I had to shut it all the way down this week.My energy was totally depleted & I found myself physically and emotionally exhausted.

Between an incredibly full schedule last week, an emotionally draining conversation over the weekend, entertaining out of town guests, new work projects, late night conversations and Charlottesville having me really feel enraged, once again, at the plight of being black in this country... my damn cup was empty, y'all. 

Like, not even a drop left in that thing.And it was no ones fault but my own.

To quote Auntie Maxine, I (desperately) needed to reclaim my time.

So I said no to work, to friends, and cancelled dinner dates.

I filled my refrigerator with food Monday afternoon, spent the evening listening to a book on tape while lounging in a massive bubble bath, and then climbed my naked, ashy ass into bed & stayed there for 3 days.

And it was everything.

I didn't return any emails, work related or otherwise. Didn't leave the house. Didn't open the drapes. Didn't really leave my bed except for food.

My only plan? Resting until I felt like I didn't need to rest anymore.

Taking care of myself. Recentering. Recuperating.Reclaiming my time.

Because somehow I got way off track over the last 2 weeks. Didn't do a great job of monitoring my input vs. my output. Started giving people more of myself than what I actually had to give. And it left me feeling like shit. 

And while self care is this idea people seem to love in theory,they don't always love it in practice. We seem to feel VERY entitled to each other's time. That oururgent needs means others should adapt to our schedules. That taking days to rest your body & mind--when you're not actually sick--is an indulgent luxury when in fact...

it should be standard practice.

Because allowing your cup to get all the way empty is unhealthy. And dangerous. 

I love to talk about this because I know that I'm not the only one who sometimes forgets that I have the right to say no...but that's the only way we can truly reclaim our time.

No, I will not allow you to manage my time. No, I will not put my needs on the back burner. No, I won't apologize for needing a break. 

People like other people who like themselves.And you know how you like yourself?By making you a priority.Putting your needs first, even if it's inconvenient for others.

Because "reclaiming my time" is really more than just a catch phrase--it's a call to action. A reminder that you are the guardian of the time that's been given to you while you're on this earth. 

It is YOURS. It belongs to YOU. And it's your responsibility to manage it, direct it, decrease it, or increase it, as you see fit.

But you must be the one to do it. 

NEVER be afraid to wave the white flag in your life. If you don't feel well, tell the truth.  If you're burned out from work, tell the truth.  If your relationships aren't supporting you, tell the truth.  If you don't know exactly WTF is wrong, but you know for sure that something just ain't right, then tell the truth about that too. 

I'm spending this last weekday catching up on work & even though a project went a little haywire while I was away, I don't regret waving my flag & closing shop. There was nothing I could've done to avoid the mishap & more importantly, I know that I'm of no service to my clients if I'm not first serving myself.

I needed every single one of those 3 days off, so I took them.THAT'S how you reclaim your time.