I tended to my lawn in the rain this morning. My daughter was settled in the house with her favorite show on Netflix, a bowl of cheerios, and her juice. A soft, steady rain was falling and I had an idea.
Something was calling to me and so I ignored the cold I have, the body aches and the exhaustion and headed outside. The warm rain felt perfect for growing things. I raked the leaves from our neighbors magnolia tree, gathered them up and set them at the curb. Then I spread the lawn feed over the area I was tending. We’re putting our house on the market this week and the lawn isn’t looking its best. I rolled the feed back and forth in the warm drizzle and then pulled the bags of compost out of the garage. For a little over an hour I scooped compost out of the bags with my hands and onto the lawn.
The idea is that the rain/feed/compost combo will nourish the grass and the grass will green up in time for pictures to be taken.
The work wasn’t hard, just repetitive. Meditative, actually, and so I began to think. Why had I never done this before?
Why wasn’t it important to care for our lawn until we were selling the house?
This was the latest in a line of upgrades we made to our home in preparation for the sale. I keep joking that we’re making the house really nice for someone else because no one would buy what we were living in.
So, why are these possible buyers worthy or new floors and bright walls, but we weren’t?
Why are they worthy of a lush green lawn?
Why are they worthy of clear countertops and upgraded bathrooms?
If you haven’t caught on yet - this isn’t really about my house. (But if you’d like to buy my house please send me an email!) This is about me. This is about all of us.
When was the last time you did something to care for yourself?
I see this all the time after a divorce. There’s a mourning period and then a rebirth. All of a sudden there are upgrades.
Going out with friends.
Focusing on herself.
I also see it during a serious illness, in the lead up to a big birthday, in reaction to a job loss, or when a child graduates from college. There are certain life events that activate us to care for ourselves, to refocus on ourselves. All of a sudden we start fixing up our houses.
But the truth is that we were always worthy. We were worthy of the time, the expense, the inconvenience - all the things that used to be excuses for why we didn’t care for ourselves.
There has never been a time when we weren’t worth it.
So how do we care for ourselves regularly? How do we get that ‘new home feeling’ in our lives without going through a major upheaval?
This is where radical caring comes in. It’s time to go back to basics. It’s time to put ourselves in the center of our own lives and to care for ourselves as if we are worth it.
Next week we begin #TheSummerOfMom Challenge.
For one week mothers around the world will come together to focus on our own self-care in a deep, radical way. We’re going to talk to each other, we’re going to listen to each other, we’re going to share our hopes and dreams for this summer. Some of us will discover what it is that we really want for the very first time.
This isn’t about finding fun things to do with the kids. This isn’t about getting your child into camp at the last minute, or 101 crafting ideas for preschoolers. This isn’t even about summer date night plans with your partner. This is about YOU.
In five days we are going to create Summer Sur-Thrival Plans that will change the focus of our summer. We are not going to wait until our ‘houses’ are up for sale to spend time, energy, and attention caring for them. No. We are going to show ourselves the love and care that we deserve NOW.
Join us. Sign on to the challenge now and help us to spread the word.
You have the time.
You can do this.
You are worth this.
Are you ready to make this #TheSummerOfMom?