I read Eat, Pray, Love like 11 years ago. Then 4 days before my 40th birthday the movie came out into the theater. I went to the movies by myself to see it during the most difficult time of my life. A couple of days ago I finished the book Eat, Pray, Love: Made Me Do It. That got me thinking about the past decade.
10 years ago I found myself realizing that I had lost myself. I didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror anymore. The smiles, the laughter and the fun were all gone.
I had gotten married just a few years before and I dove head first into what I thought that marriage needed to look like. First a baby, then buying a home, then another baby. Meanwhile, I had left my job that I loved to stay at home.
I was chipping away at everything that made me, me. I was a Mom and a pretty good one at that, a wife (I didn’t do so good at that job), an active member of my church and a friend to many. Where was Stephanie though? Who was Stephanie at nearly 30 years old? I had forgotten to think about what I needed, while I thought I was taking care of everyone else.
Many things happened back then to shift my thinking and to change my life. Over the last 6 or so years I have made it a priority to do things for me. Starting with this blog called “Making Time For Me.” Even if the only minutes I can find every day are to post here, it is only for me.
I have made time to work out, because when I exercise I feel better. When I feel better, I am giving my best to everyone else, including myself. I read, I write, I do side gigs here and there, I do yoga.
My husband encourages these things. When I get up out of bed and do yoga in our bedroom on a Saturday morning, he thinks nothing of it. When I can’t sit still and decide to go for a very long walk outside in the middle of the day, he just smiles and tells me to be careful. He follows my blog and I believe reads it pretty regularly when I post. My children understand that Mom needs some her time. To be my best self and to love them the best that I know how, I need to love me to.
I am for sure still a work in progress. When I got married the first time I dropped my maiden name and took on my husband’s name. Over the following 4 years, I then lost my identity. When I married Paul, I decided to drop my middle name of Lynn, that had no family meaning. I made my maiden name my middle and then took Paul’s as my last. I don’t ever want to lose who I am again. Keeping my name is a gentle reminder of that!