On an aside, before I get to what’s really on my mind today, last night, I went to bed belly laughing with my husband. My second eldest son used a “Face App” to age himself and his siblings to an age, older than even his parents, and he sent the pictures to the family chat. It is kind of disturbing to see pictures of your kids at ages, even older than yourselves. I got a glimpse of who will be coming to visit me in the nursing home. Their responses were even more hilarious. “Scary.” “Terrifying.” “Brutal.” I said to my husband, “I wonder back when we were their ages (currently spanning ages 15-23), if we had that app and saw pictures of what we looked like today, would we find the startling pictures to be scary, terrifying and brutal?” Thankfully, aging is a slower process than an instant application, so our response to aging is not quite as harsh as that, except on really Bad Days.
Another concept that I kept pondering a lot Yesterday was self-care/self-love. Yesterday, was kind of a “bad” day in some ways, but like all bad days, it had a silver lining. The people whom I love most – my husband, my kids, some extended family and some really good friends and even my dogs, bolstered me, nurtured me, cared for me, validated me and made me feel quite loved and understood. I’m lucky to have such good, solid people in my life. I hope that I am as good at nurturing them in return, for all that they do for me. I think we all, especially we women, spend a lot of time nurturing and caring for others. Sometimes we even get a lot of our own “self-worth” from what we do for others. But the question that kept popping into my head yesterday, is the wondering to myself, if I would put my own self into the Category of the best carers/nurturers, in my own life.
At this stage of the game, in this second half of our adult lives, most of us have experienced the painful process of having to extricate toxic people from our lives. Even if we still love the damaging person(s), we realize that for our own sanity, the toxicity and the drama and the upsets that these people’s actions create, no longer deserve a place, in the front row of our lives. Even if we don’t do the extrication process, in order to protect ourselves, we often finally do it, for our families’ best interests and health and sanity. So, the question kept popping up in my mind, what category would I put myself into, in my own life? Would I be in the loving/caring/nurturing category or would I often be in the toxic person category? When I talk to myself, am I kind, considerate, understanding and patient with myself, or am I judging, condescending and harsh? When I care for myself, do I encourage good nutrition, extra sleep and healthy exercise or do I look for the “quick fix” of unhealthy options? When I give myself advice to I do it in a positive light or is it spiraled in negativity? Do I give myself the sound advice that I would give to the people I love the most, and want for them, only the best? In short, do I treat myself how the best nurturers in my life treat me, or am I in the toxic person category? Do I treat myself as a loved, valued and respected member of the group of people who I care for the most? Do I nurture myself in the ways that I hope to nurture my spouse, my children, my family, my pets and my best friends? I came to the conclusion yesterday, that self-care is not just an occasional splurge on a massage or allowing myself to spend some hours just reading a good book. Self-care is making sure that I am in the circle of people who I trust the most, the people who I know have my best interests at heart – the people who are rooting for me. Self-care is making sure that I, myself, am not in that circle of people who have proven to be too negative and hurtful to be a big part of my life any longer. Like it is often said, we can’t do our best job loving and caring for others, if we don’t do it for ourselves first. For some reason that statement became more clear to me yesterday. Do you treat yourself like a person who deserves a front row seat in your life? I think that it is a good thing to ponder, from time to time.
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