January 6, 2014 My 500 Words

 My Sweet Monday….

How was your day today?  Do you have that odd let-down that comes with the chaotic rush of the holidays being over?

I treated myself today.  I took a couple of hours to do exactly what I wanted to do, things that make me happy and help me to order my life.  I took myself to lunch at my favorite bistro, toting a journal and my Kindle to do some reading over a cup of coffee after my meal.

One may tend to think that order and happiness can be generated with increased activity and busy-ness.  In my life, I have found the opposite to be the reality.  Increased busy-ness on top of busy-ness only creates burn-out.  In order to avoid a constant condition of being overwhelmed with life, I was encouraged to create a list of things I enjoyed doing.

 When I become aware of my energies waning, I am intentional about taking time for myself and choosing from my fun list.  It’s not complicated or expensive but it is purposeful.

When our children were little, we would drive to Ft. Collins and attend our favorite church.  Finances were tight, it was a sacrifice, but we needed a break from our daily grind.  Lunch was always at a 39 cent hamburger stand.  Cheap, and a wonderful memory.

Here are some of my favorite things to do…. a movie in the middle of the day, wandering antique stores and flea markets, reading fiction.. I love a good mystery, eating lunch in the park, taking a nap, gardening…simple pleasures.  Every week I buy myself fresh flowers at the local Wal Mart. Many mornings I light a scented candle as soon as I get up and I always have one on the table at mealtime.  Every day is a day to be celebrated.

 Maybe you need a honest to goodness real vacation. Is there a college class you have been wanting to take?  A friend you have been wanting to have coffee with?  How about a date with one of your children you have been concerned about? Do you and your spouse need to sit in a park without the interruptions of children or having to compete with the television or computer?

It has not always been easy for me to take time for myself.  I had a martyr complex the size of Texas.  The questions I had to honestly ask myself were…what happens if I crash and burn?  What would happen to my family?  Would the world really come to an end if I said “no” to an activity that someone else needed to be doing anyway?  I battled false guilt and sometimes still do.  I am seeking to be humble to receive help from friends and family and listen to wise counsel.

I hope you are encouraged to begin your own fun list!  I would love to hear from you and the ways you are going to begin to take care of yourself.

At this website, you will find the signs and symptoms of burnout and prevention tips.
 http://www.helpguide.org/mental/burnout_signs_symptoms.htm

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