Lisa R. Howeler

Freelance Writer & Photographer

There is usually at least one big blow up from me at bedtime on school nights and it’s usually directed at the 3-year old who thinks bedtime is playtime. I know it’s my own fault for trying to put two children with an eight year age gap to bed at the same time. I know it’s my fault for not remembering she’s three and that winding down to the point of relaxation can be hard for a toddler.

And I know it’s also my fault for not finding a little more free time for myself where my soul can be still and listen to my heart. 

After I’ve stomped away to pout and decompress in the bathroom on those crazy nights, I usually remind myself of all these things I should remember.

She’s exhausting and frustrating but I would never give up the playful moments we share between somewhat tired and incredibly exhausted nor the quiet moments when she finally gives in. I love to hear her and her brother’s giggles and watch her jump “jus’ one more time,” for the tenth time.

I love to feel her body tiny, warm, solid and completely surrendered to relaxation and rest against me. The moment I look down and see her eyes closed and her face relaxed is  full of internal elation because once she’s asleep I can have a little bit of free time for myself, if I’m not too tired.

Many times the free time I do find myself with is so short I try to do too much – watch a show, edit photos and write a blog post all at the same time. In the end I often find I have accomplished very little and my head is a jumbled mess of thoughts and sheer panic that I won’t have time to do all I need or want to do.

My goal this next year is to choose one task I want to finish in that golden hour between when the two of them fall asleep and my eyelids won’t stay open anymore.

Today I chose blogging during her nap. At bedtime it may be catching up on a favorite show (of which I have only a few) or reading a chapter in a book or listening to a podcast. Whatever I choose I am grateful for those little moments of mental rest when my soul gets some much needed attention.

How do you step away to recharge your soul?

Or do you?

If not, make that your goal this week. Find time to make space for your thoughts, your feelings and for your soul to breathe.

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