It's already the middle of September and I'm just now barely -- BARELY! -- getting back into the groove that is homeschooling, and being organized, and remembering that homeschooling and a clean house cannot co-exist at the same time. It takes a while to get back in the saddle as you know.
But as I'm crawling back up to optimal performance levels from a summer of differing routines and holidays, I've found that two things that I neglected over the summer have a lot more in common than I thought. Those two things are getting my hair cut and getting to spiritual direction. I know they seem on opposite universes but they are both pretty important to my overall well-being and mental health. They're two cornerstones of "self-care"(why do I hate using that term?) that I need to keep up with but over the course of the summer I just let them both slide.
First, my hair. I complained about it over the summer as it got frizzier and frizzer. It would be uncontrollably voluminous one day, flat as a pancake the next. By August no straight iron, hair dryer, or curling wand could make a dent in the ferocious mane. I was stuck with top knots and a variety of boring with a side of boring ponytails. And yet I was still questioning why my hair was so bad. I wanted my hair to still look good approximately four months after having it cut. I'm not super high maintenance, nor is my hair, but at the length it is right now my hair just won't look cute anymore after about 2 months post haircut. But still I didn't clue in really to the fact that because I wasn't really maintaining my hair and maybe that had something to do with the sorry state of my spilt ends.
The same thing has happened to making time for my bi-monthly spiritual direction appointment. Things would come up, my weeks never looked the same, babysitters were on vacation, I just didn't make the appointment for over four months. And yet over the summer I wondered why I kept coming up against the same issues of anxiety, the same inability to see which choices would be best to make, the same habits of anger that I wouldn't even think to pray about.
Just like my hair being unmanageable and full of split ends, I was seeing split ends in my prayer life. I wasn't making time for small moments of prayer. I felt unguided in prayer, I would just look for the easy top knot of prayer, go through the motions, and not bother going farther than that. It just wasn't working for me and suddenly it dawned on me that I hadn't visited my spiritual director in months and maybe that's why I was getting sidetracked and bogged down in my own head. What a concept! What an epiphany! These things that I think I can put off indefinitely have direct consequences that build and build until I'm really in the weeds when it comes to looking half decent, and having a functioning prayer life.
This isn't an epiphany to you, I know, but I thought I should spill the beans on how a really wonderful, busy, fun, memorable summer with the kids and living the happy-go-lucky, carefree, off-from-homeschooling summer made me lazy when it came to making time for myself. The hardest part is making the appointment and putting it on the calendar, and since I've done that with both it's amazing how much better my hair looks and how much easier it is to put a little time and effort into praying everyday.
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