Reverb 14 | Prompt 9 | The Plank

#reverb14 is a prompt-a-day series for the month of December that is meant to give us all the chance to reflect on 2014 and the opportunity to write down our hopes and dreams for the coming year. Through December 31st Meredith,Sarah and I will be posting each day with a new prompt. Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.

The Plank: It has been said that you must learn to take care of yourself before you can be effective at taking care of others.  How did you take care of yourself in 2014?  How will you take care of yourself in 2015?

This year, I embraced the rule of two-thirds.  You see, there are three things that are important to me each day when I get home from work:

  1. Spending quality time with Marcus.
  2. Cooking a fresh dinner (or seeing friends).
  3. Working out.

On the great days, I will be successful at all three.  But on the stressful days, the long days, the frustrating days?  I can be good at exactly two of these three things and that is pushing it.

No matter what is happening in the world (and life!) outside of our home, my marriage to Marcus is the most important thing.  There is no giving it two-thirds of my attention.  It is an all-or-nothing arrangement.  Putting us first and everything else second is what drove me to run the 10 mile instead of the marathon.  It is what compelled me to lay in a stash of hot dogs and chicken sausages for the nights where there wasn’t time for anything more than a fast meal.  I know I can have a really great workout or that I can cook a really elaborate dinner, but I also know that I cannot have them both.

So for me, so much of self-care is creating a space where I can be successful at the task at hand.  As we all know, I am an expert at creating unrealistic expectations and then forcing them on myself, which helps absolutely no one.  I end up stressed, nothing gets done, and Marcus has to comfort me.  The two-thirds rule has made it easier for me to identify when and where I’m spreading myself a little too thin, so that I can re-focus on the things that are most important.  That is where my energy and my effort should be going.

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