There is one person to whom I often neglect to say, "Take care". It got magnified last week. I am aware that I often forget about this person, but I don't think I realized how much my neglect was affecting this person. "Who is it?", you may be asking.
Yup, I don't tell myself to take care.
This isn't a new phenomenon. It's been this way probably since my mid-twenties when I discovered I took care of myself too well - and I had the credit card debt to prove it. I then went to the reverse extreme trying to make sure I didn't go over board again. I began to focus more on others. Then, when I became a mom, everything went completely out of the window. I have a new favorite shopping website for Kiara. Zulily. I became addicted for like a week (okay, okay it was last week ...). Clothes, purses, toys, playroom accessories, you name it - I probably bought it. Did someone just say an "inside" play tent? Yeah, I got that too!
After hearing about my shopping spree, a friend of mine pointed out to me that I need to start taking care of myself and even splurge on myself every now and then.
Splurge? On myself? How preposterous!
At work the very next day I was asked by the director's assistant where would I want to receive a gift card from? I immediately exclaimed, "Zulily!" To which she replied, "No, something for yourself ..." I was a bit taken aback and then took about 20 minutes to come up with a place that I knew I couldn't spend on Kiara - DSW. I said to myself, "Okay Lord, I get it ..."
But apparently I really hadn't because then something kinda eerie happened ...
I was on Zulily (again) and I found a matching "mommy and me" outfit that I could not resist (and we never dress alike). I showed the outfit to my loving adorable daughter and said, "Kiara, do you like that? You can dress like mommy!" To which she replied:
"Don't buy me any clothes. I have clothes in my closet!"
Needless to say, for a few minutes I was dumbfounded. Did she just tell me not to buy her any clothes because she already had clothes in her closet?
Yes, yes she did. I felt like I was in the twilight zone or something. **(Note to self: show this blog to Kiara when she becomes a teenager ...)**
The sad thing is, my two and a half year old baby girl was absolutely right. Her closet is full of clothes. She does not need any clothes. And in six months she is going to grow out of the clothes she has now anyway.
So, I began to slowly process and take stock of the things I did for myself - and it wasn't much.
My eating habits? Let's just say I put my family's nutrition ahead of mine.
When I'm sick I rarely go to the doctor. I need to go to my endocrinologist because my thyroid medicine isn't metabolizing correctly, but I've been putting that off for about three months now...
I was reminded this morning that I need new glasses when loving adorable daughter stepped on them and broke them in half ... again ... I have super glued them back together more times than I can count. Honestly, I haven't had an eye examination probably since 2005 or 2006 ....
I'm ashamed to admit the last time I went to the dentist.
I have clothes that date back to the early 2000's. The last time I had to buy a "new wardrobe" I was pregnant and couldn't fit what I had. I bought a few casual dresses last summer and thought that would be good enough for a few years, but they were so cheap and cheaply made that a few times in the wash and now they look worn. And at the risk of offering too much information, I recently threw out half of my unmentionables because they were unmentionably holey ...
Last year I bought a couple of pairs of shoes for myself because my old ones literally fell apart on me - just about all of them all at the same time. The soles of shoes were coming off, straps broke, heels were detaching. And I actually thought about just taking them to the shoe repair guy ...
DIY has been my hair motto. The last time I went to the hair salon was last year when one of my sisters treated me to it for Mother's Day. Before that it had been two, maybe three years (all my "sistas" gasp ...).
I think you get the picture. I'm not very good at making sure I take care of myself and get things when I need them. Splurging? Out of the question.
So, what does a person do or say when they discover that? Not a whole lot ... but I am at the very least - very aware that I have to do better. And, I know I am not alone. I'm sure there are those of you that have stories of neglect much worse than mine. We have to do better. We have to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and yes, spiritually.
When is the last time you excercised?
Went to bed before 10:30 pm and got a full night's sleep?
Went to the doctor for a check-up/physical, not because you were knocking on death's door?
Wore clothes that weren't "worn" and fit properly?
Treated yourself to your favorite restaurant, a mani/pedi, got your hair done, went to a ball game, movie, or did anything that was purely just for you?
When have you taken time, significant time, and just spent it with God and allowed Him to refresh you and your relationship with Him (not for teaching / facilitating / study /preaching, etc.)?
If you haven't done any of the above you need to. If you are a mom like me, I'm sure it has been a while and you need to do things beyond Mother's Day!
Below is a youtube video, posted by American Greetings, that speaks directly to mothers, but I think it can apply to anyone who neglects themselves and puts others needs and wants above their own on a consistent basis.
My prayer is that you take stock like I did and you start to take care of yourself. I don't mean become selfish or narcisstic, but genuinely do things for your health, sanity and spiritual well being. You have to be your best you, in order to continue to bless and take care of others.
Just Around the Corner,
P.s. I did buy something additional on Zulily - a shirt and a dress just for mommy. Gotta start somewhere!