How is the Spring treating you? If you’re anything like me, it’s been treating you with a full schedule and lots of work to do! I did my Spring cleaning last weekend, starting bright and early at 6:30 Saturday morning. I washed curtains and feather beds, steam cleaned rugs, and deep cleaned the floors in addition to my usual Saturday cleaning. Then I moved outside and got some landscaping work done, washed my car, sowed some seeds in the garden and made a trip to Menards for some pre-emergent weed preventer and a chemical sprayer.
I stopped around 4pm to shower and get myself ready for the evening. I was completely wiped, but it was my kid-free weekend and I was getting out of the house to spend time with friends come hell or high water. And that brings me to the subject matter of today’s post–taking time for me!
To clarify, I’m not just talking about a bubble bath with hot tea and a face mask (although I do highly recommend all of those things!). I’m talking about taking care of yourself mind, body and spirit. Life was pretty slow and easy over the winter, but now that Spring has sprung, things have gone back to hectic and busy (but in the best possible way, because I’m doing things that I love to do). Which means I’m back to being structured and organized and planning out just about every hour of my day most days of the week!
One thing I’ve made it a point to do, in order to prevent fatigue and overwhelm like I experienced in the Fall, is to schedule in “me time” among all of the work and busyness. What does this look like? Well for me, it means making time to do the things that I love. So an hour to sit and read a book and sip on some tea on my patio. Time to watch an episode of Barefoot Contessa and come up with new recipe ideas. Time to get out and about with friends…dinner, drinks, fun events, whatever might come up. And time, of course, for some pampering.
April is always a crazy month because it’s planting and landscaping season, but it’s also the month of Logan’s birthday, and my dad’s birthday…which we usually don’t make a big to-do for, but this year is his 60th and we’re planning a big bash for him! This year Easter also falls in April, coincidentally right on Logan’s birthday. So that means a party for Logan, cake-baking for Easter and Logan’s birthday with the family the next weekend, and more cake and cupcake baking, plus other still-undetermined cooking and party setup for my dad the weekend after that.
And in between all of that came the Spring cleaning, garden planting, lawn care, landscaping and building a raised bed (I ordered a 4′ x 8′ cedar raised bed kit on Amazon that will be here in the next few days) for my tomatoes. Let’s not forget keeping up with my blogging schedule, plus two college classes including reading a few short novels for the literature class. We’re nearly halfway through April, and while I’ve been insanely busy, my spirits have been high.
We celebrated my mom’s retirement on the last weekend of March, where I saw lots of family and got to see my best friend (who, like my mom, lives three and a half hours away). I went to Beer:30 with my friends Zach, Jenny and Jenny’s sister Heather, where I made a new friend that I am now getting to know. I worked hard last weekend on the house, but I took Saturday evening off to get out of the house, get some food, see some friends and have a flight of beer at Ebb and Flow, my favorite hangout.
My mom brought the boys home Sunday night since she’s coming to visit for the week, so she stayed with us that night and I got to make a new dish I’ve been wanting to try–a Middle-Eastern dish called Shakshuka (I’ll be sharing this on Monday’s Mediterranean Monday post)–to share with her. And she is back this evening spending more time with us and we’re getting ready to run out and get some ice cream, this time at Spanish Street Farmacy instead of Sugar Chic Creamery, because my mom hasn’t been there yet and they have traditional, old-fashioned soda’s and ice cream in an adorable little turn-of-the-century inspired store.
This weekend is Logan’s birthday party, but it’s a small affair since we’re celebrating with the family on Easter. So in the name of self-care I scheduled it for the afternoon so I wouldn’t have to make lunch for everyone and could get by with buying store-bought cupcakes to eliminate one of the cakes I needed to make this month. Sometimes self-care means doing what is necessary to simplify your life and save your sanity!
Next week I have a dentist appointment and am training a new co-worker in my hometown, and I’ll be building my raised bed and picking up some soil to fill it in. And hopefully I’ll finish (or at least come close to finishing) installing the landscape blocks in the front yard. On Saturday morning I’ll have to get the cake made for Easter/Logan’s birthday, but then I’m taking the afternoon off to go hiking with a new friend–something I love to do but haven’t made time for yet this Spring!
Then I travel three and a half hours to my mom’s Easter morning with a cake in tow, then back home again that evening. I have a hair appointment for myself and Hunter the next day, then on that Wednesday and Thursday I have to travel to Columbia for a two-day SBA team meeting where all of the SBA team from across the state gets together for a fun collaboration. My mom will be back down again to stay with my boys (hooray for newly-retired parents!), and then the next day I have a half-day off work to get all of the baking and decorating done before dad’s party the next day.
To finish off my month of insanity, Hunter has his Spring concert at school on the 30th, where he’ll be playing both his sax and guitar. And then, at long-last, April will be over and the month of May will be my unwind and enjoy the fruits of my labor month, starting with the Home Brew Block Party in my hometown on May 4th!
I know just reading this probably made you exhausted, and I have no doubt that, by April 30th, I will be! That’s why I found it important to make sure I’m taking time each week to do the things I enjoy, whether it’s relaxing at home, pampering myself, or spending time out with friends. If we over-schedule ourselves and fill every day of the week with obligations and work to get done, it causes stress and burnout. Trust me, that’s the voice of experience talking!
I hate being bored, so I don’t mind being busy…but sooner or later it always catches up with you. At some point you just realize–I need a break! So I’m trying my best to pace myself so I don’t hit that point too soon…or if I’m lucky maybe not at all. As of right now, I’m planning to make the first weekend of May a weekend where I do nothing resembling work–no cleaning, no gardening, no lawn maintenance or landscaping. Just enjoying some downtime and spending time with friends doing something fun!
For the next three weeks–slow and steady wins the race! If your schedule is looking a lot like mine, here is your friendly reminder to include some “me time”. I promise you won’t regret it!