Recently, my life has started to undergo some changes. Very recently, actually. And I'm starting to realize, on my own time, that I can be no good in my relationships with other people (family, friends, romantic, co-workers, etc.) unless I am working on myself. So I'm starting a series here on The Life of a Lady about the never-ending journey that we should all be on to improve ourselves in all aspects of our lives.A very real problem that I tend to find myself facing is that I work too much. I say "yes" to more things than I say "no" to because I want to do everything. I want to be successful. I work full-time as the Assistant Editor of a magazine and I also run my own photography business. On top of that, I fit in blogging as much as possible here. That being said, I bring my work home with me far too often and give myself breaks far too infrequently. My brain wheels are constantly turning to come up with new, fresh ideas for all aspects of my careerS (yes, careers..as in plural). And while I am so happy to be as motivated and determined and hardworking as I am, I also have come to realize recently that I need to take a step back in order to nurture my relationships with my family, friends, significant other, myself, and most importantly, my Savior. So here's where I'm starting:
1. I'm giving myself permission to check social media between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. But even that being said, rather than having Facebook and Instagram pulled up on my screen constantly, I check it and close out immediately. And I only do that a few times during those hours--5 tops. My excuse for "needing" to check social media constantly was "well, that's how I run my business...that's how my clients find me." While this is true, those same clients contacting me through social media need not expect immediate responses from me. I have an automatic response set for messages and that is enough. I will get to it during my next round of checking messages and emails. I have to have balance as should they. So here's to closing out our Facebook windows consistently in order to keep a focused mind on what actually matters...us.
2. I love reading. I like reading all sorts of books--fiction, self-help, devotionals, etc. I find reading to be a way to step outside of myself for a few minutes (or hours) every day. I tend to try to read a few different types of books a little each day: one for fun, one for keeping perspective, and one to aid in maintaing my relationship with God.
Here's my current line up:
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn-It's exactly that: DARK. I'm having trouble getting into it, but it's my current "just for fun" read.
Grace not Perfection by Emily Ley-I just started this one and so far, so good. For all you ladies who strive for "perfection", it doesn't exist. You cannot do it all and you will run yourself ragged trying to. This book shows you that not only is it ok, but it's completely necessary to let go of that idea of living perfectly and instead, live gracefully.
Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer-My mom got me this one about a week ago since I started going through those "changes" I mentioned earlier. It's about being able to hear and recognize when God is speaking to you. Sometimes, we ignore that voice we hear when we don't want to listen to what God is telling us we need to do. When we disobey what the Lord asks of us, life only gets harder.
3. I think that when we undergo stress, we act in one of two ways regarding our eating habits: we either lose our appetite and set the needs of our body aside completely because our emotions are taking over, or we put things into our bodies that make us feel good momentarily but affect us negatively in the long run. I tend to lean toward the first habit. Neither of these are doing us any good. We need to make an effort to give our bodies the fuel that will get us through the day and make us physically feel good even if we aren't feeling so great internally. If we start with taking physical care of ourselves, our minds and emotions are more likely to follow suit. So I'm going to make a conscious effort to eat plenty of protein, fruits, and veggies and drink lots and lots of water as opposed to skipping meals and relying on caffeine to get me from climbing out of bed to climbing back in.