Have you met Blue? Blue… is my new suitcase. Yes, that’s right, I named it. We’ve spent so much time together lately, it just seemed right to give it a name. Blue has seen it all. Blue knows a lot about me. Blue knows all my intimate details – perhaps even more so than my husband (which is probably a good thing)!
I first met Blue about five and a half weeks ago, and it really was love at first sight. I HAD to have her. In case you’re wondering, I thought Blue would be a “he” but the more I got to know Blue, it was clear Blue was a “she.” The combination of hard durability and soft flexibility; the features that are visible to everyone, and those that are secret little compartments tucked inside; the smoothness of her roll; and of course the pretty blue color. I could go on… but I’ll spare you. Blue obviously has girl power!
So, what’s the point of me talking about my suitcase? It’s this: Four out of the last five weeks I have been traveling. Domestic and International. Work and personal. Was it exhilarating? Yes. Was it fun? Yes. Did I learn something? Every day, yes. Was it tiring? Yes (two weeks playing tour guide / tourist in Paris and Barcelona respectively… yeah, you’d be tired too – but I wouldn’t have changed a single moment, except maybe the rain, and the cold. Yeah, I would have changed that). Was I crippled with guilt for leaving my kids behind? No.
You may be thinking “Wow, what kind of selfish Mom is she to be leaving her kids for four out of five weeks and not feel guilty?!” Or (hopefully) you may be thinking “Wow, I want to know how she does it?!” Trust me, I used to be that first Mom. Thankfully I’ve learned that it actually makes me a better Mom (and wife, sister, friend, businesswoman, etc.) when I put separation between me and my kids. I’m talking about healthy separation. The kind where I get to be a woman with goals and dreams, with a passion and a mission that far surpasses the blessed title of “Mom.” You’ve heard me say it before: You were YOU before you were Mom.
I’ve learned that when I do something for me, when I put myself first (to any extent – be it big or small), that I am filling myself up. And I don’t mean in a selfish way, I mean in a way that serves me, rejuvenates and renews me. When I do that, I am pouring love into my soul, and that, my friends, is the same love that overflows out to all the other people I get to serve. Nobody likes the last little bit of peanut butter at the bottom of the jar. You would rather open a brand new jar and be the first one to grab a spoon and scoop out a creamy dollop of yumminess. Okay, that was kind of an off-the-wall analogy there, but you get the picture. Fill yourself up first, and let everyone else bask in your overflow. You deserve to be the brand new jar of peanut butter!
In all my travels, I was the peanut butter. Creamy, not crunchy – let’s just get that straight. I chose to fill my soul with both my work (my passion and my mission – which is ultimately helping YOU) and with some much needed one-on-one time with hubby.
How did I do it? First, I gave myself permission to know what I want. Second, I created a plan to make it happen. Third, I followed through. Now, to put your mind a little at ease, this didn’t just all happen overnight. The whole process of permission and planning took months. I didn’t just run off to the airport, spin a dial to decide where to go and book the next flight (although someday maybe that might be fun… I’ll have to talk to my controlling planner side first. Don’t laugh).
My adventures with Blue were all just that: adventures. Life is full of them and I am seriously grateful for every adventure that comes my way. Yes, even the ones when, in the moment, I am cringing… No need to explain, I know you get it.
Truth is, I’m ready to pack away my suitcase for a while, instead of packing in it. Sorry Blue… 😉 Anyone up for a spoonful of peanut butter?
Here’s to the BEST version of YOU!
Author, Speaker, Mentor
*image courtesy of satit_srihin www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net