It’s Okay to Make it About You Sometimes

by Magnolia on September 22, 2011

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In my class last night I had a conversation with one of the instructors.  I had shared a few things that led her to ask me what kind of time I was taking for myself.

“How nice are you being to yourself?” she asked.

It was a timely question because I had actually taken the day yesterday to do exactly what I wanted to do rather than what I thought I should do.

So instead of writing or working on business issues, I cleaned my house.  Imagine that.  Cleaning a house, washing clothes, and baking cookies for my daughters to have when they came home from school was exactly what I wanted to do.

Cleaning has always been therapy for me anyway.  It’s mindless in that I don’t have to concentrate on anything in particular and I get immediate satisfaction.  A clean counter.  A shiny faucet.  A polished table.

I put cleaning right up there with mowing the lawn and weeding the garden.  It’s a time where I work out my angst, problem solve and generally release any negative energy that has built up in my life due to stress, hormones or just the day to day stuff that whacks on all of us.

So I was able to say with a smidgen of pride and self-satisfaction that in fact, I was nice to myself all day. So now, I ask you, dear sisters in perimenopause, how nice have you been to yourself lately?  What makes you happy?  What do you keep pushing to the bottom of your list so that you can do something for someone else or something that needs to be done?

Sleeping in? Watching movies and eating in bed? Sitting on the front porch reading a novel and drinking tea? (I’m from the South…..it’s shows, I know) Taking a walk?  What makes you happy and how much of that are you doing for yourself?

Sometimes just offering yourself grace, kindness, and forgiveness when you fail in life (or think you have) is a treat.  Telling yourself it’s  “okay to be imperfect” and really mean it when you say it, is a treat.

Look, perimenopause is a tough time for so many women.  When you compound the stress of hormone imbalance with a life that is devoid of pleasure and fun, but instead, full to the brim with “shoulds”, it can become debilitating.

So, my simple admonition to you today is to give yourself permission to make it about you sometimes.  Completely and totally about you. It’s okay.  Do it.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly September 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I clean my house for fun too. It’s so satisfying to have everything in order, a nice dinner on the table and a lovely glass of wine.

What a nice post.

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Magnolia September 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm

It is wonderful isn’t it? Such simple pleasures. Clean and order always make me happy. So when I hear the hum of that dishwasher and the washer & dryer, I feel like I’m in heaven. :)

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Wendy Collett September 23, 2011 at 7:31 am

For me, one of the best “me” times is a long walk with my dog. I figure we both could use the exercise and I love watching him explore the world around him with such joy.

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Magnolia September 23, 2011 at 8:15 am

I have a little Jack Russell that I love like a child, Wendy. She is my eternal side-kick. Whenever I want to feel comfort, all I have to do is reach over and pat her sweet little head or rub her belly. She certainly likes it too. :)

I’ve always enjoyed walking her and my lab too. Those long walks listening to the birds in the trees and wind blowing is pretty grand.

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Eileen Williams September 27, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I love the topic of this post! Once you’ve reached the peri-menopausal stage in life, you deserve to take time for yourself. I’m on the far side of menopause and I’ve gotta say the need to turn “shoulds” into “want-tos” grows stronger with age. After a lifetime of doing for others, it’s about time!

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Chloe September 30, 2011 at 1:20 am

This is a good reminder. I could do a lot better taking care of myself right now.

Between writing and working full time, taking care of me has fallen through the cracks.

Today I also cleaned my house and did some laundry. I also made a nutritious dinner and drank enough water. I feel good when I have a clean house and clean clothes folded in their drawers. I need to make taking care of me a higher priority.

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Magnolia September 30, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I’m the worst and putting myself at the bottom of the list. But, I’m getting better. It helps to surround yourself with people who will support you doing it for yourself, that is for sure.

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Cherise January 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I’m 47 and I am so glad I found this blog! My husband and I moved in with my brother-in-law and parents so we could all take care of the parents. My Mother-in-law has moderate Dementia and my Father-in-law is in the severe stages of Alzheimers. Can we say “FUN”?

I have been so stressed,angry,resentful at everyone myself included. I did not know that rage was a part of the process! It was me that pushed to take care of the family. lol I feel very strongly about this. I did not realize the timing. The past two years I have been misrable. So is everyone else. IT is terrible. I have wondered what the heck is wrong with me. I know about the stages of menopause sort of. Yet there were other things I was dealing with. I realized I in 2004 I could not drink like other people. I was not in an extreme bad way but the realization brought many changes into my life. So all this time I thought that was what was going on. DUH! Not quite so fast. There was more to it then that. I thought I was going crazy. I see from reading a bit on your blog that word is used often! “crazy”

I ramble sorry. My point is I have little time for myself. I’m at this caregiving 24/7 with no where to hide when I do get time off except to leave the house. No job no money. No where to go. So My time for myself has become very limited. I have found that I love art and have been doing that for myself. I feel guilty if I go do things away from the house. My Darling husband is very helpful and considerate. We have been together for over 25 years now. We decided to stick it all out. He pushes me to take time for myself. Sometimes this means just a long hot shower with no hurrying. It is enough to help.

I feel for my husband. I feel for my bil who has never been married. I am sure I am not helping the female agenda right now!

I feel like I am a tornado running around chasing things with my moods. Does anyone else have problems feeling guilty about time for themselves?

Ok I have rambled enough. Yes I think it is this fog in my head I keep hearing about that really makes me jump around in subjects!

Thanks for this post it helped me!

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