http://soundstudio.com/avita I felt depleted. You know? While I absolutely loved taking care of all the things, I was tired. Deep down spirit exhausted. Not exactly depressed, but dry, right down to my soul. So what did I do? More importantly, what can YOU do when you feel that way?
Honestly? I did whatever I wanted. I know, I know. That sounds terribly self-centered. And it was. That was the point. After more than thirty years of parenting and looking after everyone else’s needs, I decided it was time to look after myself for a while. Time to figure out this season of life and what I wanted it to look like.
I quit writing and started a home-based business selling children’s books. What a joy it was to sell children’s books that I didn’t have to write myself! No deadlines or plotlines to figure out. It was a great mental break from writing and was just the thing for me. Until it wasn’t.
I also went on a mission trip to Kenya, Africa. That was an adventure way out of my comfort zone and God met me there in amazing ways. My spirit was refreshed in the new scenery, culture, people, and worship of our awesome God. But after being home a month or two, I still felt weary.
So I quit my home business. I quit teaching Sunday school. I started reading for pleasure every day. I visited my best friend in another state. I made individual dates with my grandchildren. I had lunch with friends. I took naps whenever I felt tired. I listened to my first audio book. I caught up on household chores I’d put off. I determined not to feel guilty about not doing all the things I used to do and congratulated myself for taking time to do the things I wanted to do.
Gradually, I felt my creative spark come to life. I actually started cooking again, which is nothing short of a miracle, because I usually hate cooking. I enjoyed trying new recipes and finally learned to use my Instant Pot. Eventually, I started thinking like a writer again. I’d have internal conversations with myself and think, That would make a good blog post. I began teaching a young adult Sunday school class, a much better fit for my personality and this stage of my life. In short, I did the things that brought me the most joy and left out the things that didn’t.
Which brings me to today. Communicating and encouraging others through written words is my jam. I’m determined not to set myself up for stress with it this time around. I will fit it around my life, not fit my life around it. I’m so happy to be here with you again.
Do me a favor? Take care of yourself. Take care of your spirit and your inner self. Don’t burn yourself out. Take time to do the things you love with the people you love. Make time to connect or reconnect with God. It’s what matters most. Don’t let your lack of perfection stop you, as I often have. For instance, my website is in dire need of updating and my non-techy self can’t figure out how to do it. Sigh. Even though the entire website isn’t perfect, I can still blog because it gives me joy. And you can do whatever it is that brings you joy, even if it isn’t perfect. Just do it.
So tell me in the comments, how do you refresh your spirit when you get soul weary? Get out in nature? Spend time alone? Reach out to others? Maybe your comment will give another soul weary traveler the breath of inspiration they need.