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You can go and love yourself

Today’s daily affirmation was, “I love and respect myself.” Though I have no idea how I got daily affirmation alerts on my phone, I’m glad I did. It’s actually inspired a few days of reflection, today being no exception. As I repeated that phrase to myself, it wasn’t because I’m going through a period of self-loathing, but rather because I was trying to figure out what that meant. How can I love and respect myself? What does that look like?

If you’re a gal with some extra time on your hands or someone to watch your life-barnacles, the first thing that pops into your mind would undoubtedly be self-care, pampering, shopping. But, I don’t have that much free time, and I’m trying to be a bit more conscious of how and where I spend my money since we’re in the US for an extended time and expecting another baby, so my options when it comes to indulgent self-care are a bit limited, thus forcing me to really think about how – right here, right now – I can love and respect myself.

Here’s what I came up with today: I loved myself by grocery shopping for the week so I don’t get take-out and feel like a bad mom with indigestion. I respected myself by taking some time this morning before the house woke up and doing some reflection on how I wanted the day to look, as well some time to meditate on what the month of Ramadan means to me and how I want to celebrate and honor it, for both me and Adam. I loved myself by getting enough protein, drinking enough water, nourishing my body – and the baby that it’s growing – ensuring that even after a day spent chasing a toddler, I feel great. On the other hand, I respected myself by laying down with Adam while he napped and basked in his sweetly sour “boy” smell while I drifted off to sleep for 20 minutes.

I realized that sometimes loving and respecting ourselves looks like getting adult things done in a timely fashion, or making and keeping appointments that we’d rather not, or holding down a full-time job that we are less-than-enthusiastic about to make sure our families are fed and well-taken care of.

I’m not sure if loving and respecting myself will look the same tomorrow; I have big-girl errands to run that involve government offices with the monkey (pray for me!), but I do know that whatever I do will be done with the same intention and presence that I had today.

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Dirty ears, happy heart

It’s been a whirlwind of a time here in the States. So much so that the two months we’ve been here have practically flown by (unless I’m sitting thinking of how much I miss hubby and our home, and then the time crawls excruciatingly slow…). A is enjoying his time playing outside in the dirt, and I’m enjoying watching him, and rinsing it off at the end of the night and inhaling his sweet, fresh smell as we jump into bed.

Letting go and letting him run wild is a good reminder for many things in life; sh*t happens but most everything can be managed, either through re-planning, meditating, prayer – whatever you’re into – as long as you have someone in your corner to cheer you on and hold you up when it gets a bit too overwhelming. Everything can be washed off at the end of the day, and while the dirt, sweat, and ickies swirl down the drain, the memories and happiness remain in our hearts, remind us we’re alive, and what’s important in this life.