Friday, November 28, 2008

I give & I give & I give & yet . . .

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!!

1 comment:

Susan K. Morrow said...

You are my hero! Why? Because you blog regularly. Because you finished the 29-day giving challenge (I failed on that one). Because you are aware of the utter necessity of self-care. The old saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" ain't just whistling Dixie. (Not sure about the grammar on that one--oh, just deal with it.) So here's my advice to you, and remember that free advice is often worth what you pay for it: Drink your dang Diet Cokes and like them. The doctor might say they're bad for you, but the Universe says otherwise. Love them, love yourself, and keep on saying NO.

Much love and big hugs to you, my friend!--Susan K