Recently, I’ve started to dedicate my Sundays to preparation. Before, I would use Sundays to recoup from the week (including Saturdays) and just chill, catch up on the TV shows I missed during the week, and basically have a “lazy Sunday.” Glorious would be an understatement for what my Sundays used to be because I basically did nothing. Okay, I would cook dinner (on most Sundays), but that’s just really it.
A few weeks ago, I changed all of that. I’m talking completely revamped my Sundays from top to bottom. It was a challenge because I’m a creature of habit, but man, was it worth it!
Today, I started my week of smoothies!
I was a little unsure of what I wanted to start with even though I planned it out the day before. You know how at the time, something seems like a good idea but when it’s time to implement, you question if it really is? Yeah, that’s where I was this morning. The thought of taking on this challenge and potentially failing weighed heavily on my mind. I even had trouble sleeping because I didn’t want to oversleep and not have time to make my smoothie. I’m sure ya’ll are looking all kinds of crazy right now and thinking, “Is she really doing this all over some smoothies?” And the answer to that is both yes and no.
This week I’m doing a week of smoothies. Since the beginning of the year, I can probably count the number of times I’ve had breakfast on one hand during weekdays. Weekends are better, but not by much. I’m usually so focused on getting Jam ready, along with myself, that I completely space on breakfast. And because I’m so adrenaline-rushed or just plain forgetful, I don’t even think about food until around 11 or 12 o’clock. Thankfully I keep some snacks like applesauce and nuts in my desk, but let’s keep it real…I’ve completely bombed on the most important meal of the day.
Why a week of smoothies
So…about self care
It’s a struggle to take care of myself everyday. As a habitual helper and fixer, I spend precious hours of my time making sure that most, if not all of the people around me are taken care of. I honestly think that that was the underlying reason for me going into social work. I have an innate need to be needed.
All of this “save the world” stuff takes a toll on me though–as a person, a mother, a wife, and even in my career. Hubz has been very clear in that I just need to walk away and leave well enough alone. But I don’t think that he understands what that would mean for me internally. It’s like telling a chronic smoker to “put that cigarette down…forever.” Yeah, I know that smoking is bad and all, but do you really think I wouldn’t do it–that I wouldn’t put my cigarette of choice down–if I could, if it really were that easy?
Why we struggle with self-care
Not everybody struggles with self-care. Some people practice it completely and perfectly. We call those people “selfish” and we associate them with other words like “self-centered”. After many many years of being a fixer, I finally had to really analyze the information that was being spoon fed to me about those two words–selfish and self-centered. And after much thought, I just have to call it what it is: bullshit.
I’ve been working for a long time and I’ve had quite a few jobs. My first job was as a cashier when I was 15 at the Henry Doorly Zoo. Along with my first job, I got my first employee benefit.
Yes. One employee benefit.
I kid. It was not one benefit, but more like, one major benefit: every summer that I worked, I got a $500 scholarship. 4 summers and $2000 later, I’d learned a lot about work, perks, and benefits–both monetary and non-monetary.
The way my mom life is set up
While working at the zoo definitely had its privileges (year round zoo pass anyone?) and those scholarships surely made my financially strapped mother happy, as a mom and provider in a full-time non-animal related career, I look for a bit more when it comes to benefits. I have child care, medical costs, tuition costs, and a gamut of other things to think about now, whereas in the past, those things didn’t matter. They didn’t exist for me. But now as an adult, who’s fully charged with providing for and caring for another human being, I have to think through a bit more and choose positions where the benefits actually…well, benefit me + my family.
So after a lot of pondering and quite a few shitty benefits jobs, I’ve come up with a few employee benefits that actually benefit me as a working, millennial mom. I mean, they’re like #baebenefits. They’re my favorites.
February flew by. I mean, I know it’s the shortest month and all, but damn. One minute it was here and the next it was gone. Earlier in the month, I kept thinking that I had so much time to accomplish my February goals. Each day, though, we went further and further into the month. Eventually, I started panicking because, “February only has 28 (29 this year) days and I can’t get all this stuff accomplished.
Oh well. Such is life.
Even though I didn’t accomplish everything I set out to do in February, I got quite a bit done. And the things I didn’t accomplish, I at least made progress on them.
- At least one date night with Hubz…Fail. I saw my husband way too much this month anyway. Maybe next month.
- At least one mama/daughter date with Jam…Win. When I first set this goal, I honestly didn’t think that I would accomplish it or that I’d accomplish it by default. “Oh yes, let’s count our day of errand running as a date. We got smoothies, right?” I had no idea that I would manifest some ish that would give us both an enjoyable, Daddy-free evening. I plan on writing about our evening, but for now I’ll just say it involved pretty dresses and men in tights.
- Deep clean and reorganize the kitchen…Win. Another one that I just knew would be a fail, but ended up actually happening. On Sunday, I deep cleaned the hell out of my kitchen. I rearranged stuff, hung cute pictures on the wall, scrubbed the floors and counters–basically all the stuff I mean to do on a more consistent basis, but that never happens. I am not ashamed to admit that I got out of bed and stood in my kitchen at least five times the night I cleaned it. I am not ashamed at all.
Fail on all of these. Every. single. one. I read like 30 pages of a book and exercised 6 times. Most nights at 11:30 I was watching Forensic Files.
- Create a career plan for 2016…Nope.
- Reach the halfway point on my Financial Social Work Certification…Nah. This is going to be a free certification for me and I can’t even get my life together long enough to complete it. I’m so ashamed.
- Organize my work space…Yep. I organized my home and office work spaces. I removed a lot of clutter, got rid of things that served no purpose, and raided Target’s One Spot to get more things that serve no purpose. It was quite magical.
- Save at least $400 for my emergency fund and continue contributions into other savings vehicles…Yasss!! I saved a total of $420 this month for my emergency and rainy day funds and still contributed to my 401k.
- Bring in $500 in extra income….Yasss (kinda)! So, I did not bring in $500 in extra income this month. However, I did secure 3 new streams of income for the next few months that will more than double that 500 on a monthly basis!
- Complete loan forgiveness process…Done. I’ll be student loan debt free in 10 years!
What I learned in February