I’m a stay-at-home, work-from-home mom in a rural community. And as you might be able to imagine (or maybe you’re going through it, too!), I can sometimes feel pretty isolated. Days on end go by where I don’t [get to] leave the house (or the farm, which feels like the same thing). Sometimes there’s nowhere to go, or it takes too long to get there in between naptime and dinnertime. I don't even have neighbors to chat with.
I get out when I can and go shopping or meet up with a friend, but it’s not as often as I’d like. Nothing (and no one) is nearby, so everything requires advance planning and extra time for driving. This is one of my excuses for a gift I just got myself—I call it the gift of connectivity. Really, that’s just a fancy way of saying I finally broke down and bought myself the new iPhone.
And can I tell you something? I LOVE THIS FRIGGIN’ THING! Until now, I’d always scraped by with old, lame, useless phones (meaning, all they did was make calls—hah!). It’s sleek and shiny and the screen looks amazing. I can go on and on about all the features it has that I don’t use… but I’ll spare you. At first it was a little scary (read: addicting) to be able to so easily check e-mail and Facebook way more often than is necessary, but the newness has worn off a bit and I can really see the value in this phone-that-does-just-about-everything. I really like having connectivity at my fingertips. It may sound silly, but it feels good to be able to see what my friends are up to and check on things—including my work e-mail—without getting completely sucked in.
My other excuse for the new phone is to stay in better touch with you, my readers and friends, through my blog’s Facebook page and Twitter page. Please go check them out and join in on the two-way conversations!
The other gifts to myself involve much-needed exercise. For the past two or three weeks I’ve been waking up in the morning before Nathan to do yoga for at least a half hour. Yoga leaves me feeling energized and invigorated, and I can already feel myself getting stronger. Muscle memory is incredible—restarting a serious yoga practice after a nearly two-year hiatus has been easier than I expected it to be.
My favorite, most vigorous yoga DVD so far is Power Yoga - Total Body Workout with Rodney Yee. Some easier workouts that I do in between the harder ones are A.M. Yoga for Your Week (five workouts each with a different focus!) and Power Yoga for Stamina. I know yoga well enough that I don’t need to follow DVDs or sequences in a book, but my mind often wonders, so direction from Rodney Yee really helps me concentrate and get the most from my practice. If anyone wants more good DVD or book recommendations, hit me up on my Facebook page or leave a comment here.
I’ve also been going for walks after Nathan’s in bed at night—the epitome of “freedom.” (You can tell I don’t get out much, and when I do, I’m never alone, thanks to my husband’s job.) A few weeks ago I took these awesome sunset photos and really felt the weight of my responsibilities lift, just a little, and for just a few minutes. These walks are the only time I’m truly alone. It’s relaxing to plug into my iPod (now, iPhone!) and go wherever I want on the farm without a stroller to push or hold me back.
The efforts and time spent have been paying off—I’ve already lost 2.5 pounds!
A mom deserves some gifts to herself every now and then. I hope you moms out there find the chance to do the same. I think I'm going to find other ways to "give" to myself, similarly to how I give my all to my family every day.