Adulting Stole My Joy

 

One of my favourite UB40 songs, yes I like UB40, is Higher Ground. Recent insights had me remembering this particular verse

Every hour and every day I’m learning more

The more I learn, the less I know about before

The less I know, the more I want to look around

Digging deep for clues on higher ground

Living and learning really is about level, isn’t it?

Self-Love vs. Self-Care

In my first book The Goddess Bootcamp I relate a story about how I struggled to get out of a relationship because for the longest time I focused on trying to fall out of love with my boyfriend to make breaking-up easier, until I realised that what I needed to do was learn to love myself more, not love him less. Since then I have been a serious advocate for self-love.

Recently I went up one level and had an obvious/not obvious realization: self-love can only take you so far without self-care. I have been putting the needs, and even wants, of my loved ones before my own self-care. I’d tell myself; “Do this for this one, and this for that one and when they are happy I’ll sort myself out.” Alas, usually when I was done with everyone all that was left to do was pass out. I got sick, literally, because I was not taking care of myself. The sad irony is that once I got sick I couldn’t take care of my family either.

I recalled something I learned during a wealth management course. The teacher explained that you must save at the beginning of the month, before you spend money on anyone or anything else. Saving is paying yourself first. If you wait to see what is left at the end of the month, often you will never get around to paying yourself. Starting with your self-care is paying yourself first in the love department.

Joy vs. Fun

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Last week I had another obvious/not obvious insight thanks to roller skating of all things. The last time I roller skated leg warmers were not retro. It was mad fun. I realised afterwards that I miss having fun. I haven’t been having much fun.

My life is joyful. I have deliberately created a life dominated by things that matter to me. A meaningful thus joyful life. However, I realised while I was whizzing about the skating rink dodging tweens that there was very little pointless fun in my life. I may derive joy from the activities that make up my day-to-day life, but they are not necessarily FUN. For example, being able to ferry my child to school fills me with joy, but is it fun being stuck in traffic with a 7 year old who wants to play “I spy with my little eye” for the gazzilionth time? Not so much.

The roller staking had me feeling great. My energy was light and effervescent. When I got home, despite being stuck in traffic for an hour and only arriving after 6pm, I had the energy to bounce on the bed with my kids, have a tickling war and chase each other around the yard.

The past few years, as my to-do list got longer the fun stuff dropped off. As I did less fun stuff, I became less fun to be around. I am learning that I can be a good responsible adult, parent and partner while I prioritise my self-care and fun, in fact it is mandatory to good adulting.

This here thing has levels.

A constant on my to-do list the past year was my second book – THE GODDESS MOJO BOOTCAMP: Awesome Relationships Are An Inside Job. It will be in bookstores in mid-late April. You can pre-order it at loot.co.za via this link and you can like the facebook page to stay in the know about when it is out at bookstores and just to chat about relationships.

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