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So my husband used to have a Little Debbie snack drawer, in his dresser, when he was younger.  He would sneak boxes of confection up to his room to stock up on sweets to eat later then there wasn’t an authority figure around to keep him from his unlimited buffet of cakes, oatmeal pies and swiss cake rolls.  It was the bottom drawer of his dresser and it has been a family joke for years among his parents and brother.  I thought it was funny, myself, until I had to commit the same action.  Yes, I have a problem to admit…I hide in my closet to consume junk food and wine.  There I said it…I hide and eat so my children will not ask me to share.  Sometimes when I can get away from the house childless, I’ll secretly go through a fast food drive-through to fulfill my cravings for junk and then I’ll drive around eating the evidence and then disposing of the trash before arriving home.  

So is this about food…not necessarily…it is about having time alone to enjoy something that is pleasant without feeling guilty or providing justification because it goes against the examples we are trying to set as responsible adults.   It’s about being me, Krista, away from being Krista the wife, mother, source of intelligent life (ok, I’m going a bit far with that one).  When you become a member of a family, you become THE family.  As a caregiver, you lose what makes you an individual because your sense of self becomes about those you are caring for.  You become selfless which is admirable; however, it is important to keep your needs, your wants/desires/interests, your non-negotiables part of your daily life.  These are usually the first to go and we tend to forget how important and instrumental these are to our sanity until they cease to exist and we find ourselves burned out, resentful and emotionally drained.  We then hide for a few minutes of quiet, solitude in a closet, bathroom, laundry room…all places we think THEY will not find us.  Well, I’m here to tell you, THEY WILL FIND YOU!!!

So what am I getting at?  Well, I am making the argument that if you are happy, your family will be happy.  Incorporating non-negotiables (activities you can do each day that give you physical, mental, spiritual and emotional peace) will help you navigate the day when you have fulfilled your needs first. It isn’t selfish to think about yourself and your well-being.  It is selfish to not think about those things.  I spent years running myself into the ground tending to children and my business and never having anything left for friends, other family, my husband…let alone myself.  I would be exhausted, resentful and irritable.  Does this sound familiar?  If not, you have the non-negotiables and you are using them.  If reading this makes you feel like you are literally looking in the mirror, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!  Your children, husband, other humans, animals, etc. will not cease to exist if you take ten minutes to quietly meditate, 30 minutes to read a book/take a nap/listen to music.  Life will still be there when you return mentally to it but it will be more tolerable…even enjoyable. 

I will be the first to admit that I don’t consistently practice what I preach; however, I have my daily non-negotiables that must be complete for my sanity.  You see, I’m a bit of an extremist, if I want donuts, I want to eat them in peace (with a glass of wine – and yes, this is at night – not reduced to day drinking yet) without the constant, “Mom, can I have one?  Are you going to eat that?  Can I have a taste (as said child sniffs loudly and tries to lick it to make it unappetizing to me)?”  It’s about having something just for myself and at times, it is childish.  To be perfectly honest, I don’t want to share.  There are a few things I don’t want to HAVE TO SHARE.  
By social standards, just for admitting that I would be publicly judged for not demonstrating what we are expected to teach children, “You must share in all circumstances”.  For my sanity, I have learned in my old young age that that is not necessarily true.  Sometimes, we need something all to ourselves to feel fulfilled, to feel relief, to be able to just breathe.  So if hiding in my closet with a package of donuts/peanut M&Ms/dark chocolate bars with a glass of wine that pairs well (yes, I do have standards), then I’m going to do it.  So, where will you hide?  When will you drop the gauntlet on your non-negotiables?  Come to this side of the street, the grass really is greener.

If you are moved to action by my blog, please comment below with your list of non-negotiables.  If you would like to see how much can change your quality of life and perspective, visit my new website, www.iamflawsome.me or email me at krista@iamflawsome.me  and I will start the journey with you.  

If you are interested in music lessons and how they will change your quality of life and improve your mental health, visit our website:  www.garrettmusicacademy.com or email info@garrettmusicacademy.com and we can enroll you or any member of your family for private music lessons for any instrument including voice.  Be sure to follow us on social media as well on Facebook (@garrettmusicacademy) and Instagram (@thegarrettmusicacademy).

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