Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Justified Selfishness?

There are times when selfishness is justified, right?

I have a huge list of things I want to get done before the next school year starts. And this year may be just as frenzied as last year, especially with the addition of Syd attending school rather than staying in the home with Steve's grandmother.

My list has barely been touched. Truly. Instead, I've done what I need to for the conference I had to attend; I've ensured Syd has activities to do each day; and I've focused on my health - not just the "I need to eat more consistently and consistently better" health, but detoxifying my system and hoping upon hope that systems balance out and doing what I can to ensure that happens. I've worked on handling stress so that my coping mechanisms are firmly entrenched before the next onslaught occurs.  The minor surgery I had in April was a bit of an eye opener as to how stress is playing a role in what's happening internally, and I am no longer young enough to just bounce back. I need to make my health a priority in order to function the way my family needs.

That justifies letting the dishes go a day, right? Letting the dust build up on the ceiling fans a little longer? Delaying the laying out of my senior English class? Instead of working diligently while Syd is napping, like I do the first week after school lets out, I am working out before laying down for a quick nap. I am making a cup of tea in the afternoon to drink while Syd has his post-nap "tookies." I am using water as my snack before dinner, and I try to make sure I drink a full 8 oz before I drown myself in coffee (he still is up, consistently, by 5:30. He's just an early riser, and we've made peace with that). Yes, I drink coffee. And I now fully enjoy it. And studies have shown that having between 2-4 cups a day can help prevent certain diseases with which our family is currently coping, so I feel justified in that, as well.

It is ok to be selfish when it comes to your own well-being. By being a healthier Mommy, I am a happier Mommy, and a more patient Mommy. And I am more able to care for my family, especially with Daddy temporarily working 2nd shift.

Syd is, undoubtedly, a morning person. I am not. Let me repeat that. I, Dionne, am not a morning person. I never have been. Steve used to make fun of me endlessly about my attitude when I first woke up, or if nothing else, the expressions on my face. I used to say "I'm going to get up early and _____" and he would snicker, then say ok and look away. And then I had a baby and all realization of priorities shifted. Now, though there are times I literally drag myself out of bed so Steve can keep sleeping, I am more capable of helping Syd get his day started.

And I am very proud to say that I successfully stayed on schedule while gone for a week at my conference. My alarm was set for 5:50 and I was up every day. And several times that week, I went to the gym in the hotel and worked out before getting ready for class. Never did I fail, though, to get my Starbucks. Either in the hotel room or via the actual store. Another area where selfishness is ok - I was sitting in class all day discussing the symbolism and isolation present in Ethan Frome, which I really don't like. I think splurging on soy lattes was justified.

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