March 29, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
Wanna know what I feel like doing today? DO YOU? Huh? DO you?
Nothing. Absosmurfly nothing.
I’ve been burning the candle at both ends the past few weeks and Bugaboo is about to have a two week break. There is a decent amount of housework done and the routines are caught up. I am just not going to go out of my way to do anything special today.
This afternoon I will take a nap. I have been having some difficulty falling asleep the past few nights (thanks to Darling) and I have been awake, staring at the ceiling, until midnight. Of course, this gives me plenty of time for irrational thoughts. You know the variety? “If I lock this door and then put this in front of it and nail the window shut and do XYZ then Bugaboo won’t escape and I might get to actually sit down for a few minutes…” or “If I move X appointment to Thursday and so-and-so comes with me on Wednesday and I pack PBJs for all five kids I can handle taking them to the Franklin Institute on that day…”
Yeah. I’m crazy like that.
Of course, it also gives me time for contemplating things I never knew were important in my life. Things you hear on Jeopardy. Like, “What is the largest country in Africa (The Sudan)?” or “What was the best-selling box office film in 2006(Pirates of the Caribbean)?” or “What movies has Kevin Bacon NOT been in (Not many to speak of)?”
Checkbook? It can balance itself. Paperwork for Neurology? They sent me the new patient stuff by mistake, I AIN’T filling two packets out AGAIN before we see the new Neuro in May, we filled it out SIX MONTHS AGO. Dinner? Planning on a super-easy one. Shower? I will get one eventually.
The past few weeks I have been trying to do things for me. Me, myself and I. I have been learning quite a bit about myself and it is nice. For example, I have discovered that I like painting my toenails blue and people can just shove it if they don’t like it. I have learned that I will not snack in between meals when I am busy, I am not really hungry when I pick at the fridge in the afternoon. I now know that I do not like to watch television and have not turned it on in weeks, even my beloved Discovery Health documentaries. I have learned I can shut the basement door and pretend the basement does not exist and therefore it does not need to be cleaned because, afterall, it isn’t really there. You know, out of sight, out of mind?
Most of all, I have learned that by taking a little time for myself I am a much happier wife and mother. Just getting a shower and putting on some decent clothes is enough to lift my spirits. Getting a few basics done in the morning is all I need to feel a sense of accomplishment. Planning to make a few meals a week blesses my family and helps them to realize that I do care about them. It all seems so simple yet it was the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. Taking care of me is HARD!!!
More taking care of me is going to take place in the future. It started out as a Lenten goal. It seems silly that I would do something seemingly selfish instead of sacrificing something I crave. But giving up chocolate or potatoes is meaningless. I know I can eat them again someday so that is not a sacrifice. Believe it or not, putting myself first is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. At first I felt as if I was neglecting housewife duties or letting down my family. After a few days I realized that in order for my family to be happy I must be taken care of. How can I bless my family if I am not my whole, true self? How can I possibly teach them to be loving and caring and to take care of themselves when I do not do that for myself? I remember YEARS where my mother did not get her hair cut or cut her own hair or wore the same dreadful clothes because she felt that she could not take anything from us. While I admire her stance I realized that part of the reason my mother is the way she is today is because she NEVER does anything for herself. I mean, she buys new clothes now and used to go to the hairdresser (until her hair fell out and she started wearing wigs, but that is a story for another day) but she still works a full-time job for SOMEONE ELSE and takes care of my grandmother in her spare time. She does nothing for her. It is all about other people. And while I admire that she is so selfless (and so self-centered at the same time, she does this stuff to feel good about herself) she truly does not love herself. This I know as fact. So what kind of example does she set? That it is alright to ignore your own needs and put others ahead of you just so you can burn out quickly and become a slave to others? That it is acceptable to never, ever take time to be with yourself and never know who you really are because you are always answering someone else’s call?
Next up? A spa day (hopefully) or an overnight with my sisters. We tried to plan one in March that fell through because two of us had multiple activities going on that day. My older sister has been bugging me to do it again, as has my older older sister. I realize that we need to do this! Stay in our jammies, sleep in, go for very long walks, watch chick flicks and do crafty stuff, sounds good to me!
There is something to be said about goofing off!