Being "Self-ish" - About the Self
Being "Self-ish"...About the Self
It took me a long time to understand what the flight attendants mean when giving their safety speech at the beginning of every flight. "If you are travelling with small children, place the oxygen mask over your face first and then your child."
At 53, it is completely obvious to me that we can't possibly take care of others, until we care for ourselves. But that epiphany was slow in coming. The idea that putting ourselves first is not without merit. It can actually be a life and death decision. Taking good care of ourselves is about as important as oxygen is to breathing well. I pride myself on leading by example in the self care department.
My children grew up watching me make time for yoga or take time to spend an hour on the beach when my battery needed to be charged. It never changed anyone's day for the worse, but it certainly made all the difference to me. It's a matter of making it happen and doing so consistently. I was extremely hands on in all aspects of their lives and I am sure there were more than a few times they would have appreciated me taking more time for me and less time focused on them. I always put my children first, but I place myself right beside them at the top of that list.
My mom is an author. Her name is Susan Ford Collins. Somewhere in one of her books, she talks about being self-ish... being about the self. She uses the word selfish as a positive, not a negative. As a culture, I believe women view selfless as a compliment. Mothers who are too busy taking care of their children to listen to their bodies or who stop taking care of themselves are hailed as heroes. Everyone comes before Mom. But what is the message there and how does that help us feel strong and productive? How does that teach our children to make themselves a priority?
Our Children are Watching is the title of one of my mom's books, and they most certainly are. I recently hopped on a plane for Park City to soak up the color of autumn and the chill in the air of the moutains. My friend Lydia invited me to visit and I actually took her up on it. My family was shocked and yet pleasantly surprised. It was a day of travel to get there, 3 days to play and a full day to get back to the Sunshine State. That extended playdate was enough to put some pep back in my step and a fresh coat of polish on my day to day. We practiced yoga together, we hiked, we shopped and we talked, and talked and talked some more. It was a 3 night slumber party. We ate, we drank and we were merry, and we cried too. It was a delicious slice of life.
On the very first morning, I proclaimed the theme of our time together would be self care and we were happily self-ish (in a good way) the entire vacay.
How do YOU take care of YOU? What makes your heart sing? When do you carve time out of your day for something that feels good? How often do you put yourself on your calendar?
These are all good questions that deserve good answers. So perhaps you'll take a moment to schedule some time to contemplate them today. Put that oxygen mask on you first. When we have no reserves, we feel depleted. When our tank runs out of gas, we start sputtering and eventually, we stop running altogether. Be self-ish with my blesssing.
The way you treat yourself teaches others how to treat you. Make an investment in yourself and it will pay off with amazing dividends. Cha ching. Cha ching.