I had an epiphany yesterday - it isn't anyone else's job to put me first when I consistently refuse to do so myself. I don't mean 'put myself first' in a self-indulgent or narcissistic way. After this past Spring I've been feeling so depleted, yet I've thought that somehow or other I was just going to get better without my doing something about it. It's been scary for me, and frustrating and exhausting for the people who love me.
So, I took a preventative sick day today. Now that life is returning to a somewhat reasonable level of balance I can do some recuperating ... starting with sleeping in and taking care of myself for the day. It turns out it's harder than I thought to take a day off and do nothing. I slept in somewhat, but only about half an hour, so I declared that I was just not going to get out of bed until 10 am. Awake or not, I was staying in bed! I played with games on my iPhone, chatted briefly with STG - who also happens to be home today - and eventually headed out.
The beach was calling. All I packed was my journal, my camera, my keys and my wallet. Unfortunately, all I wore was shorts and a tank top and the day was not nearly as warm as it had looked from my bed. Quick change of plans - I walked about in my neighbourhood, somewhat protected from the wind, and did something I have meant to for a while: buying fresh cut flowers from a stand just a few blocks over.
From May to November the garden and the stand at this house bring me so much joy when I wander past, and this was my first time having the right change in my pocket to buy ... crimson peonies, royal cornflowers, sunny yellow and white irises. I generally keep freshcut flowers on my table, so I had to laugh tonight when BB1 said "I don't make a habit of paying any attention to your flowers, but those are pretty impressive. " I think he's right.
I did other things today that I don't usually do - I made myself three good meals to share with BB1. I sat by the water and watched the seagulls cavort. I kept my acupuncture appointment instead of giving it to Josh when his got mixed up. But at the end of the day, what makes me smile is the flowers.
It's amazing to me that something so little can make such a difference to my day. Fresh flowers. The sun on my face. The smell of the beach. Writing in a journal instead of typing on a computer. Watching a seagull survey the world. Very little things bring me joy and a sense of myself.
I'm going to try to remember this day ... and to have a lot more of them. I don't do anybody any favours when I'm so wiped out I can't function. A part of being who I am means being able to take care of the people I love, and that's going to require a little more in terms of taking care of me.