The awesome Profgrrrl uses a theme as a way to ring in the new year. (That's where I got the idea about using themes instead of resolutions.) This year, she talks about putting on your own oxygen mask first. Any of you who have ever been on an airplane has heard the part of the safety speech where the flight attendant says to "Secure your own oxygen mask first before helping others". The idea is that you can't help someone else put their oxygen mask on if you are having trouble breathing. So, put yours on first, so that you can more effectively help someone else. Progirrrl uses it to mean that if you can't give to others if you have not taken care of yourself first. You can't give anything if you don't have anything left to give.
Makes so much sense, doesn't it?
I mean, we all do it. Yours truly is one of the most flagrant offenders. I have this horrible habit of giving, giving and giving to others before I give to myself. I run myself stupid, to the point of sickness and exhaustion, caring for everyone and everything else except for the one that truly matters.
I suppose I could blame it on how we, as woman, are programmed to be caregivers. I could go on about how society conditions us to feel guilty if we take care of ourselves before everyone else. And, I will not get into the whole link to that kind of behavior and autoimmune diseases, like RA. And, I will not address how we are perceived as less than a martyr because we are not running around to the point of exhaustion.
I think I once said that the reason why people call them "martyrs" is because they are DEAD!
No, I will not make excuses for my failure to secure my own oxygen mask. Instead, I am going to follow the great advice of Profgirrl and begin to secure my own mask first. Along with my own yearly crusade to "Let It Be", I have also taken steps to make sure that I secure my own oxygen mask first before helping others do the same.
With that in mind, here are some of the changes I have made so far.
- I have made a conscious effort to keep a regular work schedule. Unless it is absolutely required, I am no longer working long hours or staying on campus. I am no longer at anyone's "beck and call".
- I am recommitted to regular exercise. Husband and I have a standing appointment to go to the gym. Plus, I am taking a weekly yoga class.
- I am cooking more meals at home, relying less on garbage food and take out.
- We also have returned to our "date nights" every Saturday night.
- Continue to "Let It Be" when it comes to things that bother or irritate me, or are out of my control.
So far, I can say it is working. I am less stressed, more in tune with myself and feel like I am a better person, wife, doggie mom and professor. I like the changes