“Ugh. Let me tell you about my nightmare of a week.”
“I am so behind right now. I don’t think I’ll ever feel caught up.”
“Life has been so busy lately. I don’t know how much longer I can cope.”
“I feel like giving up…”
“I’m just so tired.”
Cries for help. I hear it echo in my own heart and in the voices of those exhausted women around me. There are seasons when life doesn’t let up, where I have felt as though I was just trying to hold on. I didn’t know how to break free of the survival mode that had become my life preserver – barely keeping me afloat as I tried to keep it all together.
I was beyond thrilled to hear that my childhood friend Crystal Paine, you may know her as Money Saving Mom, was writing a book that confronted this epidemic. When I learned that she was offering readers a chance to view an advanced copy, I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about how I could leave behind my stress and exhaustion, and reawaken my zeal for life. I was lucky enough to be one of the readers randomly chosen to be part of her book’s launch team…and I couldn’t wait to share with you what I have learned. Say Goodbye to Survival Mode is a work of love. It’s the unveiled and honest story of Crystal’s journey, and her simple tips to “stress less, sleep more, and restore your passion for life.”
One of the points in her book that most resonated in my heart is that I can give myself permission to stop trying to do it all. The dangerous cycle of taking on more than I can carry, telling myself that I will be okay, and telling others that I’m fine has to stop. I’m already a perfectionist by nature, so by trying to do it all, nothing ends up being perfect. When I hold on to the expectations that I have set for myself – of being Supermom – I’m setting myself up for certain failure and the overwhelming feeling that I am not enough. I learned from Crystal’s own discovery – that she was her own problem, but she also held the keys to her freedom. By re-evaluating my priorities, setting smart goals, and learning to say no, I can be a better wife, mom, and friend. And that is freedom.
Can I tell you something? I have lived my whole life believing that nothing was about me. This was earth-shattering for my weary, eager to please heart. What do you mean that something is all about me? It can’t be. My life is about other people – my kids, my friends, my spouse. If I’m being brutally honest, it’s almost as if my busyness is a badge of honor – I’m too busy to take care of myself. I have too much to do to go to bed before midnight. There’s just too much on my plate to find time for me.
Somewhere along my life’s journey, I grasped on to the lie that it is wrong to care for myself, and something tells me that I’m not the only one who has felt this way. Maybe we have viewed it as vanity. Or being full of ourselves. Or misplaced priorities. On the list of things that I needed to do and the people that I needed to care for, adding my own name had never even occurred to me. Reading Crystal’s chapter on taking care of yourself jogged my memory…
My mother-in-law once told me something that, sadly, I have never followed…but that ends now. She told me that I am a good mom, but that it is time for me to mother myself in the same way that I mother my children. I care so deeply and tirelessly for them – but I now I need to care for myself, too. Wow.
Could this explain my unrelenting exhaustion? The dark circles around my eyes? The reason that I went for long spells without cracking a single book? Is this why I felt so parched, as if I had given and given to everyone around me, but had not bothered with pouring love and energy into myself? No wonder. I was suffering from burnout, and this book could not have come at a better time. I am using this year to live my life on purpose. In order to do that, I must start taking better care of me for once – for my precious boys, for my Beloved, and for myself.
If you are looking at 2014 as the year to finally pull yourself out of survival mode, I’m telling you this book will point you in the right direction. Crystal’s book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, is available tomorrow, January 21, 2014. I read the advance e-copy of her book in November, but my preordered copy should arrive on my doorstep Tuesday afternoon. I can’t wait to dig in again, highlight areas that I want to remember, and pass it along to friends!
To learn more about her book, or to get your very own copy, MoneySavingMom.com has all of the details.
Here’s to a brave and healthier 2014!
In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives - what it...