If you have ever read Oprah’s magazine, you may be familiar with her monthly article, “What I know for sure”. In this column, she discusses things she has learned or experienced. Then she describes some life lesson, explaining that no matter what, she knows this one thing is true.
I used to think I knew what was true for me, and I thought I was pretty good about taking care of myself and my family.
Until…I wasn’t. And it didn’t happen overnight; rather, I gave up bits of myself, piece by piece, forgetting that in order to function, I had to take time to go away and gather my thoughts by myself.
I used to be pretty good about it, but somewhere in the recurrent sinus infections, the financial challenges, the newness of blending our family with a parent, and the attention required by preschoolers and middle-schoolers, I forgot that about myself.
To be honest, I had gotten to the point that I felt guilty most of the time for doing just about anything for myself, except for this blog, and that is no way to live. Eventually all that stress, if unrelieved, builds up to where your body will turn on itself, in a simple attempt to get a rest.
That’s also why I absolutely blew my stack when I was accused of neglecting my kids by blogging, which was the only consistent thing I did for myself at that point.
So after a week of reflecting, discussion, and time to process it all, this is what I have relearned for sure, courtesy of some naysayers who have since apologized:
Time is not a luxury. Time to yourself is not negotiable. Time to pay attention to your own needs and, yes, even your own wants is not time wasted.
It is very definitely NOT okay to care for others but neglect yourself, nor is it okay to put yourself last. It’s also not okay to guilt yourself out of doing something that, deep down inside, you know you need.
The expectations and demands will always be there, but if you don’t take the time to recharge and renew, you won’t be able to meet any of them; if you try anyway, you might end up taking away too much of your own energy and spirit. That’s when you find yourself exhausted, depressed, anxious, stressed, and utterly demoralized.
And that is no way to live.
Enjoy your life! Follow your bliss! Take the time you need to re-energize yourself! Life is too short to ignore. And if a naysayer comes along and gives you a hard time for living your life, just laugh…because you know better.
Have a wonderful Sunday evening!