I had a solid sleep last night and woke up with a productive mindset. Had breakfast out on the table for the kids and was prepping lunches while my coffee brewed. This type of morning gives me a boost of both energy and confidence; I’m doing it “right”. After finishing a cleaning task and snack break this afternoon, I felt weary and laid down on the couch. I set my phone alarm for another shot at the highly beneficial 20-minute cat naps that everyone says are so good for our brain and body. I knew it was a long shot, but as expected I hit snooze and took three or four 20- minute naps. Whoops. I was doing it “wrong”. That is not how I’m “supposed” to use my time. Think of all the projects yet to be done around the house. What about the books I’m wanting to read? This is not how I anticipated my productive day.
The example of my day isn’t too big of a deal. I imagine lots of folks feel frustrated that they didn’t use their time wisely, binged too many episodes, or ended up taking a 3-hour cruise type of afternoon nap. It happens. What also happens is that some people use what therapists may call “black or white thinking” and put a tally in their “failure” category. Maybe your column has a different title; unworthy, bad mom, etc. Do you do that? Do you use your actions to determine your value? I believe it can very often be a subconscious tally we might give ourselves. However, over time, we can begin to feel the weight of those negative tally marks. We have given ourselves so many reasons or examples of “evidence” of our unworthiness that we can start to believe it.
Although I sat down at my computer with a completely different goal in mind for this post, I’ve found myself working through something myself and if I needed the reminder then maybe you do, too. Dear Reader, if you find yourself feeling lousy and feeding yourself assumptions about your character based on things you do or don’t do, start to pay attention. Something to start trying is to introduce realistic truths such as, “Yeah, I took a longer rest than I wanted to, but maybe I’m more tired than I realize. Instead of beating myself up for it, I’m going to try and be kind to myself. I don’t always take long naps and I do value being productive, so I’m going to choose to move on forward with the rest of my day and do the best I can.” Another reminder is that the people we love may have their own tally marks going on inside their minds; aim for compassion towards them, too.