I have some pretty definite limits in my life. When said limits are reached, things start breaking down. Mainly my emotional wellbeing, but a few other things as well. This time it also involved my immune system. I have been in a pretty constant state of broken-downness the past couple weeks. I have committed myself to things past the point of my invisible limit, and I’ve been paying the price. Things came to a head this weekend when I was emotionally drained and physically sick on the couch with my poor husband picking up the slack. I reached the point where I tried to be so useful that I end up being completely useless to everybody. My limit.
Life is such a guessing game at what we can take on, what we should say no to, how much “me time” I should allow myself, and avoiding becoming a lazy bum. My 20’s have been all about learning that balance, while also attempting giving myself a little grace. Since we’ve moved to Austin I have gone 1 1/2 out of the last 2 years without a full-time job. I’ve fought guilt, shame, frustration, overcompensation, and many other things that came along with the free time I so wanted to enjoy. The free time I SHOULD have been enjoying. The free time that my husband was more than happy to allow me to have. It was an opportunity to indulge hobbies and interests that have been put on the back burner, and also a chance for me to support him and his career by making sure everything was taken care of at home. I really do love cooking and cleaning, after all. (As weird as that may be)
God gives us seasons, and I think instead of loving my “Stay at home housewife/part time babysitter” season for what it is, I have been too focused on making sure I felt assured that I was doing enough. That I AM enough. And really if I had been listening to Jesus at all…He was assuring me of that all along.
So I committed to things. Lots of things. And a few things I probably knew better than to commit to. And then all of a sudden it happens! BOOM! Useless, sick, stressed, emotional Caroline appears. And trust me, you don’t want to meet her. I’m starting to back pedal and retrace my steps that got me here, and as I do I’m learning a lot about why I do the things that I do. I love each person in my life right now and I want to give myself wholly to each one of them who might need me. But the truth is, I’m useless to everyone if I don’t go back and find that wiggle room, that time for myself that feels so indulgent to have in my days.
I hope we all can figure out what our limits are before we actually reach them. Rest and meditation and indulging one’s God given desires are healthy and VITAL. It is a struggle every day for me to recognize the need for rest and have to say no sometimes to people. Usually I fail miserably, like the past couple weeks, and sometimes I do better. For the sake of my sanity and wellbeing of those around me, I never want to operate in fight-or-flight mode. I want to give myself to those I love out of the abundant joy in my heart, knowing that my schedule and my mind have some room to breath. I know people who regularly operate on pretty unhealthy stress levels, and it’s easy to see from the outside looking in that they would be much better at everything they take on if they’d lighten their load a bit.
Phew. That was a lot to get out.
Since I’ve been too much of a mess to take time to take pictures or make sweet memories to speak of, I will leave you with a funny super bowl commercial. Best one ever, in my opinion.
Have a great week, folks.