Self-Care: Allow Space for What You Want

(I am writing along with Laura Lynn Brown’s summer blogging project at MakesYouMom.com. Join us?)

This has been the hardest one for me. (OK, second hardest. Fun is the hardest.)

For a long time what I wanted — what I needed — didn’t matter. There were lives to save. The fact that people judged me, opposed me in public, undermined me, kicked me when I was down … immaterial. Do what needs to be done. Every day.

But now.

About eight months ago, we got an eye in the storm. Like all hurricane eyes, it was just a break, but a break that enabled us to keep going. Tides that were in went back out. Tides that were out came back in. For a little while I could begin to think about me.

I started this rethinking during Lent. I was also rewriting, so it was a fairly introspective time. I began to allow myself to wonder, “What do I want?” By Easter (the season, not the day), I was full-out praying for myself, something I had not done at all during this whole long mess. It felt weird. It felt wrong. It felt selfish. I kept it up until Pentecost (the day and the season).

During this summer I have had the freedom to allow some space for what I want. Last summer I couldn’t do that — circumstances didn’t allow it. But I recently looked back over my calendar from a year ago and was amazed at how much self-care I was actually doing. After one particularly bad day, I guest posted on a friend’s blog. I did not skip the cast party even though I did not want to get out of bed that day. I had lunch with another friend. I went to two family dinners and one especially fun fundraising event. I volunteered at a show. I faithfully attended the weekly farmers market.

Yes, I guess I did take care of myself after all.

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