27 minutes to go 6 miles and I couldn’t help to feel overwhelmed as I was sitting in traffic while on a recent business trip to VA. I’m from New England. Do we have traffic? Of course! But damn, not this bad!! If you can avoid rush hour it’s likely you’ll be perfectly ON TIME, where miles pretty much equal minutes, and you don’t have to rush (or should I say, arrive late) to everything. In the midst of watching my heart rate climb higher and higher on my Fitbit, I rolled down the window, closed my eyes (briefly, don’t worry red lights are like 4 minutes long in VA – I certainly had time to spare) and took a deep breath.
And in that moment, memories of why I loved Virginia flooded my mind. My husband and I started our life here together. It was our first time being together, on our own, where the closest family member was about 8 (actual) driving hours away. It is where we were first adults in the ‘real world’ after college. Where we raised our first (fur) baby, where we met so many great people who we still call family, it is where we bought, and sold our first home and really planted our roots. And in that moment, the feeling of joy, warmth, and laughter filled my soul.
When the red light (finally) turned to green, I couldn’t help but realize that time certainly has changed many things, mostly for the good but let’s be real…we’ve had our fair share of struggles too. Coming up on our 5 year wedding anniversary and visiting the place where it all started may have helped spark all these random feelings, but it got me to thinking, man we’ve been through A LOT.
And even after all we’ve been through, there’s one thing I am sure of and it’s this…There WILL be hard times. It’s inevitable. Take some time to remember where it all started, where you’ve been and where you imagine you’ll be. And most importantly TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. Although I couldn’t have asked for a better support by my side, if you aren’t the best ‘you’, it will show in your daily life – to your family, your job, physically, emotionally…the list goes on. Now I know this is easier said than done. Taking time for myself is something I struggle with. Daily.
Recently, I realized I started making every decision based on what my mind was telling me I needed to do. To make sure everyone else around me was happy. Telling myself, you have to be doing something every minute of every day. Free time? Work some more, or make sure the groceries are ordered, the house is clean, the husband is happy and the child has his school uniform clean. Pressures of everyday life can drown you if you let them. I did. And not that I don’t love to do these things, please don’t get me wrong, I am 100% thankful and proud to be a wife, a mother, a care taker etc., but after a while of ONLY doing these things for others, it started to weigh me down and I lost “me” somewhere along the way. It took a while, but I finally realized why…I stopped listening to my heart and that little voice inside saying “it’s ok to take time for yourself”.
All along my heart was telling me to take some time for “me”, but I’d ignore it. It was telling me to go to the gym, sit in the sun, DISCONNECT from the world for a minute or three…however, just the thought of doing those things flooded me with guilt, so I didn’t.
After a harsh reality check from two of the people I love the most (‘ahem’ sisters Kimmie and Donalda) I made a huge leap in making “me” just as important. And once I started listening to my heart a little more than my mind here and there, I noticed I was becoming myself again. And everyone around me benefitted from that. But most importantly, I was happiest with that outcome.
If you find yourself needing more from your daily life, I encourage you to try listening to that inner ‘you’ that you often ignore. It’s life changing!
About the Author: Kimberly is one of the 7 Charming Sisters. She is the ‘All-American Girl ’ sister and is in tune with all things nature. She lives in New England with her husband, 2-year-old son and 1-year-old pup and enjoys all things outdoors, spending quality time with her family and helping others whenever possible.