I’m selfish by nature. I like things the way I like them and have to fight the urge to put my own wants at the front of the queue on a daily basis. That sounds terrible, I realise but I like to think that because I’m aware of it I have a pretty good handle on keeping my shit together and not being a complete arsehole 90% of the time.. but that other 10..
Although the word selfish carries negative connotations I am coming to realise with age that there is a time and a place when it’s actually perfectly acceptable, possibly even necessary to think of yourself first. Self care is so important and if you’re constantly busy with work and family commitments with zero time to dedicate to yourself you’re eventually going to burn out and be no use to anyone.. not to mention hugely resentful that you ran yourself down worrying about everyone else problems rather than your own.
I am the worst for not taking time to relax, I feel uneasy when I’m not doing at least a little bit of something and can’t remember the last time I actually WATCHED TV without another screen in front of it. Having only just moved house my constant need to be busy is in hyperdrive, with a seemingly never ending household To-Do list adding to my regular work lists I feel like I’ll never be well rested again. When I do finally take a minute to sit down and decompress I feel guilty knowing there are still so many things to be done and so it’s impossible to really ever unwind.
I mentioned in a recent post and last weeks video that I’ve been enjoying the new Sarah Knight book ‘Get Your Shit Together’ and in it she makes a very good case for prioritising your daily tasks so as not to overtake yourself and make sure that at the end of the day the really important stuff actually gets ticked off the list. That’s such a basic reminder but something that I’m trying to implement every single day at the moment and sometimes a selfish item is added to that list just to keep me sane. Painting my nails for example isn’t a ‘must do’ but while I’m doing it I couldn’t work if I wanted to so for me it’s a great way to enforce down time while doing something nice for myself that could also be classed as ‘necessary’ grooming.
As a mother, especially you’re expected to never think of yourself, when I’ve taken holidays sans kids or bought something expensive or frivolous I’ve come to anticipate a certain reaction from a particular set but if it’s something that you can do for yourself to remind you that you were a fully formed person before you grew these other full formed people and it’s not harming anyone else, why not do it?
As I write this I’m on an early train in to London for a meeting (I’ve always hated when bloggers refer to meetings like they’re hot shots with secret projects and here I am.. Meeting Wanker) which is technically work but when you’re self employed (which bloggers are) every meeting/trip outside your own home is a choice. This past year I’ve really struggled with guilt when it comes to leaving my husband with the kids or the kids with their childminder to pursue opportunities to the point of not taking them but if this was my ‘real job’ would I feel that way? Would my husband feel guilty if he had to take a business trip? Probably not.
If the important stuff on your wider to do list has been accomplished or you’ve delegated it elsewhere there should really be no problem in putting your personal needs or goals first occasionally.. and prior to todays very last minute arrangements I’d actually booked myself in for a facial tomorrow morning so it would seem I’m starting as I mean to go on..