There is good and there is good.
When somebody says, “Be good to yourself” what does that mean to you?
Does it mean indulge in the things you like? Comfort yourself? Do you justify an extra glass of wine, a Venti Cinnamon Dolce latte with WHOLE milk, a chocolate bar? Do you say, “I deserve it!”
Or does it mean literally be good, as in, eat right, get some exercise, get some sleep, turn off the TV, call a friend.
I’ve been challenged with a lot of things lately – weight, mommyhood, marriage, faith – pretty much the whole enchilada. It’s a normal challenge, well within the scope of life, the universe, and everything. It’s the sort of challenge one faces when expectations and promises don’t match up to reality. It requires compromise. It requires reconciliation. It requires rolling with whatever you’ve got to work with. It requires remembering that God can do GREAT things with NOTHING (we were formed of the dust of the earth, after all.)
And at the end of the day, when you have done all that you were supposed to, all that is required of you, all that you didn’t want to have to do…but had to do, and you come to that place where you can soothe yourself…well…how does one go about it?
See…if you are watching your diet and exercise, being good to yourself, becomes something different. Coffee, chocolate, French fries, three hours in front of the TV…these are not being GOOD…they are being self-indulgent.
If you are working on your relationships, being good to yourself means that you cannot indulge in pity party tears and “but you said.” It wears itself out. You have to find another definition for “good to yourself” if the old way is stagnating or detrimental.
When you are faced with a new frontier because there is a brand new person in your home, being good to yourself is something that two watchful eyes and a hungry mind absorb without filter. Your behavior is no longer just about you and what you want, what feels good.
So, as with many things I’ve discussed over the last year, I am on the verge of yet more change. A new definition of “good to yourself” is required to go to the next place.
And, I’m not sure how my new definition will take shape…what constitutes reward. A couple of hours of guilt-free scrapbooking? New shoes? A sugar-free, skim milk Cinnamon Dolce Latte? Its hard to tell…I only know that at this point in life, the tide is going in a different direction than it used to, than I hoped, than I planned for. And to be good to myself is going to mean something new and exciting and different.
As one friend put it, sometimes I’m just too hard on myself. I need to give myself a break…especially when no one else in my life is willing to give me a break. Its in those times when I must seize my break and take a few deep breaths, perhaps a quick walk to the end of the drive way and back in the sunshine, perhaps cut some inspirational pictures form a magazine and paste them in my mood book.
And as always, self-examining and charting a new course…