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.
THINGS THAT FILL ME UP
- Photography and editing photos
- Interior decor and organization
- Working in the yard
- Playing piano
- Sitting in the sun
- Volunteering that includes social interaction
(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. :)