Put out the good towels, roll out the red carpet. You have arrived. Yes, you, the person who takes care of others, cleans the dishes after the last guest has left, puts the last load of laundry in at midnight and eats the last piece of bacon.
You put others first, but is that always a good thing? When was the last time you took a real day for yourself or treated yourself as good as your best guest? After the final family member left today, I fell into bed, exhausted. I took a two-hour nap – and I don’t nap! But there was a pile of sheets to wash, bathroom floors to scrub and bags of trash to take out, and I could barely find the energy to change a roll of toilet paper.
My family is exhausting. When my children were little, they never stopped running, jumping and talking. As very “active” children, the only time left for me was at 10 p.m. when I settled down in front of the TV with my nightly microwaved bag of popcorn. The sad part is I would give anything to have those moments back again.
But did I give too much? I laugh when I hear people say there is a “balance” in life. For me, there was no balance, just a never-ending to-do list of work, kids and cleaning. There were times I wasn’t sure I could get up in the morning. There were also moments of overwhelming doubt and the nagging question, “Am I doing enough?”
I don’t exactly have any answers. But, after a lifetime of serving others, it is time to bring some “me time” back. Today, I will take a “guest day.” I call it a guest day because a personal day is not enough. I am going to treat myself as I would treat my guests.
I am going to wake to the smell of hot coffee and bacon. I am going to take my time eating breakfast and not clean up. I am going to take a slow, hot shower that allows me to wash and condition my hair. I will take my time putting on my makeup beautifully. I will wear a pretty dress to shop and stop to eat fresh blackberries at the market. I will buy myself flowers, and I will make and serve myself the best piece of whitefish. I will tell myself I am pretty all day, and at night be thankful I was able to take this time for myself.
You see, the world wants us to treat ourselves as it sees us. We are rare, precious and deserving, and tonight I am thankful for that beautiful reminder.