And now it's the day after Thanksgiving, and to be honest, while I've fulfilled my 29-Day Giving Challenge, I'm not going to fulfill my daily gives postings. Rather, I want to share the "aha!!" this experience has given me.
Here it is: I give － sometimes more, sometimes less, but definitely never enough to *me.*
OK, it's a little "Hey, lady, you, lady － I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me" (whatever happened to Charlene, anyway?). And frankly, it's not a wholly new and different epiphany. Apparently, it's just a lesson I'm destined to learn again and again and again . . . until I finally really get it. Or die trying, I guess.
I believe I'm better than I used to be at taking care of myself (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually). But I'm also not as young as I used to be. How are these related? inquire the readers under 40. Well, when I don't practice diligent self-care, my body, my brain and my mood swings all let me know about it － bigtime. Where I used to get away with all sorts of self-neglect without ill effect, I now suffer the consequences, and they aren't pretty.
As mentioned, such ugly consequences have taught me a few good self-care habits along the way: regular exercise has become a must-do; my eating habits, while still quite imperfect, are much improved; I almost always drink plenty of water. Likewise, I treat myself to a monthly massage, I go to a fabulous chiropractor and I continue to visit my longtime counselor. And if the paychecks are coming regular, then Mama also gets her toes done once a month. I do my best to stay connected to girlfriends near and far. I've learned to say 'no' now and then. I occasionally remember to breathe two counts in through my nose, four counts out through my mouth.
See? I'm doing pretty well, huh?
On the other hand, I drink about six diet cokes a day and hold the dubious honor of being the most sleep-deprived mom in the neighborhood (and that's saying something － something bad). I don't scrapbook enough. I don't read enough. (Enough to fulfill me personally, not to fulfill expectations of some sort.) I don't have enough sex (not sure what my neighborhood ranking is there . . . ). I don't say 'no' often enough. I'm not as connected with the people I care about as I wish I were. And I still forget to breathe － a lot.
These are things I need. These are things I need to give myself: less stimulants, more rest; time to scrapbook, time to read; nookie; permission to disappoint or displease others; prioritization of people over productivity; breathing lessons.
And I need to go to the dang doctor before my common cold turns into walking pneumonia. Twice.
And whoomp － there it is: AHA!!