There seems to be a chronic condition…an ailment if you will... among women, where all we ever do is put everyone and everything else first instead of investing in ourselves. Call it nature’s nurturing gene or a mothering instinct… but whatever it is almost all women do it. This past month…alright let’s just be full out honest here and say this past year… I’ve been that woman.
Two years ago I took the time to really focus on myself… to get healthy…put myself first…and go after what I wanted. During that time I was the girl who wasn’t ashamed to say exactly what I wanted on my plate when I was out at a restaurant even if it meant my friends were a bit embarrassed. I was the girl who didn’t feel guilty when I made plans around my workouts instead of trying to fit my workouts around all the plans. And I was a person who was full of energy and happy for the first time in my entire life.
Then about this time last year, when my brother-in-law really began to get sick…and my focus shifted and life became about what worked out best for my sister and her kids. Then when my brother in law passed away and I moved into my sister’s house permentantly, my life became even more about pleasing her and the girls instead of about me. In fact I ended up taking a year off of school and getting a full time job and now my days are filled with hours upon hours of doing for everyone else…hoping that at the end of the day I will have enough energy to do something for me.
This holiday season in particulary has been extra hard on me with my job needing me to work extra hours and my sister wanting me around more so she can go off and do what she needs, and the demands of gift giving. In fact it took a good friend of mine to pull me aside yesterday and basically tell me I do too much for everyone else and not nearly enough for me and therefore she was kidnapping me and forcing me to go out with friends to just to allow me some "me' time (and actually finding myself truly enjoying the opportunity and reveling in every moment of it) that I began to realize that something is a little off. And actually since we are talking in all honestly here….it wasn’t until tonight when I was running on the treadmill feeling completely guilty for working out and spending time on myself while my sister was upstairs just wanting some company…that I truly began to realize that things have gotten out of control.
I’ve somehow become the girl who focuses on what everyone else needs, wants, feels…without ever really checking in on those things within myself until I get to my breaking point. And then when that happens and I start to feel like my life sucks, and nobody cares about me….depression sets in and I feel lifeless and overwhelmed….so I find myself thinking back to the days when I was most happy and I remember that it was the year I put myself first that I found true joy.
So even has I sit here on the brink of an even busier week than the last two, I look forward with confidence knowing full well that to live the life I imagine I have to put myself first…and that’s okay.... I can do that. I deserve to!