Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Breathe, Relax and Smile!

Remember those days when you didn’t have to worry about keeping that balance?  You know, the right balance between doing the things you need to do versus the things you’d like to do?  Those were the good ole days, right?  Well, for some maybe, but for me I have had one of those ‘a-ha’ moments…Everything will fall into place, as long as I allow myself to feel happy.

Before having kids, my husband and I often thought we lived a very busy life. Looking back, I can see that we were seriously mistaken. I’ll admit, we were both very busy at work and it seemed we were constantly renovating our home.  But that doesn’t compare to the kind of busy we are living today.  We were just your typical young working couple who often struggled to find that right balance...between working too hard, and enjoying life.

Eight years ago, we welcomed our first child into the world.  What a wonderful experience it has been, full of excitement and joy but a little overwhelming at times!  Before having children, we seemed to have so much time on our hands.  But quickly our free time was consumed with sterilizing bottles, making baby food, going to kindergym classes and playdates!  As a mother, I spent every waking hour (and possibly sleeping hour) focusing my attention on my family –Which only lead me to question…what about ME?

Since that time, we are now a family of 6 (3 kids plus a dog).  We have simplified our lives by selling that ever demanding fix-er-up-er.   And just when we think we have a break, our lives seem so much busier in other ways!  We find ourselves down at the arena at least a couple of times per week, the gymnastics classes and guitar lessons always seem never ending!  And for a long time I thought my happiness depended solely on my children’s happiness… “if the kids are happy then I am happy”. 

But one day my husband and I looked at each other and said, ‘We need a break!’  We booked a mini-holiday...nothing fancy, just a couple of nights away at a B&B. It gave us time to do some things for ourselves.  We slept in, went for a run, sat in a cafĂ©, and read a book without being interrupted!  It was glorious! It doesn’t seem like much now - but what a difference it made for us!

We now have made a pact with each other – we go away every six months – together!  We are always scouring the newspapers and internet for the latest and greatest deals on little getaways!  It is now something we like to do together, which seems so strange when you have a young family.  Sometimes we just head into the city and explore new restaurants or to catch up with old friends, other times we hit the beach.  But the most important thing is that we do something for ourselves!

When I don’t have the luxury of taking time off…but feel like I need a quick break – I will not think twice about going for a run, taking a trip to the mall, or just laying by the pool for a few minutes.  It doesn’t take much out of my day, but it sure gives my body and mind that much needed ‘change of scenery’ that each and every person craves.

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