Do You Do Unto Yourself as You Do to Others?
I know a lot of really wonderful people. I know kind individuals, who are good friends and caring partners. The problem that some of us run into sometimes, is that whereas we go above and beyond when it comes to the things that we do for our family and our friends, we tend to run out of steam and half-ass the things that we need to do for ourselves. That is, if we even remember to do them at all.
I doubt that there are many mothers out there, who have not spent years surviving off of the leftovers that remain on the children’s’ plates after they have finished dinner. When I had three under three, I don’t remember even trying to put on makeup so that I could feel good about the way that I looked. Why bother? I was going to end up covered in kid snot and food every couple of hours anyways. I even know people who don’t have kids who spend a lot more and energy time on doing things for their friends than they do for themselves.
This happens naturally, being kind and generous people, we enjoy doing things for others. Reaching out and giving of ourselves makes us feel good. Sometimes we forget about ourselves though. Sometimes we even get so wrapped up in the expectations of our good deeds that they become obligations in our minds, obligations that we put before ourselves. By the time my youngest was three or four, I finally figured out how to start doing things for myself again. One that I can remember in particular, was making myself a meal. My husband was working most nights, so after I had all of the kids asleep at eight or nine in the evening I would prepare one very nice meal for myself and I would sit down and spend an hour enjoying it.
I don’t think that things like, going to the spa, our buying ourselves a present apply here. For me, the ritual of the preparation of the meal that I was making for myself was the part that was good for me. Actually taking the time to do something nice for me, reinforcing the idea that I am deserving of my own time. So taking a nice long bath, and doing my nails, or organizing my closet so that I am happy to walk into it every day: those are things that I can do for me. Working out is definitely something that we can do for ourselves, and enjoy, if only to enjoy the quiet while we are doing it. Meditation is what my husband does for himself…I am still working on that one.
We often put off so many of the things that are the most beneficial to ourselves, the small activities that we can be proud of. I am constantly putting off cleaning my car, and I have a dresser that I have been planning on refurbishing in my room for…almost three years now. I would get so much enjoyment from looking at that dresser in its finished condition every single time that I walked by it, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I put a lot of work into preparing for my husband’s birthday last week, and now I need to start getting ready for my daughter’s birthday. I need to get around to finishing the dresser for me, though. What is it that you need to get around to doing for you?