Happy New Year, Me!

Happy New Year!

It's 13 days late, but better late than never, right? At least, that's what they say...

The new year usually brings a flurry of resolutions and goal-setting. Like everyone, else I have some things I aspire to this year and I'm chronicling them in my head - the writing-down part will come later.


But, I've already started making good on my first and most important resolution this year - Taking care of Me. Last year was one of the most difficult and challenging periods of my life. Just being a wife and mother who works outside the home is hard enough. Now, combine that with going to school and trying to fulfill your dreams as a writer (or singer, musician, entrepreneur, etc.).

There were times when I was this close to giving up - going to school AND work every single day of the week? 

Spending the bulk of my weekends cooking, cleaning...sometimes I would be in the kitchen until midnight because I would do my daughter's hair, then cook two or three pots of soup, plus stew, chicken, maybe some jollof rice too. This of course is after I've spent 3-4 hours cleaning the house.

Half the time, I walked around in a daze, not sure whether I was coming or going; I would be driving to work and slapping myself intermittently. No, no. I'm not crazy. I did it to keep myself awake because I was so sleep-deprived that I could have literally fallen asleep at the wheel.

I was exhausted..utterly drained. I had nothing left. I mean, nothing. 

I snapped at my kids, and my husband while I tried to keep smiling for those on the outside. Tension and stress built up in me to the point that I sometimes thought I would explode - or go postal. I mean something had to give. 

It all came to a head around Halloween. I had driven from work to the store to get an outfit for my daughter - something she could wear for her school party. After finding some cowgirl getup from the slim pickings - all the cool princess outfits were gone - I shuffled out to my car, welcoming the thought of getting home and falling into bed.

I unlocked my car as I approached, somewhat surprised that the lights didn't flash. Eager to be on my way, I pulled the door, but it didn't open. Impatient, I unlocked it again, tried the door. No luck.

"What IS going on?" I muttered to myself. I didn't have time for this. It was almost 8 p.m. I was in a hurry to get home. 

Still trying to figure out what was going on, I peeked inside my car and saw the green bobble-head swing back and forth on the dashboard.

Wait...when did I get a bobble-head? Answer: I don't have a bobble-head in my car. I was trying to open someone else's car - a car that looked exactly like mine and was parked in the same row as my car. I let go of the handle like it was a hot iron, and rushed to my car, waiting patiently for me a few spaces down. 

I was trying to open someone else's car! I looked around surreptitiously , hoping no one saw me and thought I was trying to steal the car. This is Texas. Everyone...I mean EVERYONE, except me of course - has a gun. And they like to shoot things. And sometimes they shoot people too. I imagined what the headline would say the next morning:

"Mother of two tragically shot by car owner in a case of mistaken-car identity." 

It's a mistake that anyone would make, but it was the last straw for me because it was the latest in a line of incidents. I was forgetful, angry, distracted and at the end of my rope.

I decided then that 2014 would be different.

I would make time for me. Because I matter.

I will prioritize myself. Because if I'm not okay, then I can't give my children the kind of mother they need and deserve; I can't be a good wife or mate to my husband. 

And so...I told myself this:

"You will no longer work until you drop. Because you don't want to find yourself in an early grave.

So, though the year is still in its infancy, I've already started making it work. For instance, last weekend....I left dishes in the sink overnight {2013 me would NEVER do that}. Then I spent time with friends on Saturday {2013 me never had time on Saturdays, what with fixing daughter's hair, chores and cooking}. Then, I postponed my cooking to Monday/Wednesday evening. Instead of spending all day Saturday or Sunday {after church} in the kitchen, I plan to spread out my cooking during the week. A couple of evenings this week and the freezer should be loaded and good to go.

And you know, what? I've already started seeing the results of my little experiment. I feel more rested, more relaxed, and more patient with my husband and children. I realize now that my family suffers when I'm not at my best. They're the ones who have to deal with a sullen, impatient, broody wife and mother.

I see now that I have a responsibility to myself: to nurture and care for Me. I matter. I am of value. And from now on, I will treat myself that way.

So, Happy New year to Me! {and to you of course}

Thank you for reading and God bless,


Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Do you feel like you neglect yourself in favor of others? If so, how do you plan to do change that?

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