I am a natural born caregiver. I grew up playing house and school. My family calls me a fuss-budget. I admit sometimes I do hover to make sure they are comfortable when I should leave them alone. But I like to make sure folks are happy. I look for ways to ease someone else’s day. Opening doors, picking up trash, smiling, saying please and thank you. All tiny details of a life led thinking of the other person’s comfort. It gets bigger of course. Offering rides, cleaning, and gardening services, making meals. Seems I want to make sure everyone I know is comfortable.
There is one person I neglect on a regular basis: me. I do so many things for so many other people I forget to give good care to me. It is a great pleasure to care for others. I get a lot of satisfaction from it. But caring for myself is a little harder. I feel the tiniest bit guilty if I offer me a nap in the afternoon. Or I give myself a moment to have coffee break. Or if I take the time to knit a row, read a chapter, or take a walk. All these are things I’d happily do with or for another, but when it’s for me, I hesitate.
However being kind to number one gives me the energy to do lovely things for others. If I recharge me with a kind moment, it’s easier to give someone else my energy. I have the reserves to share.
January seems to be the month we give each other advice. And we start all kinds of new disciplines and ideas for making this year better than the last one. Here’s my shocking advice: Take it easy on yourself. Be kind to you! It can be as small as permission to take your coffee cup out on the porch for ten minutes to breath some fresh air. But this year, as you are taking care of all the things you want to do, remember to be kind to you!