My basic personality is a caregiver. I like feeding people, nurturing them and their ideas, making them comfortable and happy. It’s what makes me happy. Hell, I’m basically hygee personified, with a little urban crazy bitch thrown in just to keep things interesting.
As the eldest child of a divorced schizophrenic, a lot of my nurturing tendencies were undoubtedly learned. I was taught to look after people, to anticipate problems, and to do things for others (particularly my younger siblings and mom). The one thing I wasn’t taught was to do things for myself. It sounds stupid and self-helpy when I state it so baldly, but that’s the truth. It’s a pattern I’ve continued into adulthood. My husband, adult kids, the golden grandchild, nieces and nephews, Mom, even my dogs and cats... I spend a lot of time doing stuff for others. So much time, in fact, that I actually feel guilty when I take time out for myself. Then - and here’s the really shitty part - I feel resentful that I’m being so ridiculous and histrionic about something so trivial. It’s such a hassle that most of the time I just avoid the whole cycle entirely and simply skip doing things for myself (because the best way to deal with emotions is to smother them).
I have vowed to make this a better year than the last. 2017 really sucked on a lot of levels - personal, public, political. I can’t control most of those things, but I can control how I react to them, and part of that emotional control is having some reverses when I need to call on them instead of always feeling like I’m running on empty. If I’m always pushing myself as hard as I can, one negative external factor (like a flu or an unexpected expense or an uncomfortable personal encounter) can feel like a major disaster, when really it’s just a minor one at worst. So, from now on, I’m taking Mamacita Mondays - one day a week where I take the time to do extra stuff for myself. I don’t have to do anything big or at all remarkable, just something that I probably wouldn’t normally take the time or money to do for myself. Anything.
(This list will be updated as necessary throughout the day.)
- I took the time to blow dry my hair today. I know that’s probably a daily occurrence for most of you, but my hair is so thick that I’ve always just towel-dried it and let it go. It’s better for the environment and saves me like 30 minutes minimum each day. I’ve worn it short for the last few years, so it hasn’t really been a problem until recently. I’ve been growing it out again though, and it’s just been really flat and blah; the little ponytail I’ve been putting it in until it dries certainly hasn’t helped, either. Today I actually took the time to blow dry it and put in some special leave-in conditioner I got somewhere as a sample. It’s amazing what the right product can do. I don’t have the patience to spend 45 minutes a day to dry and style my hair, but it’s cool to do once in awhile. (Seriously, how do those girly girls find the time?)
What was the last nice thing you did for yourself? Did you feel good about it afterward?