Okay, so once more, here I am after a long hiatus from writing. Why can’t I just keep this going? Why don’t I just quit if I do not have the time? Why, why, why? I know that we all have these moments in our lives that can make us feel so defeated (keyword: can), but I take a different approach: a grace-filled opportunity of nesting glasses.
Picture a set of four nesting glasses, a large glass with a smaller glass inside it and an even smaller glass inside that one with the smallest inside that one. If I were to pour water into the smallest glass, eventually it would overflow into the next glass, and if I continue to pour, it will eventually fill all four glasses. But the next glass cannot start receiving water until the smaller glass is completely filled. This is how I live my life.
My smallest nesting glass is my survival. When we have hit absolute rock bottom, which I did when we lost Halia, the only glass I could truly pour into was my own survival. At that time, this was WORK! But now, luckily, I am pretty good in the survival glass… if we can ignore sleep deprivation!
My second smallest nesting glass is the survival and well-being of my dependents and family. Obviously, this is still extremely important but still comes after my survival. Think about airplanes: my mask first, then I can help others. So this is the glass I have been in recently.
So, what has been going on in my life? Well, first off, I have an 8 week old baby. I will give myself grace for this one because that keeps my schedule pretty unpredictable. The second thing that caught my family by surprise, our 8 week old, Caleb, has food allergies (I did not know this was a real thing!). He is allergic to both dairy and soy and potentially other food. If someone told me a few weeks ago their baby has an allergy, my first thought would be, “what the heck are you doing giving a baby those foods?! And just quit feeding them that!” Well, I wish it was that simple. I have not been feeding him those foods… but they come from my milk supply! Oh brother! So now I am on a fun, new diet! Let me just say I am not looking forward to watching everyone enjoy the food on Thanksgiving while I gnaw on my raw carrots. Oh, please don’t mind me as I salivate over and ogle at your food!
Now don’t get me wrong, I am choosing to be on this diet. I could just stop breastfeeding, which if I dropped back into glass one is exactly what I would do! So please know, dear friends, I do not judge these decisions. Since I am in a place though that kept me in glass two, I am able to look at all the positives of this experience. With my middle son, I could only breastfeed for four months and it was absolutely awful. I am a big fan of the saying “fed is best” because I did not produce enough and felt so much guilt and anxiety and at the end depression around breastfeeding. Because of that experience, I feel a joy around being able to nurse this time and the diet is just not a big sacrifice for me. I also think it is a great opportunity to gain empathy for those with food restrictions. Now, please note, if it begins to take a toll on me and my family and I find myself back in glass one, I will absolutely stick with “fed is best” and use formula. Our health is more than just what we eat so know that I support all moms in their quest to be the best mom possible! To all the moms out there, you go, girl, whoever you are!
So that takes me to my third nesting glass: extra necessities. This one is more difficult to explain, but I am going to try. Once my survival and my family’s survival are solidly in place, I can move onto my “extra necessities.” These are the items I deem necessary to keep me in balance. So for me, I need my daily spiritual time, me time, and exercise, in that order. These items keep me grounded and help me feel like I can take on the rest of the world! Every time I choose to take these off my to-do list, I get less accomplished, feel more stressed, and end up being less than my best self.
Now that I have my third glass filled and I can now take on the world, I am able to start filling my fourth glass: my joys and passions. So here we are! I am finally writing again because I am have finally filled my other three glass and have started filling my fourth glass! Doesn’t it make sense that if you look at life like this, you no longer need to feel any guilt when you have to put something down? I could not pick this item up while the other glasses were not filled. So no guilt, just grace!
Now, I am going to go eat a carrot and start planning my next post!
Food for thought: what are your glasses and are you filling them in order?