Happy Saturday! The following post is my 100th post since starting my blog last year. It means so much to me that you follow my posts and that they are truly effective in helping you personally develop and grow.
Have you ever felt like you were the last one on “the list?” Why do you suppose you felt that way?
If you’re the head of a household or a devoted caretaker to aging parents or both simultaneously, it may seem like all you do is take care of other people and there is no one taking care of you.
If you want to be taken care of at all times, all you need to do is sign up for that position. If you feel like it’s your life duty to care for your family members, parents, children, partners – why then, do you feel excused from the duty of taking care of yourself?
It has been said time and time again that if you don’t take care of yourself, who will take care of everyone else? How does this pressure on just you seem like a fair placement of such responsibility? “That’s just how it is.”
Sorry to tell you, but, no – it’s not. It’s that way because you made it that way.
Your life revolves around the choices you make, period. If your choices are to ignore yourself and care for others, you’re chasing a goal that is never achievable, per se, because it requires constant motion and has no particular measurements of success.
Take a minute right now to examine your life:
Who drives everyone, everywhere?
Who makes the meals in the house?
Who pays the bills and manages the finances?
Who does the food shopping?
Who helps the children with their homework?
Who does the laundry?
Who cleans the house?
Who cleans the bathrooms?
Who cleans the bedrooms?
Who runs the errands and shuttles kids to games and events?
Who goes to work to support the family only to go home to then do the above?
Where on the “to-do list” are you?
Some people say they’re happy if they even make the list, regardless of what position of priority in which they’re listed. That’s settling – still not good enough.
What is so wrong with putting yourself in slot #1? Really. What are you afraid of? Social stigma? Being labeled “selfish”? Self-centered? Going against how you were reared?
There is an epidemic that is plaguing society and that epidemic is the belief that if one is selfless and focuses on others and gives constantly, then that person will be rewarded with the satisfying feeling of giving so much of themself to others.
Are you really that celebrated? That rewarded? That highly regarded? So you have a couple holidays during the year designed to celebrate you, including your birthday. Nonsense!
I celebrate myself every day. Those of you who personally know me probably just smiled and said aloud, “Yeah, that’s no surprise. You WOULD celebrate yourself – you have no shame, Johnny.” And you know what? I have no problem with that opinion and I CERTAINLY do not have shame. I choose my feelings and shame or any other negative emotion is not what I choose to feel.
I celebrate myself because self-celebration is part of what contributes to my growth, my development, my confidence and my personal success in life. If I spent my days waiting and relying on the praises of others, how much of my life do you think would be spent being in receipt of constant reinforcement of how great I am? I would estimate about 180 minutes or 3 hours per year. Each compliment takes about three seconds to receive and I may get one every day so three times thirty is 90. Ninety seconds per month, times twelve months is 10,800 seconds per year. Divide that by 60 minutes and we get 180 minutes or 3 hours per year spent on me via the thoughts of others. While I’m grateful for them, that is SO NOT enough time to celebrate me. Uh-uh.
If you live your life waiting for others to make you feel good about yourself, you’re allowing YOUR life to be molded by others. Let the others mold their own lives and take control of molding yours.
What do you want? What would you rather be doing? How can you turn the focus of taking care of your family by yourself to the focus of having your family taking care of each other? Isn’t that what a strong sense of family is all about?
Yes, heads of households are responsible for providing for their families in a sense of necessities like food, shelter, clothing, etc. However, families have necessities too, and one of those necessities is functioning as a family unit – one for all and all for one. One for all and all for one – NOT ONE FOR ALL, THANKS, HAVE A NICE DAY.
Take some time to examine your current circumstances and find creative ways to get your family involved in taking care of each other, thus lessening the burden that you have unintentionally placed on yourself.
What would you do for yourself if you had an extra half hour in each day? An hour? Heck, TWO hours?
Make a list and study that list. If you want those times to yourself badly enough, you’ll find a way to work it out.
If you need some help with working it out, I am just a phone call or email away.
Put yourself on the list and while you’re at it, start the new list with you in the top spot.
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