Monday, August 22, 2016

Love Yourself More

This morning I opened my inbox to find an email that had a list of three things.

Dear Noelle,
Make your list and stay strong
You are a strong woman who can do anything.
Love yourself more.

I had written it to myself right before I went to bed.   The situation looked like any ordinary evening. I had cleaned the kitchen, said goodnight to the two older boys (who I know stay up much later than they want me to believe). Kissed the two younger boys and burrito tucked them into bed, and let our dog out one more time. My husband is a teacher, and he has been spending late nights at school, getting it ready for the first day of school next week.

The house was soundless, which feels foreboding. As I washed my the face, I felt myself unravelling.  Everything I had experienced the previous week was starting to systematically come flooding into my mind all at once.  Like my inbox after I send an email out to a listserv.  One thing after another just kept coming.

Things I hadn't dealt with fully.  Last week we attended a funeral for a friend.  His wife, who is also our friend is going through hell right now.  And I have this image of her waking up in the morning, walking into the kitchen and finding everything exactly as she had left it.   And it breaks my heart.

One of the main disagreements Don and I have is that I like a clean kitchen when I wake up. No matter how late it is, I will make sure there are no dishes in the sink; it's like waking up to a clean slate.  He, however, goes to bed later sometimes and dumps any dishes he may use, or cups he finds in the boy's rooms or random bowls he discovers in the basement and piles them in a stack, so when I wake up, it looks like the tower of Piza has erected itself in my sink.

One of the reasons I am so exhausted at 10:00 at night is because I wake up extremely early.  My favorite part of the day is going to work out in the morning, driving on empty streets and seeing the city dust sleep out of its eyes.   So even if his intention was to "clean it in the morning" it always fails because I will see it first.  And it pisses me off.

For the record…

There are a ton of things that piss me off about my spouse. Dear Lord, I could write a list that could fill this page and I'm sure he could name enough annoyances of mine that could fill the entire internet.  But as I stood there washing my face, knowing he was going to be lying in bed next to me that night, I felt an overwhelming sadness. Becuase I realize that all those things that annoy the crap out of me, are probably the things that my friend will miss most about her husband.

Which brings me to the list.

As I sat in bed scrolling the feed on my phone, looking mindlessly at the pictures of friends, political stories, and dog memes, I felt an overwhelming sense of weakness.  I'm not even sure where it came from. The thought of the impending first week of school.  A workload that seems to increase by the day, and this recording in my brain that keeps whispering, telling me "you can't do it, you are not strong enough"

The voice also tells me things like "the only thing that will make you feel better is ice cream..." But I know that voice is full of shit.  So why should I believe the other things I'm telling myself?

*note- I did eat the rest of my son's M&;M blizzard he had put in the freezer for the next day. And I will say, it didn't make me feel ANY better. And I hate having to explain to my son  that, yet again it freakishly melted.

Every single time I start believing the thoughts that I can't do something, it always comes true. On the day I tell myself that   "I can't possibly get this writing deadline done today," I find myself on Facebook or Twitter wasting the precious time comparing myself to other people who I don't even know.

So that is where item one on my list, to make a list, and stay strong comes from.  To help me stay on task and remind me that it takes a lot of mental strength to do so.

The second item that I am strong and can do anything is me trying to apply the law of attraction.  If everything negative I seem to believe comes to fruition, then I might as well use it to my advantage and create something positive. And I am pretty damn strong (at least physically).

And the third item came out of nowhere. I don't really remember writing it.  Perhaps it was the voice in my head that I had muted for so long.  Love Yourself More.

Did I mean to love myself more than I love others? Doubtful.  If anything it is a gentle nudge to stop beating myself up. Stop looking to others to validate my love ticket. I can validate myself.

So in the effort of loving myself, I'm going to make or send myself a note or every day about just how awesome I am. Because nobody will believe it, unless I do too.

And if there is one thing, you got out of reading this random post that is free flowing from my chaotic  brain through my fingers and onto this page, it is to Love Yourself More today. Whatever that means to you. For me, I spent a little extra more time with my dog, Wally. Because he sees something in me that is irresistible, and he knows how to show it no matter what the circumstances. I wish I could see me through his colorblind eyes.

 If you don't have a dog,  just be nice to yourself,  and know that a little kindness can go a long way.


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