I woke up this morning with plans. Today was my day to work while RC home schooled the kids and I had lots I wanted to accomplish. I got up at my usual time and worked on my book. I am currently revising the first (really more like the third, but I’m calling it the first) draft. Then I ate some breakfast and took a shower. However, by the time I was dressed I had an inkling of what kind of a day it was gonna be.
My body felt like lead and all I wanted to do was close my eyes. The thought of getting any work done actually made me feel a little nauseous. So you know what I did? I let myself lay down. I let myself off the hook and took a 2 hour nap. What I “should” have been doing was pushing through and getting stuff done. What I did instead was let myself feel the way I was feeling without any guilt or condemnation.
Now, the “down” I was feeling today was simply hormones. This isn’t a new thing for me, I have a day like this almost every month. Sometimes it happens on a weekend and doesn’t affect any work, but usually it happens on a weekday (there are more of those after all). I used to fight it. I used to fight it tooth and nail, but now I don’t. I used to try to figure it out, but now I don’t. Do you know why? Because it’s not a big deal.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about depression. I suffered through that my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. Depression is serious, and if you are suffering from it, I encourage you to get some help. Talk with someone, a family member, a friend, and let them help you figure out a healthy plan of action toward healing. Maybe that’s talking to a therapist (I’ve done this) or seeing a doctor about a prescription. There is no shame in suffering from depression any more than suffering from cancer.
What I am talking about here, though, is simply the emotional fluctuations we girls have naturally. Mine was mostly brought on by hormones, but I think it was compounded by circumstances. We are almost done helping the church here, and we are about to transition. Change is uncomfortable and stressful. We basically know where we’re going to be for the month of April, but the Lord hasn’t illuminated the path beyond that, and I like knowing the plan. =) However, I have found that knowing the Planner is truly much better.
I decided I wasn’t going to stress about feeling tired and down today. I wasn’t going to stress about what wasn’t getting done. I did the few things today that absolutely had to happen, and I let myself have the day off. I watched a documentary on Netflix I had been wanting to finish, and I watched some Dr. Who behind the scenes stuff. I read decorating blogs, and T. Austin-Sparks. I ran an errand with RC, and let Micaiah cook dinner (she asked if she could).
And you know what? I’m already feeling better. I do believe that sometimes it’s good to push through. Sometimes forging ahead is the path to feeling better, but sometimes it’s OK to give ourselves the day off. To set our to-do list aside, and instead only do the things we really want to. Or perhaps do nothing at all.
A sister I know has a saying that I have held on to. She says, “Don’t ‘should’ on me.” Do you know what it is to be should on? To be told what you should do or who you should be? The world is constantly shoulding on us. Family and friends can should on us. Religion definitely shoulds on us. I’ve tried to be aware of not shoulding on others, and not allowing others to should on me, but you know what I’ve discovered? I should on myself more than anything or anyone else. So today I decided not to should on myself, and I’m so glad I did.
Do you should on yourself? Do you should on others? What do you think about simply trying to remove the word from your vocabulary and seeing if you should less and less? That’s what I’ve done, and it has helped me. And I truly feel better for it.
Did you know that I send an email newsletter once a week that contains all the blog posts from that week? That way you can easily see what I’ve offered on the blog and click through to the ones you are most interested in. The newsletter goes out every Friday morning, and if you are interested in receiving it simply submit your email below. I promise not to send any spam, and hope this helps make Love, Bridget even more accessible to you!