Take Care of You

Later this morning I'll be on a plane to Florida for some client meetings. It's a tough time to be out of the office and to be out of town. I'm very busy at work, and this is an important month in our house.

Sam in 3rd grade
  • My baby (Sam) is about to turn 18, and at the end of this month he'll graduate from high school. The month is full of ceremonies and end-of-high-school celebration events that we're all excited to attend.
  • My husband, Mike, is preparing for an important exam and then will be leaving on Sunday to spend the summer in Washington working as an engineering intern.
  • I have two business trips this month — this week and a couple of weeks from now.

In order to accommodate the travel and family schedules, I've been working pretty long hours at the office to get everything done. I realized this morning that I'm doing something again that I have a habit of doing — when the schedule gets packed, the first things to drop out are the things I do for my health (physical and mental).

Yesterday I felt like I had to get to the office early to get a jump start on the day, so I skipped my workout. And then I skipped lunch — just stayed at my desk and kept working.

The day was full and long, so writing . . . didn't happen.

If it was just the one day, probably not a big deal. But it's a pattern — this entire week has been like that, and other weeks in the recent past.

Why is it that when something has to go, we drop the things that matter only to us? I run for my physical health — to take care of my body so that it will sustain me for the rest of my life. I write for my mental and emotional health — to pursue a lifelong dream and passion. It doesn't matter to anybody else whether I do these things. I do them for me. So it's easy to tell myself that if I can't do everything, I should let these go.

This morning I woke and realized I need to pack for my trip, get some materials together for the client meetings, and take care of some things around the house before I leave for the 90-minute drive to the airport. And I almost just jumped into that mad scramble instead of taking the time for a workout or writing.

But then I stopped. And thought about it.

And put on my running shoes and went outside for a quick run in the glorious north Texas spring morning.

And while I was running, I thought . . . maybe we all need a reminder that our health and our dreams shouldn't be the first thing we sacrifice when other demands press in.

Women have a tendency to do that, though, don't we? We take care of everybody else first, and if — if — there's a little time left, then maybe we think about our own dreams. But taking that approach can mean that days, weeks, years go by and we never take any action toward the things we've dreamed about.

I certainly wouldn't suggest that we stop taking care of our responsibilities or the people we love. Those things are important. Vital. And they bring us joy too.

But it's also vital to take care of ourselves — body, mind, and soul.

So today, I ran. And today, I will write.

But right now . . . I'm going to get ready to catch a plane.

What do you give up first when you feel like you're running out of time? Do you put yourself at the bottom of the list always?

What little step can you take — today — to change that?

Greenville, Texas 
I Was Just Thinking . . .
Twitter: @LauraMcMom