Friday, October 12, 2012

Words, Words, Words about Survival

Years before I had children, I had a neighbor with a very precocious four-year-old daughter who kept her on her toes. She needed a break, so we took her daughter to daycare and I drove her two hours away to the big city ( was big relative to the tiny town we lived in!), and we spent the day shopping, seeing a movie, and generally acting like teenage girls at the mall.

What struck me was the contrast between this woman's attitude in the morning and in the afternoon. She was so negative on the drive to Saginaw, all complaints about her daughter, motherhood, wifedom, the military. After treating herself to a day of fun and no worries or responsibility, all she could talk about on the way home was how excited she was to see her daughter, to make sure the dress she bought her fit, to hug her and hear about her day with the other children.

Spending some time caring for herself meant she was better able to care for her daughter. Isn't that true for all of us? If we take care of ourselves, we can take care of others so much better. That's why the airlines tell us to put our own oxygen masks on before helping our children. Each and every day, we need to take care of ourselves. It's a matter of survival.

Are you good at surviving and thriving, or do you avoid caring for yourself by always putting others first? What can you do this weekend to refresh yourself, care for yourself?


  1. A very timely post - for me anyhow, Susan! I have always been a carer and it was only this week that I came to the conclusion that I need to put myself first when it comes to some things in life. Without doing so, I am finding that my resources are depleted and life is draining.

    In this vein, I actually put life on hold and took myself off to a yoga session yesterday, the first time that I have ever done something like that. Definitely felt a little self indulgent but once I decided to let go of all that negative and embraced it wholeheartedly I got so much out of it!

    Thanks for this post about the fact that it is perfectly okay to put yourself first - and it is exactly the case that by doing so you can provide even more to others! Great message to learn!

  2. I think that this is something that most women struggle with. I don't know whether it is some inate characteristic or how we are brought up, but most woment tend to put the welfare of their family, their job, church, etc., before themselves.

    As much as that nurturing gene wants to take over, we MUST realize that if we don't take care of ourselves, then we WON'T be able to take care of the others!

    This is a very large area that I struggle with. Now, I am finding that I've but myself in a place where I lack any creative mojo and the energy, and sometimes desire, to do the basic tasks that come with caring for a home (the family still trumps! haha!). So, I've made changes to my diet, have started putting aside time for some type of exercise several times a week and am taking the steps that may lead to a job change.

    Change takes time. I do feel better physically. I'm starting to LOOK better as the extra stress weight begins to come off. Now, to find the energy to tackle long put off tasks and maybe my creative mojo.

    Baby steps to a better me. And those baby steps just mean I am on the road of being a better wife, mother, homekeeper, employee and creative soul!

  3. Love this post! I went down to the beach house and the only important thing I had to decide was when to walk Annie down to the beach. The major challenge was do I go for a second mocha in one day. Yes, we all need time to just be "me".
    Thank you for reminding us to remember this and make time for it.


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!