are and what makes you happy. I don't know if that makes any sense. Maybe it's passive joy vs active joy? If so, I've had lots of passive joy but very little active joy lately.

So I've decided I need to make a list of the things that fill me up and start focusing on them. The things that bring me active joy. I need to figure them out and get them back into my life, even if in very small quantities. Our pastor has told us several times over the years that things in our life either drain us or fill us. If we have too many things draining us and not enough filling us, we're going to run out and have nothing left to give. I think I'm really starting to experience this in my day-to-day life in a greater magnitude than ever before.

Along these lines, I heard in a podcast recently that the things that fill some people up may seem like work to others. It's like a lightbulb went off in my head when I heard this, and it suddenly hit me: I'd put my blogging by the wayside for a long time now because I assumed it was something that drained me and it was a sacrifice I needed to make. Blogging is a responsibility, a thing to do, and hence it's work, right? To many people, maybe so. But now I'm realizing, to me it's not. I feel SO FILLED when I write on my blog. Like seriously, it makes my insides just beam with joy. And it's weird, because I'm really not a naturally good writer. It takes me forever (which may be another reason I thought I should mostly give it up). I have to proofread posts a million times (perfectionistic much?) before I feel like they're written well enough to share. Only a handful of people even come to my blog to read what I write. But something about it just makes me feel so happy and satisfied inside. I think it's because I'm getting to be me. And I miss that a lot.

So first thing on my list is blogging, which I hope, hope, hope I can start doing more. Maybe this post is the start. I've been working on thinking of other fill-me-up items, also. Below is my list so far. I may add more to it as ideas come to mind.

  • Blogging
  • Singing
  • Photography and editing photos
  • Interior decor and organization
  • Working in the yard
  • Playing piano
  • Sitting in the sun
  • Volunteering that includes social interaction
There is also a list of things that seem like they should fill me up but don't. The interesting thing is that these are all things I enjoy. I like doing them. But they don't give me that excited-about-life-satisfied-joy feeling inside. I think it's good to be aware of these so I'm not trying to fill myself with the wrong things when I'm already so strapped for time. These non-fillers that seem like they should be fillers would include the following: exercising, crafts, DIY projects, art, cooking, baking, reading, hot baths, and non-social volunteering. And I'm sure many other things that I'm not thinking of right now. It's still good and fine to do these things, but if I have a choice between them and the things that truly fill me up listed above, then I need to start choosing the things from above so my tank can refill.

(On a complete tangent, I am having a horrible time differentiating between "chose" and "choose" while writing this post. This is really atypical for me, so WHAT is going on??? I'm losing my mind!!)

Anyway. :) I think that's all for now. Maybe you should start thinking about the things that fill you up, too. :)


  1. I totally know what you are saying. For me, I've realized that while blogging of my own volition fills me up, blogging obligations drain me. I'm trying to cut back on my obligations because I have been feeling down for months now too and I know it's because I am constantly feeling behind on stuff that isn't even necessary!

    1. Yes Callie, blogging obligations ruin it for me, too!! I am so much better off when I'm just sharing what's on my heart at that moment and not what someone else wants me to write about. You've got a ton on your plate girl - cut those unnecessary things out so you can breathe! When you're feeling down it affects every aspect of your life - and instead of doing a few things well you end up doing a ton of things not so well. At least that's how it's happened in my experience. :)

  2. I'm right with you on that and it makes a lot of sense. I'm a stay at home mum of two and it's so easy to get bogged down with the day to day things and caring for other people and putting other people's needs first that we forget that we are important too; you can't pour from an empty cup, as they say. I used to adore writing my blog ( and then left it for so long, when life got in the way, that I felt like I couldn't restart.
    I found your blog years ago when you used to post pregnancy things (I was pregnant with my first born) and still have you on my list of blogs that I check up on so I'm glad you are going to be blogging more. Love reading blogs, just wish I had the energy in me to write my own again!

  3. I love this, Daisy!! Thanks for still coming back to read. :) And I feel like you can always start writing in your blog again no matter how long you're gone. Just do a "hey I'm back!" post and move on from there. It is so hard to find the time to do it, though. Maybe now isn't the time for you but you can pick it up when your kids are a little older? And if not, look for something else that fills you up and make sure that you make it a priority. :)