Today, when my alarm went off at 4:35, it felt like trying to get up in the middle of the night for a flight. Mostly asleep, I carefully rolled out of bed and into the bathroom to brush my teeth.
Walking down the stairs and into the kitchen, the coffeepot typically begins brewing (a fine-tuned system I have aka timer). This morning the light was on, but no coffee was brewing. Turns out I forgot to add the water last night. I add the water, and sit down thinking, "this feels like night. I should go back to bed." All of a sudden it's like two sleepy figures appear on my shoulders, a minimally awake angel and a growly devil.
"Go back to sleep, you deserve it"
"Think of all you could accomplish if you started now"
"You can do it later, it's not that much"
and so on..
As I'm waiting for the drip of the pot to be enough that I can take a cup, I look to the long dining room table my dad and I built. Topped with things we either need to ship back, put away, or throw away- my eyes wander to the massive laundry piled in a basket I've set there. (It's up there because Remi loves to remove things from where they belong, and then get bored and move on).
Almost concurrently, the pot has enough coffee and the figures disappear as I get up to retrieve a cup that will warm my hands. I grab the basket of laundry and place it on the floor near the island. Clearing the island I remember there is another load in the dryer. Lopping the newest clean load on the current one I begin folding in piles according to owner. (I may or may not have practiced squats while picking up handfuls of clothes from the basket - multitasking at it's finest)
As I'm folding I'm thinking, this process is so similar to self care. Not that folding laundry is self care, though technically I suppose it is. These pieces of clothing we use to keep ourselves warm and clean -or at least not stinky- have to be washed regularly. In order to know where they are next time we need them, they then get folded and put away. Imagine only doing laundry once a quarter. Not only would we run out of clothes (hopefully), but the idea of beginning laundry would at some point becoming incredibly overwhelming.
So we maintain. Sometimes we get ahead of the game, but it's a constant intentional effort for balance. We've all had that load of laundry in the wash that we forget about and have to rewash multiple times in order to get it back to a somewhat normal state. Caring for our bodies through nutrition is the same kind of game.
Balance is a greater concept of importance to me now than I've ever previously realized. Balance of cost, time, energy, skill level versus trying something new, and willingness to be consistent. And consistency pays off. Balance pays off. Prioritizing our health and strength and those things for our families pays off. They learn what hard work, self care and consistency truly mean when they see us doing it.
Balance & Consistency. It's kind of like laundry.