I haven’t written in over a month. I took a much needed break after realizing that I can’t do it all, at least not all at once. Turns out that working full time, being a mom, trying to keep the house in a habitable condition, and establishing a realistic work-out routine all while running a blog can be overwhelming. Oh, and did I mention that the laundry cycle never ends? In a mixture of physical and mental exhaustion, writer’s block, and lack of motivation, I put the blog in the back burner.
With every passing week, I was consumed by the guilt of not writing a blog post. Eventually I was tired of feeling guilty and sorry for myself, so I turned to other blogs for inspiration. I can do this, I told myself. I just need to organize my time better. When I was finally ready to jump back in the saddle, November 8th happened. I took a day off from my job to work at the polls. It was an all-day shift from 5am to 8pm. This was to ensure that no poll worker left the post before all ballots were accounted for and boxes were sealed. It was a long day, but the physical tiredness paled in comparison to the numbness I felt the following day. I needed another break.
When I told my husband how terrible I was feeling because I was neglecting my blog, had stopped going to the gym, and was feeling completely out of balance, he simply and wisely replied “You can take a break, but you can’t quit.” I didn’t think much of it at the time, I just let his wise words slowly sink in while I kept prolonging my break.
Today I’m breaking from my break. I dragged myself to the gym earlier in the week, only to find a Bootcamp class that I loved! Yesterday I whipped out my neglected planner and started planning again. Nothing big or serious. Just jotting down my to-do’s for the week and narrowing down my top three priorities. I started doing the little things that help me stay on track and keep the eye on the prize. I even spoke with another mom blogger about featuring her wellness event for moms in my blog (stay tuned for that!). I feel energized and motivated. I feel grateful that I have the opportunity to do what I do, and I’m able to step back when I need to.
A few years ago, I wouldn’t have understood the wisdom in my husband’s words. Simple as they may sound, an earlier version of me would have dropped any project or endeavor after a prolonged period of inactivity. See, the thing with me and breaks is that after a while, I would just forget about whatever I needed the break from and move on. I would find another project to work on or focus my energy on something else.
Today I’m a different person. I am more goal-driven and my own expectations for myself are higher. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom. Maybe it’s because I have a clearer sense of how I want to live my life. And where I want to take it. Today I understand that the key in taking breaks is that they are temporary. Yes, prolonging a break makes it harder to get back on track. But they are still temporary. They have an end point. You can take as many breaks as you need, as long as you don’t give up. This couldn’t be truer for moms. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, or a working mom, we all need to take breaks. Sometimes from work, sometimes from being a mom. Sometimes from everything altogether. But we always come back. And we never quit.