The Year of 40: Everybody needs somebody sometime
by Christie Browning
The past couple of weeks it's been busy. By busy I mean, something-every-night, gotta-go-go-go, can't-catch-my-breath kind of busy. I have jumped from one appointment to the next. The office is buzzing throughout the day. My husband has been working a ton of hours and pulling six-day-a-week work weeks and sometimes seven. It's been nuts.
So it's no wonder that I had an emotional meltdown in the middle of the day. Yep, right there in between lunch and some afternoon clients, the waterworks came on and I had myself a good cry. Have you ever experienced this? I know I am not alone.
When life gets overwhelming, sometimes it's not until I've reached my limit before I recognize the state I'm in. Looking back on these hectic weeks, I had missed out on the things that keep me sane and grounded -- time reading my Bible, journaling and spending real time with my best friend and husband.
Life gets tough, but we have to be tougher -- we have to do battle against mediocrity, busyness, mundane and lackluster living. That means knowing what really keeps our hearts filled and overflowing. What good things do we need to be feeding our souls and our minds? It may look a little different for everyone, but for me it starts with finding time in my day to slow down, creating room in my schedule for those life-giving things --
1) Reading and reflecting on scripture - I used to be disciplined to do this every morning. However, my schedule has shifted a bit and my mornings are now spoken for -- at the gym. It's been a bit of a competing schedule - I know I need to get to the gym and the mornings are the best time of day for me to do it, but that means giving up my quiet time in the early mornings. I know I have to reserve some time in the evening for this now, and I am still working on that.
2) Journaling - when I can empty my heart and mind of all that runs around in there... it is a good thing! You and I both know that when left on their own, emotions can take root and grow into ugly monsters. Thoughts can grab hold of our minds and twist our beliefs. Fears left unattended and without truth can begin to paralyze us. But when I journal.... I can pour out all of those emotions on paper. There's something freeing in my heart when I am not weighed down by the heaviness of life. I can gain perspective and clarity instead of living in noise and chaos.
3) Spending time with people who lift me up - for me that person is my husband. He is what keeps me together and allows me to be vulnerable and authentic. With him, I can speak out loud crazy ideas and high-in-the-sky dreams without the fear of being laughed at or judged. He is so patient with me... I have a million ideas every day, but he let's me talk through them, he champions the ones I really want to see happen and helps me think through my goals. Together we are always better -- that has been our mantra from the start.
So what is it for you? I used to pride myself on my ability to just lower head and plow through the days, weeks and months. But I have realized lately that choosing to be a "go-get-em" type of gal is one thing... but living without connection, without feeling, without relationships not just with others but with my own self... well, that's not living at all. In my almost 40 years, it's taken me this long to learn to be OK with my crazy life and the needs I have to survive it.