Recently I drove over to a friend’s house to drop off my daughter for a sleepover. When I arrived at the door, my friend took one look at me and invited me in for a drink. Apparently it was written all over my face that I had one foot over the ledge. Before I knew it, she had taken in both my daughters, fed my family, and listened without judgement as I spilled a couple of weeks of stress into her lap. It was cathartic and the next day, I was not only grateful that I have a friend like that, but acutely aware that I’m not taking care of myself.
I’ve hit a stride with this self-made job of mine, but with success comes stress. Taking a break isn’t easy when there are multiple sources of work and income to manage. In my former life, I would have arranged time away with one person. Now I answer to many and their schedules don’t always (read, never) sync. Long, long days at my desk are playing havoc on my body and most definitely my mind. My mini-breakdown brought about an epiphany of sorts.
What am I doing this all for? When I brushed away the clutter — accomplishment, self-worth, income —there was really only one thing left, my family. It’s true that without them I am nothing, but conversely, without me where would they be? I am not replaceable to my family. Okay, maybe to the dog, but she’s cheap and will cuddle with anyone who feeds her. I digress, but I get it now.
Taking care of myself is not selfish but rather selfless. (Yes, I’m aware this is contrary to the official definition of “selfless” but hear me out.)
This is why they ask you to put your oxygen mask on first in the event of an emergency on an airplane; if you pass out, you’re no good to your kids. Hours sitting at a desk is bad for my health in more ways than just the fat accumulating on my ass. Studies suggest that prolonged sitting is a major contributor to cardiovascular problems. It’s a win/lose scenario. Sit at my desk, produce, and get paid at the same time as risking my health and future with my family.
My current state of being isn’t just tied to my desk, it also has to do with the job I have in social media, which never shuts down. I’m fairly certain that my attention span is exactly at gold fish level. My eating habits have become atrocious, since chips are quicker than salads. And since a body at rest, stays at rest, all workouts have left the building.
I’m setting out to turn the tide and find that elusive balance between work and life. I owe it to my family to work as hard at this as I do my job. Over the next thirty days I’m going to do something everyday to improve my health and wellness, and I’m going to do it without apology. It could be something small, like making sure I drink enough water everyday, or remembering to take my thyroid medication. It could be something big, like *gulp* taking up running again. The only thing I know for sure about the path I’m setting out on is that it leads to a better me, which leads to a better life for those I love.
This isn’t all about me though, because I’m throwing down a gauntlet of sorts as I virtually look out over all the amazing women I know. What are we doing here ladies? We are wearing bags under our eyes like a badge of honour and it has to stop.
Since I truly believe in the power of sisterhood, I’m inviting you to join me for a #30DaysOfMe challenge. Let’s share with each other on our social channels what we do each day to improve either our mental or physical health. Your 30 days can start anytime, there is no wrong time to start taking care of yourself.
My hope is that this 30 day journey starts a life-long journey that will help us make sure we all live and love for many years to come.