Dear Self, It’s Okay…

If you could tell yourself “it’s okay…,” how would you answer that? Are you a perfection-seeking human?

True confession.  I seek perfection.  I’m learning to let it go though. I understand where it’s rooted, and I’m praying on it, daily, often multiple times a day.  I’m recognizing when that desire for perfection arises, how it impacts me, and what happens with my family when I feel it (and respond not-so-well to it).

So here’s a little letter, much like the “Dear Outside World” post.

Dear Self, It’s okay to sleep in with your children.  They love it.

Dear Self, It’s okay that there are crayons strewn on the floor.  You’re teaching Susanna to pick up, but she’s human, too.

Dear Self, It’s okay to research foods for yourself.  You eat differently than Scott.  Embrace it!

Dear Self, It’s okay to spend time alone with Susanna.  She needs it.

Dear Self, It’s okay to feel torn between your children.  You’re learning a new life with two beautiful, talented, amazing daughters.

Dear Self, It’s okay to want to watch adult shows.  Your world is more than those two sweet girls.

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Dear Self, It’s okay to walk slowly on the beach with your family in the car.  You need the alone time.

Dear Self, It’s okay to e-mail friends.  You need the time for you to connect.

Dear Self, It’s okay to not know all of the food in the freezer.  After all, Self, you made a massive amount of food before Elena was born.

Dear Self, It’s okay to forget things.  You are always on the go, except when you’re not.  You’ll remember when it’s best.

Your turn… Would you like to share a “Dear Self, It’s okay…” thought?  

The 15 Minute Life

Do you ever feel like your life is lived in segments?  If so, what is the length of those segments?  Or, is your life one continuous flow?

Lately it feels as if my life is a series of 15 minute bits and pieces.  I wish I could say “bits and peaces,” but some days it feels like complete chaos in our home.

I’d love to have a long period of time to practice yoga, to prep food, to watch a movie, to talk to Scott uninterrupted, but that’s not reality.  At this time.

Instead, reality is super high focused periods of time with multiple interruptions.  It’s something that even teaching middle school couldn’t prepare me for.

It’s beautiful in its variations.  In 15 minutes I can accomplish so much.  I can saw through a tree or two (depending on the size and type of wood).  I can unload a dishwasher, reload it, and hand wash other dishes.  I can prep food for a few meals, depending on the meal itself.

I can practice yoga while Elena plays on her activity mat.  This, I must share, is some of my most favorite bits of 15 minutes of life.

I can also read stories to Susanna while Elena sits with us.  I can listen to Scott while he shares ideas.  I can research and make notes.

As I write this, I wonder what other aspects of life I would like to enjoy for 15 minutes.  Doodling comes to mind.  After doodling would be a counted cross stitch project, perhaps one I don’t own yet.  Another would be more yoga.

I’m content with how life is.  One day it might involve strings of 17 minute sections of life or even 20.  60 might be pushing it for a while.

Whatever life is, I’m okay with it.  Being flexible and focused is gearing me up for something… Something I may or may not know.

How do you spend 15 minutes of your day?  

A Slow Return to Health

Have you ever been surprised by the timing of something? How did yyou return to physical activity after pregnancy?

One day I’ll write a more detailed post about recovering from a repeat C-section. For now, this one is about a slow recovery to health.

While pregnant with Elena, I let myself eat whatever I wanted. I let go of portion sizes, counts, etc and swam steadily. I knew my RCS was going to be tough. It was harder than I imagined.

My OB, in his wisdom, used super strong sutures due to my lifestyle. He wanted me to avoid a possible hernia. Smart man.

As a result my gut hurt. A lot. Nine weeks postpartum and it still burns and hurts at times. It’s part of the process and I accept it, but it’s not always easy.

Days before my RCS follow-up appointment, I did a few planks and was shocked (and embarrassed) at the pain. I know my body had major surgery, but I took it as an ego hit.

Before the RCS I set a plan for a slow return to health. It started with eatingwell, followed by rest and patience, moved onto living activity, and then went to training again.

Right now my activity involves chasing after Susanna, squatting with Elena, hauling limbs, sawing trees, and upper body lifting. It’s gentle.

I’m allowing my body to reawaken and have a strong base. At times, it’s frustrating to my ego, but my heart knows it’s best.

In the long run, my health and body will change positively. I’m eager but accepting of the process. I want to return steadily so I don’t injure myself.

So for now, I’m soaking in beach walks instead of hitting long sets in the pool. When I shared my plan with my OB he agreed. He noted that by 6 months, I’ll be healed much, much better. That was my plan, by June (6.5 months postpartum) I will be hitting swim sets of excellence.

Until then and when I get there, I’m grateful for a body that supported a healthy baby and the wisdom of my OB.

Do you have any recovery stories of any kind?