Seasonal Resolutions Part Two – Reset Button

For those of you that read my earlier Seasonal Resolutions post, you’ll be happy to know I haven’t fallen off the wagon. Yet. I gotta say, my ever-constant quest to stay out of the winter doldrums is going pretty well. I know what you’re thinking: ‘we haven’t technically even hit winter yet’. Well guess what, it’s actually cold outside and I’m not pretending to be Eeyore, so I’m calling it a win. Baby steps.

Speaking of baby steps, that’s what my probably-nutty-sounding “seasonal resolutions” are all about. Taking small steps to tackle big things in my life. The first one was finding a way to unplug from my electronics and be more present in my daily life. I’m starting to get a handle on that, so I’m moving on to the next item on the list: taking time for myself.

I get a little weary of the typical whiney posts on how many things so-and-so has to accomplish in a day. The fact is, we are all busy these days, and we all wear a lot of hats in a day. So I promise I’m not feeling sorry for myself and that’s not where this is heading. Stick with me here.

We’re all crazy busy and we all have a lot going on. But we all need to do things sometimes, just for ourselves. When I was pregnant with our daughter, Katie, we were young and broke and one of the only things we had of value was my horse, EJ. I’ll never forget when I talked to Grandma Betty about putting EJ up for sale. She looked at me and said “Honey, you KEEP that horse, whatever it takes, trust me, when that baby gets here, you’ll need a release of some sort just to keep your sanity!” I took her advice and I am convinced it saved both my marriage and my sanity.

Some people seem to need that release more often than others. Some need a little time each and every day, and others appear to go days or weeks without it. My personal theory is that the amount of down time you need is likely directly related to your personality type. Those who tend to be natural givers seem to deplete their emotional bank accounts more quickly than those who aren’t, which means they need to recharge more often. But the bottom line is that we all need something that re-sets our inner emotional timer, lets us step away from the hustle and bustle and normal insanity of life, and find a little bit of peace. For some that’s as simple as reading a book or hugging a pet. For others, it needs to be a canoe trip down the Osage, or a hike through the woods. Whatever it is, identify it, realize it, and hang onto it through thick and thin. I promise you won’t regret it.

Grandma Betty’s wisdom has stuck with me over the past 18 years. She taught me that sometimes you have to be a little bit selfish, and that’s OK. My goal over the next few months is going to be to remind myself of that just a bit more often, so I can get some balance back in my life between the real ‘me’ and the fifteen different hats I have to wear in any given day.  I have no idea how I’m going accomplish that. But….. baby steps, right?

Happiness and Hoofbeats,

The Gate Girl

EJ, Bo the dog, and I, 1998.

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