The Importance of Filling Your Cup

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By now people are familiar with the quote: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” If you’re like me, you’ve said it to others as you encouraged them to make time for themselves, to fill their empty cup. However, are you also like me and keep chugging along on E?

I feel like for months I’ve been trying to pour from an empty cup. I’ve been worn out, impatient, and just down. I needed to fill my cup. Taking a shower each day and working out in the morning was giving me just enough to keep everyone else full but still left me feeling empty. My husband encouraged (or maybe forced) me to book myself a night away at a hotel. He’d handle the kids, I was to relax and let my cup fill up.

Let me fill you in on what this really felt like to me. I missed my husband and my kids, I thought about canceling. I dragged my feet on even going. But once I was in the hotel room, eating macarons and twizzlers (I’m pregnant, leave me be) on a bed with no one asking me to share, I understood. This was needed. I needed the time to just focus on filling my cup. I took two showers in less than 12 hours. I did my hair and my makeup. I planned out my week without my son asking for more goldfish. I read from my book without having to put it down every paragraph to fill up cups, clean up messes, or again, get more goldfish. I wasn’t surrounded by a million tasks needing my attention, I was in a clean room watching reruns of Friends.

Now this can’t be a daily/weekly/monthly activity for me. So how can I make sure I’m still filling my cup so that I can pour myself into my family, my job, my household, and not snap at a request for more goldfish? I start to carve out pockets of time to fill up my cup. What does this look like? This morning it looked like a 30 minute workout, reading from the book of Joshua, a quick meditation, reading a few pages from the book I’m reading, and few texts exchanged with friends while I write.

In 13 minutes the light will turn peach in my kids room and no doubt they’ll come running in telling me the light turned peach and that they’re very hungry. My daughter will ask me to pour her cereal first before I work on my youngest tray (as his takes the longest) and my son will proclaim he wants a waffle. As I move about the kitchen, they’ll likely fight over telling me about their dreams – if my son goes second he will have had the same dream as his big sister. So as I fly through the end of this post, watching the monitor as my youngest his starting to stir (still laying down but eyes are now open), I realize how much this is needed for so many people.

I’m blessed to be able to stay at home with my children while my husband works outside of the home. This allows me more control of my time. He’s up at four and getting ready to make time for his own workout before work – I’m able to sleep just a bit longer before getting into my me time. Not all mornings will go like this but I’m trying to bottle up this feeling of filling my cup before I tackle the day and hoping that it’ll help me keep dragging myself out of bed at five.

What fills your cup? It won’t necessarily look like my morning. It may happen at night. It may be something you indulge in over your break time at work. But please take the time to fill up your cup. Take the extra 30 minutes to work on yourself – workout, listen to music, watch your TV show, bake your favorite dessert, or just sit in a bath. We must all do better to remember that we can’t pour from an empty cup and running on E can only go on for so long. Take time for you. Fill up your cup. Cheers.

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