“NOBODY MINDS HAVING WHAT IS TOO GOOD FOR THEM.” ––Mansfield Park
We each also learn that there are things that we simply cannot do without. For me, even on the most hectic days, I still shower and get ready. It has nothing to do with vanity or pride. It has to do with being prepared with the tools necessary to jump the hurdles placed in front of me. I liken it to a runner putting on shoes. I could go to the store or work without showering but it doesn’t represent who I am and therefore do not feel like myself. I then am unable to do what is required of me. Just as a runner literally hears “ready, set, go!” on a race, so too does showering make me feel ready to go.
I have also learned that there are moments when we take off the running shoes and slow down. This too is vitally important to us. Even Jesus Christ pondered and prayed.
This week was exhausting emotionally at work. Probably some of the worst days I’ve had. And there is a saying that applied nicely––“I gave at the office.” I had nothing left inside to give to being a mother or author because I had used every last bit of patience I had in taking care of my patients and keeping them safe. By the time I came home I looked at the slightly cluttered kitchen counter, the four days of mail that needed to be sorted, the living room that needed vacuumed, and decided that there was only one thing to do; do what was best for me. Don’t get me wrong, usually my stress levels are lowest when I have a clean, organized house, but this time I chose to go into self-preservation mode.
What is self-preservation mode? When you hug your children and tell them you love them, when you order pizza instead of cooking, when you take in daily chocolate, when you pick up a book instead of vacuuming, when you call a friend and cry, when you have a gratitude prayer, when you go worship and meditate at the temple, and when you sit down and swoon at Collin Firth’s wonderful smile, falling in love all over again. It can be summed up as recharging your batteries. My mom calls it R&R (rest and relaxation). Do all of this a few days in a row and I guarantee that the effects of a few bad days will crumble and wash away as fast as you can down diet coke with lime (another self-soothing method of choice).
I am happy to report that I am recharged and it took less time than I expected. I am nearly depleted of Ho-Hos though (one of those choices that fall into the McDonald’s category – sacrificing what is better for something that fills a greater need). But all in all, I think every day requires us to evaluate what are our top needs for the day. Repeatedly choosing the McDonald’s or Ho-Hos in our lives is not a choice I agree with, but if today you need to be in self-soothing mode, do it and get recharged. It very well might be what is good for us. For as Jane Austen says in Mansfield Park, “Nobody minds having what is too good for them.” Your self-soothing may be entirely of a different nature. That is the beauty of individuality. My sister would have cleaned to feel better. That would not have worked for me. But no matter what choices you make, make sure that 95% of the time, they are the best choice. But do not beat yourself up that other 5% of the time when what is usually best is no longer best. May God grant you the energy and patience needed to help you take on any task in front of you.
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