How I Found The Courage To Say Yes To Myself

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Our fenced in portion of the backyard has a small section that I like to consider the Bermuda Triangle of our backyard. It’s a small section, in the shape of a right triangle and has little use for us in terms of our backyard but we fenced it in anyway. It wasn’t much more fence, we said. But I think there was a different plan in store for it whether we knew it or not. Because from an outsider’s perspective, you would have no idea that anything was there. You can’t see it from either road in our corner lot and the rest of our backyard is much easier to access. Outside of our house and the back of our shop, there’s nothing but trees and (usually) blissful blue skies.

This is where I like to forget that I’m a responsible adult with hundreds of things on my to-do list.

This is where I pretend we have no neighbors and gawkers that drive by our house, staring at us like we have two heads because we’re the people that bought the foreclosed house that sat empty for over a year.

This is where life is good, no matter how bad it is.

Even with a chainsaw roaring. Even with the horns, and sirens, and sounds echoing from the nearby pavilion. Even with the cool breeze that makes me wonder what happened to Summer. Even with the chickens clucking in the neighbors yard. This little triangle of solitude has turned into my favorite part of our (currently) usable yard.

Over the weekend, I sat in the triangle. More so laid, enjoying the gentle rocking of the hammock. I read, I rested, I took in the smells and the sights. I did anything but be productive. And I was almost instantly recharged.

I didn’t do anything crazy. I didn’t do anything that would be considered “life changing.” Nonetheless, it changed me. It reminded me of so many things that seem so simple and trivial even when you look at them. But they are so easily forgotten when you just keep pushing forward when life’s flying at you.

I was reminded that it wasn’t selfish to take time – even daily – to recharge. Instead, it was necessary to be able to give 100% of myself to the people I love.

I was reminded that life could be simple if I just let it be simple. It doesn’t have to be hard and overwhelming if I just try to accept it as it is.

I was reminded that it was so easy to enjoy things if I didn’t think about all of the things that I should be doing instead.

Most importantly, I was reminded that I was trying too hard to move through life too quickly and I was forgetting to just be there in every waking moment.

I do know I’m one of few that I know that has a small, secluded piece of land that caters to zoning out or tuning in to your inner thoughts. I also know I’m one of many that gets lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life. I know what it’s like when every little thing isn’t enough.

When every project you complete gets replaced with ten more.

When every family event that you attend is just paving the way for the next one.

When every promise you make to yourself about your weight, clutter, eating habits, sleeping habits and every other little thing gets repeated so many times that it loses it meaning.

And especially when every day/week/month that you swear that the next day/week/month that you’ll have more time to do X and yet that day/week/month with more time never actually comes around.

I get it. I do. Because I’m right there with you. And truth be told, I cried over it this weekend. Not the “I’m so happy my life is so full and blessed” kind of cry. No, instead it was the “holy crap, I’m so overwhelmed I just want to cry uncle” ugly cry. And I swore to myself, after that hour on the hammock that followed the sad sniffles, that I would never do that again. I swore I would never let myself get to the point that I needed that hour in a hammock. Wanting it was fine. But needing it because I was too much of a wuss to give myself some much needed (and deserved) me time?

Not happening.

I’m tired of telling myself that I don’t deserve this time and that whatever other responsibility I come up with is more deserving of my time. It’s not. Nothing is worth the frustration that comes from intentionally neglecting your energy needs, your emotional state, or your physical well-being on a regular basis. Nothing.

So I quit.

I’m no longer claiming it’s “too selfish” to relax when I desperately need it. And I am most definitely not letting that crazy amount of guilt creep indulge in my need.

And instead?

I’m saying yes to myself.