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This Moment Is All That Matters

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Sometimes we just have too much to do for too many people which can interfere with taking care of ourselves.  We may not know how to just say “no” or just “be still” and reflect and acknowledge where we are at in our life – for this very moment.

I know there have been many, many moments in my life that I just couldn’t take a step forward, didn’t know how to move forward with my life – and it caused me great anxiety, worry, depression and guilt that I wasn’t doing enough for my family, my friends, and those around me who I am responsible to.  But, I learned going through the storm…. we can only do so much in that given day, in that given period, in our life.  And as I get older, I am learning that I can’t feel bad about what I did or didn’t do for everyone in my life.  Maybe that’s all I could do for that hour, that moment, and that week.  We all have different seasons in life – and life is a rollercoaster of different moments and experiences.  Life is full of ups and downs.

old boat in the stormy ocean

Several years ago, I ended up in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer.  I was so sick and was severely anemic. I received multiple blood transfusions while hospitalized for four days.   I was still so weak when I left the hospital, but I thought the “worst” was over.  The gastroenterologist took biopsies during my time in the hospital – and weeks later I was told “you have a form of lymphoma” – C-A-N-C-E-R.  I was stopped dead in my tracks… the emotional and mental anguish – and the uncertainly of my life and future – was such a difficulty journey.  I was so thankful that I required minimal treatment and was declared “cancer free” months later!

But during this frightening time, I felt like my life stopped completely, as if I was in some type of “tunnel” and didn’t know how to go through it to reach the other side.  I could only do very little for myself let alone for anyone else.  I didn’t really understand what the next steps would be… but over several months I healed physically and emotionally.

Green

One of the most important things I understand now, it’s okay to just be in the present and not have to be and do everything for everyone else.  I think we must learn to do, and be, the best we can for that moment or season in our life … that moment will not last forever (thank goodness, right?) and we will move forward again hopefully in the near future.

Learn from the journey, give back, and do what you can down the road…. when you are able … and not a moment before!  Don’t try to do too much for everyone.  And certainly, don’t feel bad about it.

I recall back when I was a young, stressed out, working mother, I was asked time and time again to teach Children’s Church at our church.  I enjoyed it and did… but over the years I felt “obligated” as my children were in Children’s Church.  Looking back over the last few years I taught Children’s Church, I became “burned out”, and I should have resigned from my volunteer position sooner than I did.  See, if we try to take on too much and we can’t do another thing for another person,  we are not doing anyone any good – especially ourselves.  Years later, when my cup was running over, I learned to “just say no” and move on.  I refuse to feel bad if I just can’t do another thing.

Screaming young mother fed up with doing the laundry, holding her crying child and talking on the phone in the same time.

Let’s all take a step back – breathe…. And live our lives for the moment – for our own emotional and physical wellbeing.  Let’s do what’s right for us for that moment… and it could very well be not doing anything – and learning to realize that’s okay, too.  We are not being selfish …. we are taking care of ourselves because as we all have learned, we will never be any good for anyone else if we are not taking care of ourselves first!  This moment… whether good or bad – will not last forever!

“Accept where you are, accept what you have, accept who you are ~ do what you can with all of that and let it be enough.” (Nikki Rowe)

Butterfly.3

And please remember…

“Self-care is not selfish.  You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”  (Eleanor Brownn)

So let’s all practice a little self-care this week, so we can take care of each other … wishing you a blessed and peaceful week –

~Clare

 

Author
Clare is a 57-year-old fun loving Italian-American self-proclaimed “Jersey Girl” who believes, “Life ain’t easy street. Life is one of those crazy little city streets, complete with potholes that could swallow your car.” With one foot planted in fun and the other planted firmly in her Christian faith, Clare enjoys making people laugh while helping them navigate life’s “crazy little city streets”. Clare has raised two girls (now grown young adults) with her husband, Michial, Clare is ready to take on the challenges of making new friends through her blog, Life Ain’t Easy Street. With an aim to entertain while addressing topics important to women, Clare’s focus on the positive power of good stories, good friends, inspiring women, and strong faith will have you looking forward to reading the next post. Clare is a freelance writer who lives a real life in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

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25 Comments

  • Pam Bovee says:

    Hi Clare, Yes, I need to take time for me. Like you said, you have to take care of yourself. I work 50 – 60 hours a week to pay bills & that is for me & my family. I used to go to the gym & work out 3-4 times a week & have not been doing that & I can see & feel the difference. Sometimes just taking a walk around my neighborhood helps me to feel better. And not rushing around all the time.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, wow – it sounds like you are working lots and lots, Pam! I hope you can take a break, breathe and take a walk around your neighborhood too! Good reminder for me too, to get out with the dogs around the block after work and not “rushing” all the time! Thanks! 🙂

  • marye says:

    This is exactly where I am. It’s so hard to take time for me! I do get to the gym regularly but all the things I enjoyed doing when I had less responsibilities have been put on the back burner. :/ I definitely need to prioritize!

