Updated: Oct 1, 2021
Being self-employed has its challenges, but one thing that makes it worthwhile is being able to set my own schedule. I am thankful to have that freedom because I was able to stay home with my daughters during their entire Christmas break last year. Unfortunately my husband still had to work, so I was with the kids all day, every day. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE spending time with my girls. We did some really fun things. We baked cookies, did art projects, and got out of the house for a while. I managed to schedule everything for the kids to enjoy. Where I went wrong was that I did nothing for myself.
I had no idea the impact it was having on me until New Years Eve.
On New Year’s Eve I needed to run to the grocery store to prepare for a party we were attending later that night. I was thankful to have that one hour to myself. I felt like I could breathe again. By the time I got back home and prepared what was needed for later on, I was exhausted and depressed again. I considered calling my friend and making up a story about why we couldn’t come to her party. Thankfully, my husband convinced me to go to the party. He knew I would have a good time. I did enjoy the party, but there was a cloud over me.
It wasn’t until the next night when I had some time by myself, that I reflect on what my life had been like over the last 10 days. I was miserable. In fact, I was miserable and angry! Over the course of those 10 days I had spent literally 1 hour by myself during my trip to the grocery store the day before. I sat on the couch that night crying my eyes out explaining all of this to my husband. I looked at him and said, “I spent one hour by myself AT THE GROCERY STORE!! Isn’t that awful,” only I didn’t use the word, “awful.”
This experience had plummeted me right back into a feeling of depression and self-loathing.
In fact, I almost didn’t go back to my yoga class on Sunday. Weird, right? You might think that I was so angry about not paying attention to what I needed over those 10 days that I would be raring to get back to it, but I wasn’t. I didn’t want to do anything, nevermind yoga. The whole week leading up to class I asked myself if I would go, and I didn’t know the answer until Sunday rolled around. I didn’t want to, but when the alarm went off I dragged myself out of bed, changed my clothes and got in the car. I went to class and went through the motions. I still didn’t feel like my old self, but I did feel better. I felt good enough to get right back to class next Sunday. I was ready to get to work and enjoy some quality me time. My experience over Christmas break made me see so clearly that yoga has a major impact on my health, my mood and my life. I set the expectation with my family that mommy’s Sunday yoga class is a non-negotiable. I am going to that class. It is alright for me to want to be alone for a while.
Please remember that it is ok to not want to be around your family once in a while.
We all need a break, but you need to be willing to give yourself that break. My escape is at yoga class. What is it for you? Find it and give yourself permission to enjoy it!
Christina Gatteri, CFP
Certified Financial Planner
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886