i took a step back for self-care

Hello, sweet friends. It’s been a minute, huh? I took a week off blogging and, frankly, almost all social media this past week, and it has been so refreshing. I didn’t originally intend to take a break. I posted last Monday after a nonstop weekend, and I felt okay, but by Tuesday, I felt worn thin, and I simply didn’t have the heart to write. So, I took a week off. I decided not to post again until my heart was in it, or until I felt ready to write something meaningful to describe why exactly I needed some “me” time.

I’ve mentioned before that self-care is so important, and I think that now, more than ever, I’m learning my limits. Ryan got home on the 23rd of August after a very long and arduous TDY. We were excited to spend some family time together, but by the middle of last week, we found out he’d be leaving again shortly. Spoiler alert – he left again today. While it’s not for a long time, each little separation, each time we have to explain to the boys why daddy is gone again wears on me – and us – and it’s been really difficult.

Add in a full-time job working East Coast hours while living on the West Coast, first-trimester exhaustion and nausea, the stress of another impending deployment before this baby’s even born, raising two toddlers, and I pretty much reached my limit. Above and beyond that, we knew that this past weekend was probably the only time we had left this year to go to Oregon to see Ryan’s ailing father, and I just couldn’t hack it all. So, I took a step back.

I reprioritized.

I figured out what could wait and what couldn’t.

I decided to focus on my boys, my family, and though it’s hard not to feel selfish, me.

They say you can’t pour from an empty cup, and Lord knows that’s true. I’ve been running on empty for a while, and we’re really still trying to find our pace here since moving to Washington. Each time we do, something is uprooted, and we start all over. But we’re getting there. We’re doing it. Piece by piece, we’re finding our new normal out here.

I wish I could say that I have everything together. I look at the picture-perfect Instagram families where the mamas are flawless, the babies are perpetually smiling, and when I’m in the throes of stress and anxiety, and I simply feel like I can’t measure up. Little by little though, I’m learning to take pieces out of the equation when they simply don’t fit, and I think this was the best self-care move I could have made.

Most importantly though, I felt it was important to write about and address why I wasn’t around because I think it’s in our nature to hide struggle and adversity. We put up walls behind smiles and make it seem like nothing’s wrong because it’s uncomfortable. Nobody really wants to share the reality of depression or anxiety, and it’s hard to share that reality isn’t always perfect. It is, however, real, and tangible, and honest.

I know this is a bit of a ramble, but I hope that it might resonate with someone else out there who might be struggling with not quite measuring up. Or, perhaps someone who’s simply so exhausted they just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s okay. Blogs can wait. Followers who want to follow will remain. Friends will be there to check on you. Most of all though, you come first – remember that. And yes, I’m okay. Maybe I’m not ready to take the world by storm, but I’m ready to hug my boys, share our little moments, and just keep it real.