The idea is that if I take care of myself, I will then have the capacity to take better care of my family. That’s the idea and I’ve tried to accept it. But it hasn’t ever really stuck. I’m in the habit of running myself ragged, because there’s always more to do than I can possibly get done. I keep it up until I can’t any more, and then I crash and burn. I vow to change, pick myself up, dust off the ashes, and start all over again.
This doesn’t really work.
By failing to take care of myself, I end up failing to take care of my family. I end up with a longer, more unwieldy To Do list and less capacity to do it with. I get further and further behind. I become more and more vulnerable to depression. The overall effect is disastrous levels of suckage. Simply put, it stinks. But I am stuck.
The key for me is to think about capacity.
If I don’t safeguard my capacity, then I won’t be able to take care of my family in the present. If I don’t build my capacity, then I won’t be able to do the things I want to do in the future. In order to safeguard and build my capacity, I have to take care of myself. My health must come first, next my family, then my (paying) work, and finally my dreams. Throw in a dash of fun and a dollop of sleep and I should have a winning recipe, not that I cook or even want to learn how. The point is that sometimes putting things in order requires less busy hands and more purposeful patience.
So, here’s to taking care of mama: a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, but a mindful look to my own reality is what makes me swallow.