...when Things happen, the first thing to suffer is me. Working out, or eating well, or taking time to relax, or getting enough sleep, or whatever, well, that has been the first thing I've dropped throughout the history of me. ...when I drop me, in my head it's a present to myself .... A mountain of overdue grading vs. cooking dinner? ...I have to do the grading whatever the case, and so don't I "deserve" not to go to the gym, which I do not enjoy? ... It's easy to let myself go. I like it. Partly because the ways in which I typically let myself go are quite enjoyable. I mean, who doesn't like to eat food that's bad for one...I've typically characterized "self-care" things as the antithesis of things that will make me happy or that will make any material difference in my life. ...Which is why, without realizing it, I made some of the resolutions I did. They are all things I do anyway, like walk the dog and take pictures, that I simply want to do more of because they make me happy. So they are (1) totally achievable. They also aren't really resolutions, in the sense that people, for example, typically resolve to stop smoking or lose ten pounds. I don't know whether that makes them (2) goals or not, but I have found that it makes all the difference in the world if you put your resolutions/goals/whatever in positive terms. In other words, belay the stops and nots and loses.
... I totally need to shift my perception of what it means to take care of myself. ... to think about it less as a chore and more as a reward. I've accomplished so much in the past 10 years. ...And so why not think of focusing on me ... as the reward? Why exactly is it that I've convinced myself that cooking dinner isn't something that's "important" compared to other tasks on the to-do list?
I need to take care of myself ... first. Period. Like as a non-negotiable thing. ...not as "extras" that can be let go, or as chores that need to be done, but as just normal, everyday things that make me happy and that are just part of my life.
The key for me, as I suspect is true for most (if not all) of us, is not to let any of my goals go by the wayside because something presumably more important comes up. I like Crazy's new point of view that she's already earned the right to treat herself well, that she's already paid her dues. She doesn't have to do the grading before she can let herself fix a nice dinner: That's already bought and paid for.
So here goes (3): I have done a heckuva lot already in this lifetime. I have earned four degrees--count 'em, four--married, established a household, bred Boykins, raised a son, established a practice, employed some people, thereby enabling them to make a living, supervised some people all the way to full licensure, taught some kids a few things, helped some patients, been a good friend to a few good women, adopted two birds and a dog (we adopted the child, too, but it is different) and probably more in my 56 years if I thought about it longer. I deserve to take more photographs, walk more dog, laugh more, love more, live more.
And so do you.