    • Clare says:

      Oh, that is encouraging for me that you get to the gym regularly! I need to go back… even just for 30 minutes on the exercise bike would be great! It is hard to take a break with all of our responsibilities! Thanks for sharing, Marye!

  • Diana Smith says:

    Last year, I did a Bible Study titled, my Sacred NO! It was such a freeing study that explored, in depth, the rat race our society demands place on us. We examined our lives and focused on what can be done with excellence Vrs spreading ourselves so thin that not much is done with joy. It remains true that God speaks in a quiet voice and that will give us our ‘to do” list. People often pressure us to do more or be on a committee when our family needs those extra hours. Alway remember to put the oxygen mask on your face first!

    • Clare says:

      I love what you said “put the oxygen mask on your face first”! So true and glad that the Bible study was so practical and helpful! Yes, outside people do oftentimes pressure us – meaning well most of the time but we have to make choices what’s best for us at the moment, too.

  • candy says:

    Learning how to say no and not feel guilt about it was a major stumbling block. Thank goodness I over came it.

    • Clare says:

      Yes, learning how to say no is so important! I am glad you are over it. I am too – that came with a little “maturity” (my age) in my case! 🙂

  • Savannah says:

    Oh wow, this is soo true. I still struggle with saying no, and it truly is the one thing that always comes back and bites me. I end up stretched too thin, exhausted, and with absolutely no time for myself. Not healthy in the slightest. I really think this is so important to remember, and something I need to get better with. Thank you so much.

    • Clare says:

      Thanks, Savannah – I hope you will get renewed with learning how to say “no” – it’s not that easy at first…. maybe we get better at it over time? Thanks for sharing!

  • Kathy says:

    such wise and warming, countercultural words! You give me a wake up call today as I found myself fretting and guilty about some down time I’ve had, and you remind me to be grateful for just the moment and my health. How blessed you healed through all your trials, and are here to share your wise words! Visiting from Christian Bloggers Unite today!

    • Clare says:

      Yes, I am blessed! I have to remember often to stop, get some down time, get renewed! Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  • This was a beautiful post, Clare. You speak from the heart and it shows. What a good reminder to live in the moment, not take on too much and just be! Thanks for sharing. – Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

    • Clare says:

      Thanks so much, Amy. I need to remember daily to stop and try to get refreshed and renewed…. we must take some down time to get restored.

  • Heidi says:

    Thanks for this reminder! I’ve been on a journey of learning to take on less, feel responsible less, and care for myself more. Thanks for sharing this in the Facebook group today. I needed this encouragement. 🙂

  • Ohh, thank you so much for this! Whenever I’m falling apart I never think of myself thinking of it being selfish. I really needed to read this. As usual, you inspire me. 🙂

    • Clare says:

      You are not being selfish to take time for yourself… after all, we won’t be any good to anyone, our family, our kids, our friends, ourselves if we don’t catch a breath and breathe! Thanks! 🙂

  • This just speaks to my soul. I am entering a new season of life where I am learning how refreshing the word “no” is. I too taught children’s church and I LOVED it! Kids have a special place in my heart and I will always be passionate about children’s ministry. But after 4 years of teaching every other Sunday at my home church, I began to feel overwhelmed. I was planning a wedding the last 8 months and was trying to find the balance between work, church and personal life. I finally realized that I needed a season on “me time”. So I stepped down to focus on being a newlywed. It has been wonderful! I felt guilty stepping down but I knew it was the right decision for me and my husband. Although I do miss it some weeks and I will always have a heart for kids ministry, I am resting in this season of “no” and enjoying my time with Josh! 🙂

    • Clare says:

      Aw so delighted you have learned to say “no” sometimes and congratulations to you and Josh! So glad you stopped by and shared your experience and thoughts! 🙂

  • Great article. There is something about your articles that I love. We need to learn to just live in the moment and realize that at this very moment, that’s all that matters, Other’s opinions or things that may happen tomorrow, are not happening now…so just enjoy and go with the day.

    • Clare says:

      So glad you liked he post, Marvina! We are all challenged to just stop sometimes and just go wit the day…. but I am learning… I hope we all are!

  • GiGi Eats says:

    I try my very best to live in the moment because thinking about the future or about regrets from the past can be stressful and frustrating. It’s taken me a long time to adopt this mentality and at times I definitely need to CHECK myself. Right now I have a lot of things about to take place in my life, so I am definitely testing myself with living in the moment as opposed to the WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN soon way of thinking. But I mean, when planning a wedding and lots of travel, you kind of have to, right? LOL.

    AND I AM SO SO SO SO SO SO SO happy that you’re cancer free! SOOOOO BEYOND WORDS happy!

    • Clare says:

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Gigi…. and thankfully I am blessed beyond measure and cancer free… and it’s been several years now … You are entering into such an exciting time in your life! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and marriage! So exciting! 🙂

  • Sky says:

    I definitely needed to read this today. Trying to be and do everything for everyone is something I seriously struggle with and it’s put a lot of stress on my life lately. I need to learn to just accept where I am and what I can do right now – for myself and for everyone else.

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