Happy New Year!
Did you make any resolutions? I sure did… well, one.
I’m not far from the big Four-0… And believe me when I say my mortality is starting to sink in.
My mom moved in with us a little over a year ago, and let me tell you guys something – watching her struggle to walk through the grocery store is sobering as h-e-double-hockey-sticks (sorry mom, I know you’re probably reading this).
My dad isn’t really any different.
Is that my future?!?!?! Because, if it is, it’s terrifying…
Both are around 70 – that’s only 33 years away – and OH. EM. GEE… that’s less years than I’ve been alive so far…
And another example hit really close to me about a month ago – let me tell you about my friend Amber.
Amber is younger than I am at just 35. She goes in to work super early to work out. She works, I don’t even know how many hours (do any of us know anymore, now that we have our emails on our phones?). But she has a career most women would envy.
She’s ambitious, tenacious, and has the kind of drive and hustle that few could maintain for more than a week. Hubster has known Amber’s family since childhood, and he will tell you that she has been that way since she was a small child.
Amber commissions and coaches her daughter’s cheer squad. She supports her son rather loudly at football games.
She’s a fiercely loyal friend… a confident confidant if you will.
Amber has it all… a house on the corner lot… the family pets… the American dream…
And about a month ago, Amber had a stroke.
She’s going to be okay. Like I said, Amber is tenacious. But there’s no such thing as a “minor” stroke in an otherwise healthy person, in your mid 30’s.
We all know that the doctors’ focuses were on what physically caused it, but we also know that physical manifestations in our health generally stem from other situational realities in our lives – stress… fatigue… poor dietary choices… lack of sleep… the list goes on.
Have you figured out what my New Year’s resolution is about yet?
It’s to focus on myself more – through real self-care.
Amber’s Hubster had to scold her more than once while she was laying in a hospital bed in the days after the stroke… because she continued to worry about everybody else, except for herself.
And that’s the cycle we live in as women – care about everything and everyone else, except yourself. Care for your children, your husband, your job, your parents, your dog, your siblings …
Did you know that women are almost twice as likely to be prescribed antidepressants than men?
I’m NOT advocating dropping your medications, ladies, as always, nothing that I say is to be construed as any kind of medical advice…
But I also don’t believe that this means that there’s something wrong with women in general – I think it means there’s something wrong with our society that’s pushing us as women into that cycle.
I read a Facebook post recently, and the author made a statement about self-care that struck this chord in particular…
“A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.”
We have to stop raising our daughter’s to “do it all” – instead, we need to show them how to prioritize the things that mean the most to us, and to get comfortable allowing ourselves to let the rest fall away.
We have to stop telling ourselves that we “have to” because nobody else will – NO WE DON’T… Say “No” often… Set boundaries.
We have to stop… period. Just stop for an hour, for a minute, for a few seconds each day… Because nobody else is going to do it for you, ladies.
So for 2020, the general theme of this blog is going to be on this incredibly trendy topic of self-care. It’s not going to be all fun and games. Some of it’s going to be work.
And I’ll practice what I’m preaching.
Self-care isn’t a reward for a long day. It isn’t a short-term state or activity – it’s putting a process into place to recondition yourself to make decisions on behalf of your LONG term wellness.
Because in just 33 more years, I’m going to be 70 … and that’s really not that far away.
That’s my resolution – did you make any resolutions?