Monday, November 09, 2009

Designer’s Life

A couple of times a year we have the opportunity to write an article for the ScrapGirls newsletter. Today was my turn. I know this is a theme I’ve already talked about on here, but I thought I’d share the article with you anyway.




It's Time to Take Care of Me


During a class recently, someone said to make sure to get enough water and sleep. She encouraged us to take care of ourselves physically, so that we can be the best that we can be.

I agreed with her and didn't think much more about it - until later. She had given us some questions in class to ponder and, as I sat down to really think about them, I realized I couldn't even think. I realized how tired I was, how much my back and head hurt, and just how terrible I was feeling physically. I had been getting to bed late at night and still trying to get up really early in the morning. Many of those nights I had been woken up by children, too. I had been eating terrible in contrast to a few weeks ago when I was only eating good, wholesome food and my body could feel it.

Suddenly, the comments about making sure I was drinking water and getting enough sleep became significant. I realized how little importance I gave to making sure that my physical body is being taken care of more than anything else. I need to be giving all my time and energy to making sure that I'm eating well, getting to bed early, drinking lots of water, exercising and giving my body a break.

I realized that by not doing so, I was only able to do things half-heartedly rather than giving my best and my absolute all. I couldn't be creative because my mind couldn't even think, let alone come up with creative ideas and solutions. My temperament was short with my children, which could lead to lots of other problems. My spiritual side was suffering because I would fall asleep during prayers or scripture study, or only give a half-hearted attempt. Mentally, I was not there fully. Physically, I was running on low gas. I did not have the energy to do all I needed to do, but also to just play and have fun. I was also feeling side effects like headaches, back pains and the consequences of poor eating habits. My emotional side was running really strong. It seemed to get stronger when I was tired and run down - every problem, decision or response was bigger than it needed to be.

Everything was lacking and only done in a half-hearted way because I had neglected to take care of my body. This physical body has a much bigger role and importance in our life than we give it. We try to push it beyond what it can do. We abuse it and don't give it the care it needs. We don't give it rest and somehow expect that by doing all this we should be performing at our absolute best.

No more, I decided. Taking care of this physical body MUST become first in my priorities - the very first. I cannot give my best and my all to my family until I do. I cannot love God with all my heart and develop a strong spiritual life if I don't. I can't be creative and really develop my talents and come up with new ideas if I don't. Plus, I won't live a long life if I don't. I cannot be the best me until this physical body is taken care of.

My priorities have changed. I am trying to go to bed early, so I can rise early. I have been exercising every day to build and strengthen my body, but also to hopefully maintain a healthier weight. I am trying to be more conscious about what food I am putting into my mouth and how much I eat. I am trying to make sure I drink lots and lots of water.

The result? I am already starting to feel better. I am seeing a difference. I am more patient with my children. I'm not an emotional time bomb. I'm not as stressed. I have felt my spiritual side improve. I feel like I'm being a better me, a better mother, wife, disciple, friend and artist.

Do I succeed at this every day? No. Some days, I still stay up really late with my husband and feel the consequences the next day. Some days, I still eat junk food and feel it in my system. Some days, I add too much to my plate and stress myself out.

The difference though? I'm finally aware of it. I'm finally aware of what my body is telling me. It's about time - time to take care of me, so I can take care of them.

My favorite product I have designed: Holy Night Collection



For many reasons, this will probably always be my favorite collection. When I created it, I wanted to create a collection about the real and true meaning of Christmas. I wanted it to have the feel of the sacred and incredible event that it was. While designing, it was one of the few kits that I've ever done that flowed easily from beginning to end and it turned out better than I ever hoped. It is the only kit where I got to truly share a huge part of myself, my faith and my love for the Lord, together in a finished collection. It's also the only collection I didn't care whether or not I sold any. I created it for Him, in recognition of what happened that Holy Night in Bethlehem and what is truly the most important thing in this world - the gift of His son.


Laurel said...

Loved reading this in the NL today, Shalae. What a good reminder. And that layout is simply stunning. The whole collection is, and I think you did an amazing job with it. :)

Kate England | Marmalade Moon said...

I'm just so happy to hear you are taking care of yourself!

I know this might sound silly, but I've been trying to do the same and this thought popped into my head "nobody else can do it for me"! And it's true... And of course I can give more, when I receive too...

Anyway, very glad to hear you are feeling much more in balance, both with your body, spiritual life and as a mum!

Take care!

Rebekah said...

This layout is really beautiful, Shalae.