This post was inspired in part by akbutler. (You will run that 5K!)
I don’t mean cut people off in line or swipe the last food item without asking. I don’t mean hoard all of the ice cream, talk without listening, or think only about yourself.
What I do mean is go out for that long run, go to that gym class, schedule that massage, meet your girlfriend for a manicure and pedicure, book that haircut with your hairdresser, and occasionally, eat your cake too! And don’t feel guilty about it! (Unless you are one of those people who ONLY does those things…then I’m not talking to you.)
I think that people who work very hard taking care of others very often forget to take care of themselves. I see it in the eyes of my wife and others who spend so much time tending to the special needs of their children, siblings or parents.
Even when a particular need is met, there is often still a mountain of needs that are waiting to be taken care of.
No time to rest. Must get to the next task!
But what we all need to remember, that in some cases, being selfish is the most selfless thing you can do. By taking care of yourself, you are better prepared, better able to deal with the challenges that you face. It allows you to be more than just there.
Taking care of yourself could be getting some sleep, getting a run in, or maybe even something simply cosmetic like getting your hair done. It’s important. It’s important because if you don’t do it, you’re gonna crash and be useless. Who can take better care of the ones you love better than you? No one, except a rested you.
There’s a problem of course. There are only 24 hours in a day. Those hours can come and go very quickly.
When, Luau, when am I supposed to be able to do these things for myself? I hear ya. I really do. Let me pose it a little differently with an unrelated short story:
Many years ago, the wife and I were struggling with a recommendation from a doctor regarding little Brooke. I won’t get into specifics, but suffice it to say that it was a very difficult decision that took a lot of soul searching. We kept asking ourselves, what happens if we do this? What are the possible negatives going forward? In the end, and I can’t remember whether it was the wife or I who came up with it, but we flipped it and asked ourselves, “what is the price if we don’t?” Once we approached it from this perspective, our path was clear.
So I ask you this. What is the consequence if you don’t somehow find the time to take care of yourself, both short-term and long-term? And if you ultimately break down, who will be there to take care of those you have been working so hard to take care of?
I am selfish about my running. 4 – 6 hours a week. Those 4 -6 hour are mine and no one else’s. Sometimes it’s 90 minutes at 4:30 in the morning, sometimes it’s 2 hours starting at 11:00 at night. If I’m lucky, I get a lunchtime run in. It keeps me up even when the world conspires to bring me down, but it also contributes to hopefully keeping me around for at least another 50 – 60 years. If I can be relatively sharp-minded and able-bodied until I’m 90, Brooke will have me around until she’s almost 60. Hopefully by then she won’t need me the way she needs me now. That is why I am selfish.
What do you need to be selfish about?