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For Your Health, Happiness, Kindness, Travel

What I have learned for sure

Blogging from a comfy chair in Hoboken – snapshot by Karina Chapman

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!


About AlohaKarina

AlohaKarina (aka Karina Chapman) is a Writer, Photographer, and Educator who teaches middle school Science and Social Studies in Southern Maine. A cohort of the Maine Governor's Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership, and a National Endowment of the Humanities Scholar (Abolitionism studies), she is credentialed to teach K-8 (all subjects) in both Maine and California. Karina has worked as a photographer, weekly columnist, and reporter for the Eureka Times-Standard daily newspaper in Northern California. She has also written for both and (as K.M. Chapman). Karina's superpower is speed-pouring killer margaritas. If she had to choose where to live for the rest of her life, she would choose Kennebunkport, Hawaii Kai, and San Francisco.


14 thoughts on “What I have learned for sure

  1. All of what you write is so true and so well expressed! I think lots of people would benefit from reading this post!

    I’m not in that situation — here’s almost the other way around — but I have been so I know very well what you’re talking about, and you did a great thing by going to NYC.

    Sounds nice with a comfy chair in Hoboken :) Wasn’t Frank Sinatra from there, by the way?!

    Posted by Rebekah | March 25, 2012, 10:09 pm
    • Yes, Frank Sinatra was from Hoboken. I love the city–it’s a mile square and it’s full of great places to eat, and it’s very walkable. And great views of Manhattan are just down at the edge of the Hudson River! :)

      Posted by AlohaKarina | March 28, 2012, 10:19 pm
  2. Wow this is such an inspiring post! Thanks for the advice :) It’s so true that we better live our life to the fullest!

    Posted by evilnymphstuff | March 25, 2012, 10:28 pm
  3. Wow, I’m so sorry that someone said that to you! I totally agree with you that it’s a hard lesson to learn but when you find something that speaks to your soul, fight for it and let the naysayers fall by the wayside!

    Posted by Sarah Harris | March 26, 2012, 1:59 am
  4. Words to live by. I find that if I make sure I’m happy, then I’m a better husband, father, and person to be around. And that makes everybody happy!

    Posted by Jeff Sinon | March 27, 2012, 12:43 pm
  5. Everything you’ve said is SO true. Thank you for this post – wise words indeed.

    Posted by theuphillstruggle | March 27, 2012, 3:46 pm
  6. “It’s important to take care of yourself and your health. Without your health, how can you take care of others or have enough energy for them.” I’ve remembered this ever since I heard it.

    Posted by Fergiemoto | March 28, 2012, 7:30 pm
    • I have heard the same thing–but sometimes it’s easy to say, “I need to do this other stuff first” and put yourself last, too. :P I’m trying not to do that as much but it’s not as easy when you have little kids. I’m working on it; my kids need a Mom who’s ready for whatever, not a wiped out, exhausted mess!

      Posted by AlohaKarina | March 28, 2012, 10:20 pm
  7. We as women do this so often. I just read a very similar post on another blog about the same topic.

    You both reminded me to regroup and do some me stuff, too.

    I am going to Boulder, CO this weekend for no reason except that I never did it before. I’ve been to Boulder but always for a REASON, work, etc.

    Posted by living4bliss | March 29, 2012, 10:48 pm

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