Friday, July 29, 2011

Taking Care of Me

At one point this week when I was feeling quite frazzled and worn out and worried about my newly diagnosed friend with MS, a dear and wise friend (you know who you are!) told me:
I hope you make certain to take good care of yourself - especially right now when your friend is going through so much turmoil....To help her best, you need to make sure you take care of yourself...This is a long haul process  (making it even more important for you to take care of yourself so that you can be there for the long haul).
Her words really hit home, and I took her excellent advice.  I stayed in that evening - by myself - and ate a simple egg dinner (I love eggs) and watched a wonderful, girl-y movie while lying on the couch.  It all felt so decadent, doing things just for me and not letting all the need-to-dos in my head escape and taunt me.  It was just what I needed, and I don't know why I can never seem to remember this simple advice when I am feeling so drained and wiped out.

I suppose some of the problem is simply being a woman - we just naturally feel as if we need to take care of everyone around us, and it's easy to forget our own needs.  And some of the problem is uniquely mine - despite all of the positive life lessons CFS has taught me (to slow down, to drop the perfectionism, etc.), I still tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to do everything and get everything done.  It seems I am destined to keep re-learning this lesson over and over and over again.

Overall, this has been a good week for me, a rejuvenating week with the kids away and Ken away much of the week as well.  It is truly amazing to me how easy it is to take care of a household of just one person!  I've only run the dishwasher once since Sunday and haven't done a single load of laundry all week.  The cleaning service was here a week ago, and the floor is still clean!  I went grocery shopping on Monday and was done in 10 minutes (astounding).  I found that cooking for myself only was so simple, and I tended to a lighter, more vegetarian diet (why buy a whole package of meat for one person?). 

Of course, as I do every year during this brief respite, I didn't get nearly as much done as I expected to.  For some reason, I assume being alone in the house will turn me into a productive hurricane of activity, somehow forgetting that my pace of life now doesn't leave much time or energy for actual work.  But, in the end, it turned out to be a nice balance between productivity and relaxing and between some much-needed social interaction and even-more-needed alone time.

And now this little pocket of quiet is coming to an end...just as I was getting the hang of it!  We will go to pick up the kids tomorrow, and life will return to its noisy, chaotic standard.  I'm sure the kids will be exhausted from their week with Gramie & Pop Pop, so I'm looking forward to relaxing with them on Sunday and enjoying some favorite shows together (the first season of Glee finally came in at the library - I can't wait!).

And this time, I swear I will remember to take care of myself.  No, really!  Well, if I forget, perhaps you can remind me.  And I will remind you - take care of yourself or you'll be no good to anyone else.  Enjoy the weekend!


Renee said...

Sounds like you had a fun week and kudos to you for stepping back and taking care of yourself! Have a super weekend and enjoy Glee. I have not gotten into that one but our oldest daughter loves the show!

Shelli said...

It sounds heavenly! I'm glad you were able to pamper yourself a little bit. I agree, it's a woman thing, that push to take care of everyone but yourself. Thanks for the reminder; it's a lesson I need to repeatedly learn as well. :)

Toni said...

I'm glad you kicked back this week and pampered yourself! A good reminder for all of us.

Elaine said...

It sounds like your friend is very wise. Good advice and some I hope to take to heart also.

Taking care of us is soooo hard... wonder why?????

Hope they boys are doing well.


Susan H said...

I've just had the same experience - extended family spent a week at Tahoe while I was at home alone - meals so simple. Watched "chick flicks" in the day time and indulged my infatuation with Matthew Morrison of Glee on tv and my computer.

He is so darn romantic. Let's see - I'm 70 and he's 32. That's not too big of an age gap,

My husband and kids and grandkids are due here in an hour. Better go pick up a little.

upnorth said...

I love it when I get the house to're right, it gives us a chance to take care of ourselves....even the respite from the social I think is good once and a while. It's hard not to be a perfectionist isn't it?

Keena said...

Glad you got to pamper yourself a little...

Baffled said...

Sounds like you had a great week!

X said...

Good on you for looking after yourself, something we all have to get better at!

Thanks for your comment on my blog, i wrote you a short reply which i'll cut and paste here for you.

keep up the great blogging :)

Thanks for the comment Sue, If you hadn't admitted it I would have thought it was me who was behind (I'm sure I am somewhere on the internet)!

Yes only 7 pills, not sure if that is good or bad, but I am slowly trying new things out and only keen to try one thing at a time. So it's slow going..but then again I think we are all used to going slowly by now!

Go you and the mascara, I don't put it on a lot, but it's nice to feel 'girly' once in a while. (even if no one else notices!)

'The crash mess' can get pretty nasty especially depending on the length of the crash ... :/

I am pretty good at the moment. I think I may have finally found my 'base level' of energy and the ups and downs are evening out a bit.

Take Care


Amanda said...

I have not been doing a good job of taking care of myself lately. We're getting ready to move in a month. We're busy trying to do some home renovations before we move in. Needless to say, things have been crazy. I woke up Saturday feeling terrible. It was then that I realized, I barely had any rest, down time in the week. Sunday while my husband golfed, I watched a girly move and relaxed. I definitely needed it.

Thank you for this reminder. We can't help others if we don't take care of ourselves, right?

How are you going to keep this zen feeling up? Do you have pockets in each day where you can relax, meditate and recharge.

Thanks so much again for sharing. I'm hoping I can proceed with my move without having any more crashes.

:) Amanda