Today I woke up at 5 a.m.
I looked at the window over my bed to check if it was dawn yet.
But it was still dark. I looked at my phone, and it was only 5 a.m. The world was calm outside, the birds weren’t even chirping yet, but my mind was filled with racing thoughts.
“I need to get up. The dogs must be bored by now. I need to walk them and play with them. I need to make breakfast. I need to wash the dishes that I disregarded yesterday. I need to stick to my word and ride my bicycle before starting work. What about running? I should go back to running. Is it raining? I need to bring the newly planted seeds inside. Are three hours enough to do all of this before I start work at 8 a.m.?”
Then I stopped in my tracks and seriously asked myself, “What the f*ck, Elyane?”
I was still half asleep and look what I was doing—pressuring myself to get up while I really wanted to go back to sleep.
Half unconscious, I said to myself something I rarely say, “Girl, you deserve to rest. Go back to sleep.”
And I did. I woke up at 6:30 a.m., feeling more comfortable and ready to start my day—my way.
I don’t know about you, but I’m famous for giving myself a hard time. I can be smooth, understanding, and forgiving with myself, but on some days I can be quite tough on her.
Why am I putting on myself this pressure to do all this stuff? I bet the dogs were enjoying their sleep at 5 a.m. more than I did; I don’t see any police standing on the sink waiting to arrest me if I don’t wash the dishes by 6 a.m.; the newly planted seeds will be just fine; if I don’t cycle today, I can cycle tomorrow; and it’s completely okay to have breakfast by 9 instead of 7 a.m.
I’m new at this, but I should stop doing stuff I don’t feel like doing right now—stuff that can wait. Instead, I’m showing up for myself by doing what brings me comfort in my present moment; right here, right now.
Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow I might feel like doing all of the above and more. But not today.
It’s good to motivate ourselves. It’s good to make a to-do list. It’s good to finish tasks and start new ones. But do you know what’s also good? Knowing when to give ourselves the rest that our bodies and minds need. Now that, my loves, should be on top of our to-do list.
For one day, maybe for a few hours, maybe just for one minute, I have the complete freedom to be myself without any obstructions. And today, I love myself. I am myself.
I deserve to stay in bed for as long as I want to gain the mental and emotional readiness I need to start my day.
I deserve to keep my hair messy, stay in my hippie pants, and wear my sweater for two days in a row because I feel too tired to change it.
I’m leaving my eyeliner as is—imperfect, not in place, and smudged. So what?
I deserve to leave the dishes in the sink for a few more hours and maybe a few more days because frankly and straightforwardly, I just don’t feel like standing there and washing them.
And I don’t want to make my bed today. Just like I enjoy the sight of it tidy and clean every single morning, today I deserve to see it messy with a random pair of socks on it.
And though I said no more pizza every single week, tonight I’m making one. I want the dough crusty and the basil fresh from my garden.
Oh, speaking of which, I can see that my plants need water, but I think they can wait for a few more hours or one more day. It’s too hot outside during the day and it’s too cold at night and my body doesn’t feel ready to experience either temperatures. As a matter of fact, I just googled this and my plants would only shrink if I don’t water them for one day. They won’t die—so they’ll survive without me today.
And I’m not even riding my bicycle. My thighs are still too sore from yesterday’s ride, but hey, I’m crossing this one off my to-do list.
I surely deserve some time away from friends. If someone calls me to come over tonight, I will politely take a rain check because I want to spread my legs wide open on the living room table, watch a movie, maybe read a book, and feel comfortable enough to just stare at the ceiling and do nothing.
Also, I deserve to be a little sensitive. I want to cry for no particular reason, knowing my husband will ask me if I’m okay and I will tell him, “I’m fine, baby, I’m just overworked and I’m feeling particularly sensitive today, so I just feel like crying,” and I know he will hold me and tell me it’s okay.
I’m not answering my phone either—because I don’t feel like it.
I won’t even walk the dogs today. Are you kidding? This is the only thing I’m glad to do every single hour. So let’s skip this one.
Hey, you. I know you know the feeling all too well. Right? So how do you feel today? Or this hour? What do you want to be or do or feel this exact minute?
Be you. Please, give yourself what you deserve right now.