Stop Empowering Me

On my quest to live my life my way, with little concern for what others think about it, I hit speed bumps daily. This learning to love oneself isn’t as easy as it sounds. It has to be more than just a nice little love. It’s got to be an in your face, you are mine and I’m not sharing, kind of love.

It is so easy to tell people, “learn to love yourself…put yourself first…don’t forget a little self care.” If you, like myself, have come to the realization that your entire life has revolved around others, and you kind of lost little ol’ you along the way…it is going to take more than a once a month massage and girls’ night out, to turn that spotlight back on yourself. What you need is a reintroduction to beautiful you, and a plan. Unfortunately, I am not much of a planner, so I am winging this new gig.

That being said, I suck at it. I know how to put myself first about as well as I know how to solve that darn Rubik’s cube. I just keep turning and spinning and nothing changes. I hate that thing.

If you are a mom, I don’t need to give details. You know exactly what I am saying. I know I have some dreams and goals in life I could definitely fulfill, if I could give them my full attention. But in my quest to do these things, I am mom. And let me tell you, although I will always be “mom,” the time of them being under my roof is fleeting. So yes, I paused my career tasks about a hundred times today, because thoughts of my children and their needs overruled. Sometimes the draw to make things like blueberry muffins for when they get home, is just too strong. The muffins win. Nothing beats the pat on the back I’ll get from four children as they feel loved over something so simple. In this fast paced world of technology and social engagements, how can I give up those little acts of love?

It isn’t easy for women these days. We are pulled in more directions than any generation before. We love our empowering quotes, myself included.

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But maybe those quotes are actually stressing us out? I get it. I love the encouragement, and I am a damn strong woman myself. However the pressure to be constantly strong, to never fall to pieces, and to have it all, (glamorous career, perfect body, perfect children, adoring partner, or no partner, because you don’t need anyone, healthy meals, laundry done, house clean, appointments made)…is a bit much at times. No it is more than a bit much – it is insane.

I can honestly say that I am horrible at breaking down, and I don’t think it has done me a lot of good. I think I could use a good break down, but I really don’t know where to start. Although I think I feel one brewing.

In my eyes, I have to always be strong, (thanks to those great quotes). No matter what happens, I pull myself up and keep going. Sounds like a great plan, but it is exhausting. I have a feeling I am not alone in this dilemma. Personally, I am afraid if I allow myself to collapse – just quit and curl up in bed, I will be seen as weak. Not to mention that list of things to do…how will it all get done without me? The truth is, it all would get done without me. Maybe not as well or in a timely manner, but eventually it would.

What if we started a new movement as women? What if we posted quotes like, “A wise woman says no and stays home to watch Netflix”….instead of quotes like, “Think I can’t do it all? Watch me.” Personally, I don’t want to do it all. Most of us are doing it all because we have to. When we were younger there was pressure to prove ourselves…whether brought on by others or ourselves. It was there. Now, at age 48, I really don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone but myself. In that case, I would happily lay on a beach for the rest of my life and not care what anyone thought about it. Unfortunately, things like 3 teenagers who eat like a pack of wild wolves, keep me from doing that, because groceries must be purchased every few hours, and that is my life.

Today I am going to make a list of what I absolutely have to have in my life. A  list of what brings me peace, joy, and fulfillment. The children are a given. They are my greatest success and joy. But they will leave me some day. I have already experienced it with my two older ones. Yes, it is true, they do eventually leave and it is quite cruel.

I want my list to help me nail down what I want. What does my all look like? It isn’t the same for everyone. There are the things that must get done. But I wonder if we practiced this list thing, if we would discover where we are wasting precious time? Maybe we would notice there are things on that list that we absolutely never do anymore…but yet they made the list of what brings us satisfaction. I think most of us would find that list full of the little stuff in life.

So ladies, (sorry guys – I just understand women better), in your quest to have it all, whatever all is to you, please make sure it is really your all….no one else’s. We can have a great love in our life, wonderful friends and family, etc…..still, no one knows you better than you.

And please remember, whether you are a stay at home mom, have a glamorous career, lame career, single, married, whatever…you are strong. I guarantee if you have lived some life and are still standing, you are a strong, powerful woman. “I am woman, hear me roar”….yes…but also hear me cry, let me rest, and let me decide what all means to me.