Forget what you learned about putting everyone else first. If you do not make yourself happy, eventually you will find yourself miserable and perhaps on the edge of self destruction. That was the advice that was drilled into me by my southern mother and my old maid Aunt Kat that I should put myself last and remember to "Take care of my spouse, my children, and my elders." "Make sure my house was always clean." and "Never go out in public without my hair done and lipstick on." Of course as a southern woman this was akin to being expected to vacuum my house in heels and pearls, I would never question what I was told.
Then there was reality - the full time job, the hormone ravaged teenage daughters, the husband who was spoiled by his southern mother and childhood maid, weight problems, premature gray hair, varicose veins, a house plagued with dust bunnies, and 24 hour days filled with 26 hours of duties. (Yes, this is when I was convinced God was definitely a man.)
And look where it landed me? In picking up the pieces, I realized if I did not look after myself, no one else would. Oh, sure I have a loving family, supportive friends, and a gaggle of doctors. They are looking after my health and well being. But only I can look after myself. Just like learning that I do not have to clean my plate (due to all the starving children in China), I also need to shed the advice that molded my karma for so many years.
The world will not end if my house is not always spotless. If someone thinks less of me because my hair is not perfect and I am not wearing makeup then I know they most likely are not going to be on list of those I call in my time of need. So what. My husband and daughters are adults and can take care of themselves. I love them and support them but taking on their stresses is not going to help me a all.
I am not saying neglect your family and friends. Nor am I even suggesting you let your looks or your house go to Hell in a hand basket. I am saying prioritize your life and make sure you are on top of the list. Do what makes you happy. If at all possible, avoid what stresses you out. Live life for the moment.
It doesn't matter what action you take today, nothing can change the past, so there is no point in worrying over what is in the rear view mirror. Stressing over what may happen in the future is not going to help you at all, unless what you are doing at that moment is going to directly effect it.
If anything, take this advice to heart. Do not drown in your own self destruction. Put yourself first and live for the moment. Trust me, you'll be a much happier and healthier person when you do. My mother, bless her heart, was just doing what she had been taught. But then again, she never told me about Ultra-Brite.
Several random thoughts train-wrecked into my cluttered mind as I read this: you didn't mention having an ark full of animals in the house, no one in the family notices 90% of the things you do to make the house a home, I never cared about hair or makeup and still was stressed out, my Mother always said, "God helps those who help themselves" (and we know how that worked out for her), and no one under 50 will get the Ultra-Brite reference! Have a groovy day, Ann! mReplyDelete