(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.
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.