People always say that moms should make the time to take care of themselves. We should pamper ourselves once in a while – care for the caregiver, and all that.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
But for me? It is not always easy.
Recently, I wrote about the shift that happens when one of our children gets sick. When, no matter what we have planned, we just rearrange the day and do what needs to be done.
Along with the shift, there is also a shuffle.
It is a shuffle of priorities that happens to keep things running smoothly, keep everyone happy and operating at peak efficiency.
I shuffle the priorities list, and most of the time – if not always – my personal to-do items, like exercise and personal maintenance – get shuffled to the bottom of the pile.
For example, say there is a list of things I
want need to get done. And let’s say that this list includes going for a run or taking a little time to do something for myself, like painting my toenails. Guess which items get bumped down the list when I am short on time?
So you will not be surprised to learn who hasn’t been out for a run in two weeks and has had naked toenails for over a month in the summer?
This gal, that’s who.
I start out with the best intentions, but invariably, something happens – an appliance doesn’t co-operate, a sudden trip to the store, or I underestimate the time it takes to do allthethings.
And when something’s gotta give? I do.
I give up what I want to do.
I lose. But in losing, I let my family win – so I don’t really look at it as a loss. They are more important to me than a run or a haircut or painted toenails, so I am glad to make sacrifices for their comfort or well-being.
But, I confess, sometimes I still want to feel like I win.
I was still scaling Mt. Laundry after a little getaway last week. There were dishes piled in the sink and beds to be changed – so much to do before the week ahead.
I took advantage of the fact that it is a holiday and my husband is home. I put on my sneakers and found my ear buds. And I went for a run.
A light sprinkle as I walked out of the driveway turned into to all-out rain by the time I was around the corner. My shoes got wet. I was huffing and puffing after two weeks of no running.
But I was out alone with my thoughts and my music. I let other things slide (just a bit,) while I did something for me. I remembered that I am strong.
I won the shuffle today. And it felt good.
Do you shuffle your needs to the bottom of your list?