All that and a bag of chips

All that and a bag of chips

Late last week my son came home from school sick – turns out it was THE virus. He’s handling it well, but we worry due to the immune suppressive drug he is on. His fever is gone now, and today he woke up and was like, “Can I have a sandwich? Make it filling!” He was finally really hungry after not eating much for days. Yay!

So even though I had little energy and I had just sat down with a hot cup of tea, to kill off whatever germs might be lurking in my own throat, I happily went downstairs and made him a sandwich with all the fixings, cut up an apple, and even found one of those little bags of chips he takes to school and put it on his plate. I was so relieved he was feeling better and that made it easier to ignore my own tiredness and desire for my tea, and serve my son with joy.

I brought it back upstairs to him and realized just how hungry I was at that point. I also remembered my now cold tea. “I spent my last bit energy on my family, as usual,” I thought, a little dejected. “All those stairs. Oh well, I’ll just drink the cold tea and grab something easy.” (And most probably not good for me, I’ll add here.)

*Record Scratch* Wait! Let’s back this truck up. This ^^ above is not the person I want to be, and I am working hard toward right thinking and true self care.

To me right thinking is gearing my thoughts towards ultimate truth, as far as I can see it. Like the truth that I am as worthy of my own care as my son is, even if I’m tired. I was tired when I made HIM his meal, wasn’t I?

There were two main problems with my thinking, as I see it.

First, when I began trying to turn my thoughts around, I initially thought, “OK, stop feeling sorry for yourself” — I got to the “you” and stopped myself. Am I really feeling “sorry for myself”? Or am I just having feelings?? Ladies and gentlemen, it is OK to have emotions, and to feel them. When people tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself, usually they are just *uncomfortable* with your feelings and want you to move on. I don’t want to be one of those people, to myself or others.

Instead I thought, “What am I actually feeling — what are the individual emotions?” Today I was feeling tired, lonely, a bit frustrated and sad about some things, along with great relief and joy for my son. I realized those feelings were valid considering my situation, and allowed myself to feel them.

Second, I noticed that I always default to “I’m too tired to do anything good for myself, I’ll just do the easy thing.” But when my son said, “I’m hungry!” I immediately had enough energy do complete the task and helped him happily. Am I so worthless that I can’t muster some joy for myself to get me through some lunch making? NO! If it was another family member I would have gone down and made them a nice lunch as well. I am not healthy, and the truth is I deserve at least as good a diet as I make for my loved ones.

So I questioned myself, am I really *too* tired, or am I my usual tired, but also sad and a little lonely, and struggle with self worth? It was the latter, and so I realized I *could* make myself a sandwich, with joy. And I did! A nice one just like my son’s. I also reheated my tea so I could enjoy it.

I didn’t give myself a bag of chips though.

I opted for a cookie. πŸ˜‰


Are you learning to care for yourself too? What do you find easiest to do for yourself? Hardest? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

14 thoughts on “All that and a bag of chips

  1. For a HSP we have heard too many times that we are too much or not enough. Maybe not in so many words but it is the message we received. It is a lie that runs deep. Thank you for reminding me today of the truth that I am worth the extra TLC from my self and from those in my life.

    1. I always thought it was laziness in myself as well, but with a lot of time to think and process things lately, I realized it was more often other emotions at play. Not to mention that whole “die to self” thing that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. πŸ˜‰ I could tell myself rationally that I was worth it, but my behavior belied a deeper problem. I think it was often, “Oh no, not one more person to care about! (myself) That’s one too many, I’ve done enough caring for this lifetime” – and because I was the only one I could control, I denied my own needs, and blamed it on laziness. Or replayed my feelings at my parents’ needs overtaking everything.
      But I don’t profess to know what’s going on in your own head, just sharing my thought process. Much love to you!

  2. What an excellent “thinking-path,” Amy! I have always struggled to take care of myself . . . like I take care of my family (which explains why I make popcorn-for-dinner when I’m on my own, I’m sure). As I’ve gotten older – and my kids have grown and launched themselves into the world – I’m getting better at it. But I wish I’d been as wise as you are now . . . when they were still at home. Thanks for sharing your inspiring words!

    1. Thank you – I too wish I had these thoughts when my kids were younger! Most of mine are college age and above and it is much easier now to take a little time for myself.

  3. I love your thought process here. We (moms) do tend to put ourselves last, no matter what. Why? I guess we are just born caretakers, but self-care is so important.
    You certainly deserved a yummy cookie.

    1. I was a born caretaker and formed into an even more self-ignoring one in childhood – but I’m learning balance every day now. πŸ™‚ The cookie probably wasn’t a healthy choice but I was treating myself for making good decision about the lunch! πŸ˜€ Thanks for your thoughts!

  4. I was serious about raising our son to be just like me. He would love fishing like his dad. One night we were really catching a lot of nice fish between mosquito slaps, and he says “dad, I like fishing with uncle mark more than you.” After the I failed thoughts I asked why…”Uncle Mark always has pop and chips!”

  5. I appreciate this honest processing and awareness of feelings. Slowing down and identifying the individual feelings helps a lot and being tired can so easily bring about other feelings. Now that I’m retired, and my kids are grown and (mostly) on their own, I have become very protective of my energy. But I still need to process feelings. You did a great job on that.

    1. Thanks, this is all new to me! My kids are not all grown but it’s close – I have much more time to figure out how to take care of myself. I’m hoping by talking through this, I can reach some kind of truth that can help even moms in the trenches.

  6. I could relate to everything that you said, but in the past. What changed for me was I don’t let my thinking and analysis of my feelings get too deep. As they don’t support me and become messy. Then I lose perspective. You are a good Mum but it is finding a balance as like the oxygen mask on a plane. Look after yourself first so that you can help others.
    I found the following mantra helped me which I am sure you have heard: Help yourself but not at the expense of others and help others but not at the expense of yourself.

  7. I like that mantra – very wise! I’m trying not to let my analysis of my feelings get to deep either. The post I linked above in this post actually talks a bit about that – I’m learning to get out of analyzing everything and just *feeling*. Keeps me out of all the constant mind chatter that doesn’t get me anywhere. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: