Well, it’s official. I don’t have enough fun. Can I say I’m surprised? Not really, no. But is it all my fault? Well, possibly. You see, as a mom with three kids diagnosed with special needs and as a wife to an active duty service member, my life stays busy. My brain is constantly going going and going, packed with the endless duties that have been assigned to me. It’s overwhelming to say the least. And at times I thought that perhaps my ever active mind is the main reason why I find it quite difficult to buckle down and focus on one thing at a time. It is often a challenge to even be at home and do nothing, unless I’m sick. When I’m at home, I can see everything that still needs to be done. I have to put in great effort to not do them which shamefully I’ve failed at thus far. So with all this said, my therapist told me straight out that I need to stop and have some fun.
“What brings you joy?” she asked as she put her pen to her notebook.
“Um…” I began, folding my hands and placing them onto my lap. I scratched the back of my head, ransacking my brain for a decent and believable answer.
“And it can’t have anything to do with your family… your kids or her husband. What brings you joy that doesn’t involve any responsibility?”
I thought again for a moment. There are many things that add joy to my life, and I’ve made it a point to make time in my day for at least one of them.
“Reading,” I answered first. “I love to read. Movies, music, working out… blogging and writing.” She nodded as she jotted something down in her notebook. She looked up.
“I want you to dedicate at least one time per month doing something fun. Going out of your way to try something new and fun, just for you.” I gazed at her in amazement.
Am I even allowed to do that? To just throw my cares away, if just for a day and say f-it. I’m going to do what I want to do.
“But I don’t have a job,” I responded. “We can’t afford any extraneous expenses for just pissing the day away on my account. She smiled and nodded.
“Most moms say that,” she stated. “But it’s important to just for one day, take some time to do something that brings you joy. Something that you have to go out of your way to accomplish.”
It’s true that I am unemployed, a fact that each time I’m reminded of it, makes me cringe and feel guilty, as if I needed any more weight to carry. And I carry that weight around, punishing myself for failing to find employment. This punishment manifests itself as the denial of “fun stuff” for myself. I tell myself if it’s not a need, than I cannot have it. I don’t have the guts to ask my husband because he’s taking care of us as a whole. And often times, there’s always something the children need or want. And so as part of my role as mom, there’s a perpetual need to sacrifice for myself so that my kids can have.
I found myself spitting this utter nonsense to my therapist as she smiled while jotting some other notes down.
“That’s a common misconception,” she stated. “Just because you are a parent, doesn’t mean you go without. you are still a person, deserving of self-care. And sometimes that means spending a little money on yourself to do something fun. Everyone deserves a little reckless.”
Okay, so that wasn’t a direct quote but she said something very similar I promise. And so I sit here in my living room while two of the three minors in my home are in their rooms their way to sleepy town, and I try to contemplate what that means. Everyone deserves a little reckless. Like what does that even mean?
Could it be that I too can maybe buy something I don’t need just because. Or does it mean that I act first and think second for once? Or maybe I just train my brain to overlook the chores in the house if just for one day and sit to do absolutely nothing? My eyes widened at the idea and a smile slowly crept upon my face. Is that even possible for me? To just do nothing… to watch as dishes pile up in the sink or let the laundry stay in the basket. To perhaps let my 7 and 8 year old tuck themselves in? Would that be too much?
The key is to let go and let God. To be reckless to me means to just let it be and not worry about the possible consequences of my actions. Please don’t mistake this for irresponsibility. It’s good for the soul to chill, to simply live and let all else fall by the wayside. The world won’t end, your kids won’t hate you, and life will still go on, I promise. This is something I still work on everyday, and everyday I somehow fall short. But I am dedicated to face this challenge head on, to let someone else worry and fret for once while I just take it easy like Sunday morning.
You deserve to be excited about life, to live and not worry about the things you cannot control. You deserve to be happy and to find joy, regardless of whatever might be going on. You deserve a little reckless…
…at least every once and a while.