I suck at self-care.
This startling revelation comes as no surprise to people who know me in real life.
A freind shot me a little message today: ur blog ain’t workin’.
Yep. I haven’t been posting according to the schedule that I want. I have thought about what I want to do, but thinking isn’t doing.
Since I have moved and have been living on my own (here’s the recap) I have assembled a hodge-podge of part-time work for myself. It’s easy for me to get distracted when people want me to do stuff for them. When I’m not feeling particularly happy with myself, it’s just easier for me to allow the “demands” from others come before the things I need to do for myself.
Case in point: My dirty kitchen floor.
My kitchen floor was filthy. I am really starting to think that the former tenant(s) of my apartment were evicted. Some of the evidence pointing in this direction:
Exhibit A- I was finding abandoned packages of food on the upper shelves in the kitchen. It is as if somebody moved out in a hurry and didn’t bother to check that they got everything.
Exhibit B- There was a night when three Sheriff’s Deputies showed up at my door, hoping to serve a warrant for the former tenant’s arrest. They were really disappointed that I didn’t know this individual or his whereabouts.
Exhibit C- The place is just dirty. For today’s purposes, we’ll focus on the kitchen floor. I’ve needed to do a deep clean of my kitchen floor for about a month.
Among of the hodge-podge mix of jobs I have assembled for myself is an assignment to clean my trainer’s fitness studio. The treatment room, in particular, was in need of a deep clean. On the first weekend when he was away from the studio, I spent about 4 hours cleaning this one room. I spent at least two hours on my butt, scrubbing the floor, by hand, with a kitchen sponge. When I was finished, the place screamed “CLEAN!!”
I actually don’t mind cleaning. I like it because it’s a finite project with a clear beginning and an end. I can approach cleaning the floor with a zen-like state of mind, focusing on a single patch of floor, and staying there until it is done. If I approach it this way, it’s a nice practice for learning to stay present in the moment. At the end there’s the satisfaction of a job well done, and as a bonus, the floor is clean.
But I only cleaned the studio floor. Back at the apartment, my own kitchen floor remained filthy. For weeks.
Why do I do this? Why is it so easy- in fact, so automatic- for me to allow the needs of other people to come before my own needs? I have been to therapy, and I understand how I got this way. I also know I’m not the only person who struggles with this issue. I think it’s part of the cultural expectation for women, and particularly for moms, to put everyone else’s needs before their own.
I need to learn how to get better about filling my own cup. Someone this week told me that we can only give of ourselves to others after we have filled out own cup. We need to find ways to deeply nurture and restore ourselves before we can be of service to others. We can really only give from the overflow of our cup… we can’t give away what we don’t have ourselves.
It’s past time to mop my own floor.
In the interest of full transparency, I have to tell you: I was already mopping my kitchen floor when my friend’s message arrived. And now you’ve read a blog about it. It isn’t the blog I meant to write, but it’s the real deal. I cleaned my floor, and then I had something to share. It’s funny how that worked.
A lot of women have trouble fitting fitness and self-care into their lives. Let’s talk about how we can allow our own self-care to appear higher on the priority list. We’ll start with baby steps. Sometimes practicing self-care can be as simple as mopping your own floor.