Hello everyone! The Unleashed One here. I hope everyone is feeling alright. Before I hope into Affirmation August, I wanted to give everyone a brief update on how my activity level has been since the 10K step challenge concluded.
Before, my daily walking goal was 7,000 steps. After the challenge ended, I decided to raise it to 7,500. For the most part, I have been maintaining the goal, even had moments of going over the goal. I may tinker with increasing it to 8,000 within the next couple of months if I continue to be consistent with not only making 7,500 daily but exceeding it more times than not.
Okay, on with the show.
A few days ago, I announced on my Instagram (@antiquatedhybrid) as well as on my No Labels Unleashed Facebook page that I was going to dedicate this month to "Affirmations August".
Since I don't want to assume that everyone knows what an affirmation is, the best way to go about this is to break down what the term "affirm" means.
Therefore, an affirmation (in the way that I'm using it) is a positive statement used for validation.
One tool that has really helped me in dealing with feelings of failure, inadequacy, uncertainty, anxiety, depression ... overall, any situation that has made me experience ickiness ... is the use of affirmations. Some people have a book of them. Others may have some on audio or video which they refer to.
Since I am a very visual person and I gravitate to statements which I can identify with, I have index cards of affirmations in various spots in my bedroom.
For this entire month, I'm inviting you into my bedroom via 15 Affirmations—the ones which are the most prevalent in my day-to-day. For those which may trigger, I will be mindful and put a warning or disclaimer, but I believe what I've selected is a balance between those that make you chuckle and those that tug at the heart.
Rest. It sounds simple right? Leave it to me to make something which sounds and looks simple seem complicated.
Let's take a trip down Memory Lane, back to my roots. Back to Mississippi, living with my grandma and grandpa. In my eyes, my late grandfather was one of the hardest working men I've ever encountered. He would, as they say, rise with the chickens, already having a list of things to do in his head, which I imagine went something like this:
(b) Running errands in the car
(c) Visiting with neighbors before returning to the house
(d) Yardwork that had nothing to do with the garden
(e) More garden duties
(f) Watching a little TV
(h) Repeat A-G
My grandma, in her prime, also a very busy individual. I felt like it was a cycle of maintaining the inside of the home in any way possible. I was taught early how important it was to keep things clean and in the proper place. I learned that there was no downtime unless all of the important stuff was completed. If the important stuff wasn't finished, then you would sleep and pick up where you left off the next day.
In our home, laundry didn't pile up extensively. I still remember using the small white tub (that used to be my tub when I was a baby), taking clothes out of the washing machine, and hanging them on the clothesline outside. Laundry was an all-day event. The clothes were brought in before the sunset and they would be folded that instant and put in drawers or on hangers. No leaving the clothes in the hamper until the next laundry day.
The message that stuck with me:
Rest and fun could wait. Everything else is first.
Even when I wasn't a busybody at home, I stayed busy with school—extracurricular activities and the like. Perhaps doing the most and overachiever was in my DNA. Or I was trying to break a cycle and stigma from previous generations. Whatever the case, there wasn't a lot of playing going on. I had things to do and every millisecond of time had to be utilized efficiently and effectively. Otherwise, it seemed like a waste.
The message that was on repeat:
Maximize every second.
You don't have time to waste time.
Resting is a waste of time.
Resting means you're lazy.
As the years progressed, I encountered careers where the ability to multitask and make sacrifices were requirements for me to have the job. I have always taken pride in my performance and proactive in developing ideas to improve my surroundings, not just for myself but for the entire team. Unfortunately, not everyone was as concerned about improvement, morale, and quality as I.
I was manager at this one establishment that required you to work, no matter what the weather conditions, even in a State of Emergency. As expected, many members of my team called out that day, so I had to do double duty by being on the road and the inside. On my way back to the store, I lost control of my vehicle as I was making a turn, spun around a few times, then hit the embankment. I temporarily lost consciousness but when I came to, the police were helping me out of my truck.
As it turned out, half of the truck was teetering. Luckily, it didn't topple over but if it had, I wouldn't be typing this today. After assuring the emergency crew that I didn't need to go to the hospital, I slowly made my way back to the store but let the district manager know that I couldn't continue working that day. I was too shaken up. It was just overwhelming.
He and the franchise owner acted as if they understood. Little did I know that one event changed how they viewed me. To them, it spoke to a lack of dependability in a crisis. A crisis where the governor of the state was telling people to not be on the roads. Less than a month later, I was let go, after dedicating countless hours to the organization for almost six years.
My devotion meant nothing. I was dispensable.
This event was the beginning of a reshaping. A reshaping of how I viewed rest.
Don't get me wrong. I was pissed to the high heavens when I was let go. However, in hindsight, I realized that although the money during that time was great, there were other things I missed out on.
- I missed out on being home a lot. On the days when I worked back to back shifts or double shifts, I wouldn't even make the commute back home. I literally had a little spot and a back-up outfit during those days.
- I didn't have much time to decorate my home. Yeah, I was in the midst of a move, but the important stuff got unpacked. The rest I didn't get the opportunity to unbox until I lost my job.
- Every day was a blur. I rarely slept. I can't remember what I ate most days. I was too busy calculating the tasks to do for the next day.
- There was no time for any personal stuff, much less fun.
Also, in the midst of this, was when I got my diagnosis as a Type 2 diabetic, but because my insurance situation was now unstable, that impacted how well (or how horrible, depending on how one looks at it) I was able to manage. Being sick is not cheap. It is even more expensive when you have mediocre or no insurance. How can you pay $165 for a doctor visit if you need it to pay a bill or buy food? If you have to choose between gas in your car, so you can go look for a job, and going without medication, what do you do? People have to juggle these decisions daily, and when I was at my lowest points in life, I had to as well.
I do believe going through this strife was an awakening. To show me these lessons:
💚I can't love making money more than I love myself. I can't take money with me, and even if I did arrange to have it buried with me, what good would it do there?
💚I have to take time to rest so I can refresh and be at my best.
💚I should actually listen to my body when it's first telling me to slow down and sit down. Because when I don't, then my body makes me (and not in a good way).
💚It's not the end of the world if a certain activity doesn't get done right then and there.
💚The only wasted time is time I don't take for self-care.
It can be hard to break old habits, but when I find myself backsliding, I look to the Affirmation Card, which is located right near my bed ... and then I sit my behind on down somewhere.