In this episode of Everyday Glamour, our heroine, Sarah, work at home mother of three small children, takes us on a journey as she strives to find inner solitude (and quiet that nagging, list-making voice in her head).
Driving to my first yoga class last year, I distinctly remember thinking with relief that here was a time and place where I could make some serious lists in my head. It would be a time where no one would interrupt me, and I could plan and organise things properly. It didn’t do that at all.
Instead I left the class an hour and a half later feeling peaceful. I hadn’t made a single list. I hadn’t organised anything. Instead I’d contorted my body into some rather inelegant positions and tried not to shriek “YES!” out loud as the yoga instructor pushed me deeper into a pose, simultaneously relieving months of pain in my lower back and giving me huge relief in the process.
I was hooked. I still am. That said, I mix it up a little. I do a women’s only bootcamp (Babes on the run) two or three times a week and yoga once a week or fortnight. In addition I do surf club. I am planning (yes, that word again) to start training for my bronze medallion soon and will hopefully complete a half marathon next year.
People often ask me in a bemused tone, ‘How do I find the time?’ and I am sure they also wonder why I don’t look, well, like a supermodel? The answer to the second part is I have an ongoing love affair with food that doesn’t look like easing up anytime soon. The answer to the first part comes from one of my favourite writers.
You may or may not have heard of Vicki Iovine. She’s very well known in the US for her series about her and her girlfriends’ experiences with baby- and toddlerhood. She has struggled with infertility, with bereavement, with marriage. In other words she gets it. She gets what it’s like for women today.
I got hold of her book, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Getting your Groove Back, at the start of last year and as I read it so much of it made sense to me. She made a great analogy about her being like a pie. She was carved into so many pieces there was very little left for her. She also made it clear that it’s important to put some pieces aside for herself.
At the time I was struggling with excess weight, three very small children, a part time job, a husband who was away frequently, an ever diminishing circle of friends (mainly because I didn’t have the energy to pick up the phone to call them back) and I knew something had to change. I had to change.
And I did. I joined Weight Watchers and lost 17 kilos, five of which come back to stalk me on a regular basis but I keep beating them back.
I started, and continued, yoga. It quiets the internal (and external chatter) which is pretty much a constant in my day. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of MAKING time for yourself. Because the sad truth is no one is queuing up to give it to us. We have to find it and take it for ourselves.
My husband and I work as a team on this. The early mornings are mine for boot camp and yoga. The benefit of this I get my exercise done while my children are still asleep and I come back buzzing and ready to start my day with them. More importantly, I can do this with a smile. The evenings are his for his passion, kitesurfing. We often join him at the beach to watch.
Watching my father in ICU earlier this year, recovering from a triple bypass, was a stark reminder to me that I need to be my own caregiver. If I don’t do that then I simply can’t care for the other people I am responsible for.
In those adverts they have when the plane takes off, they talk about how if there is a loss of pressure cabin you should put your own oxygen mask on before tending to your child. This is because if you don’t, being rendered unconscious isn’t going to be much help to your child. Making time to look after yourself is exactly the same. I can categorically state that the multiple roles I juggle in my daily life better when I am exercising. Try it. And let me know what you think!
To read more of Sarah’s adventures, visit Oh, the possibilities! where she blogs about life trying to mesh the mantra “to just be” with “My next project is…”
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