I had a conversation with a friend yesterday, and we both admitted to being overwhelmed.
We talked about never having enough time, often feeling “less than” and, the hardest woe with which to cope, guilt.
It is so much easier to see problems and solutions from the outside. For example, as my friend and I spoke, I encouraged her, sincerely and from the bottom of my heart, telling her that she is doing a fantastic job in every aspect of her life. I also told her that she had to take the time to take care of herself and offered some advice and help.
I spoke to her about my own stressors. This week, I am moving, both of my kids are starting new camps, I have the book’s manuscript to finish, blog partnerships to make and maintain, relationships to tend to and one area consistently gets put last: my needs.
And here is the kicker: All of the things that I just wrote about—the things that are making me feel so overwhelmed—are all good things. They are blessings and I am so fortunate to be making these positive life changes. And that makes the bad feel even worse. I am supposed to be happy, and when I am not, I feel guilty.
At one point in the conversation I said the following, which, again, is easier said in theory than in practice:
“We have to remember. We are just humans. It would be so much easier if things were in perfect equations. If “us” + “a good thing” = HAPPINESS. And when that equation isn’t perfect the guilt is enormous.”
We have to remember to take care of ourselves, and it can be hard to remember to do so and even harder to find ways in which we can.
I was lucky enough to find one in the form of a fantastic restaurant with a message that resonates so profoundly with me: Fuel, whose tagline is “Recharge Yourself”.
Fuel is often what I am missing in my life, as I am so busy with my daily tasks and tumult that I forget to nourish myself properly, and that is not okay. Without the proper nutrition, I don’t have energy, my brain doesn’t function well and I veer way way way off of my path towards physical recovery from my hard times.
I first found Fuel this past winter and Rocco, the sweet, charismatic owner sat with me, and he spoke to me with two things I admire most in a person: passion and integrity. He was clearly not selling me on a business, though he has created an incredibly successful one. He explained to me his philosophy about taking care of one’s body and one’s whole self. About allowing us to recharge as humans.
This message spoke to me, specifically, as someone who is a) often depleted and b) a mother. His restaurants are designed to be kid friendly, and I was enamored with the bright, fun décor, like the fake grass growing from the counters and the neon tables and chairs. It was like a playground for health.
I am always looking for a place to take my (sometimes rowdy) children, and Rocco explained to me that Fuel has it’s own, modern-day juke box of sorts: when you go into the restaurant you can hook up wirelessly to their sound system and request the songs you want played over the speakers, just from your phone.
Since I first met Rocco for our shared smoothies at Fuel I have been in many times, sometimes for a healthy, balanced meal (and I always order the dessert!) which is an integral part of my wellness plan, and sometimes, simply for a cup of tea, as it is a peaceful place in which to sit and chat, write or, just simply recharge.
And, as predicted, every time I have visited Fuel I have seen kids, enjoying their food, juices, smoothies and the colorful world around them.
Today, in the midst of my overbooked day, I stopped into Fuel once again for a smoothie and snack. I couldn’t choose between the smoothies, so I double fisted. I mean, if I am going to recharge, go big or go home, right? I had the Green Tea Matcha (which was voted the best pre-workout drink) made from Japanese Green Tea Matcha and skim milk and the Protein Buster made from skim milk, peanut butter, banana, honey, & 25g. of Whey Protein (which, if you need something more substantial I highly recommend). I was surrounded by a great mix of families, individuals working and couples lunching. It was quiet enough for me to do some work while my smoothies were blended, but vibrant enough to keep me feeling up and bright.
One of the best parts of visiting my particular Fuel location in Ardmore? Clearly the manager, Jamyl, whose personality is as bold and beautiful as the store itself.
I took my smoothies to go and sat outside for a bit, savoring the few extra minutes in my day that I had taken to fuel my body.
When I finally pried myself away from my brief reprieve from life, I drove back to the new house, handled projects with (and I just counted) 12 different contractors, picked up my kids from camps that both ended at the exact same time and strung approximately 700 dangly crystal things on this light fixture that I just had installed in our new entrance hallway.
(in case you are wondering, it was purchased here)
But, I will admit, I felt virtuous, like I had really done something good for myself, knowing that I had nourished myself, and put fuel in my own gas tank (pun possibly intended).
Being a human being is hard. We are all just doing our best. Sometimes, life is easier than others. Sometimes, the grass in someone else’s yard looks greener, but we have no idea what goes on behind closed doors; behind a person’s eyes. All that we can do is our best.
And, for me and my friend, we did that today. We checked in via text throughout the day, sending each other words of encouragement. She took the time out of her day to do a little something for herself and it was therapeutic. I am so so glad. I took a little break to hit up Fuel for some nourishment. Was there more that I could have accomplished today? More pages written, more crystals hung? Perhaps, but there’s always tomorrow.
So, if you are reading this, I hope that it serves as a reminder to go just a bit easier on yourself;
to let go of even 1% of the guilt if possible;
to take care of you.
Because you may be juggling a million balls, and some of those balls may be people, but without you, they don’t got nothing. So put you first.
And that’s an order.
With a full heart and full belly–
(This post was written in partnership with Fuel: Recharge Yourself. All opinions were, as always, honest and 100% my own.)