Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Strapping on My Oxygen Mask

After a very busy and active weekend away with the family, I was looking forward to just being home today, a day of puttering around and seeing where the day would take me. I got up and spent some time cleaning the kitchen. First I did dishes, then I tackled the paperwork on the island, and I cleaned off the dining room table. I did some laundry and folded clothes. I unpacked from our weekend and put the suitcase away. I cleared off the end table and decided I’d go sit and read a magazine. But then it happened.

I fell asleep...before noon...on the family room couch. It was glorious. It’s been much too long since I took time to nap like that. With the sun streaming in the window, I turned to face the sun and dozed off. The house was beautifully quiet. With just a fleece throw covering me, I had reacquainted myself with the couch. It was like spending time with an old friend. However, I did not even have to bother getting dressed.

When you have three, no wait, a foreign exchange student daughter makes four, children to take care of, and 100 teens to teach, not to mention numerous other family members to check in on, a household to keep running, and other personal responsibilities that grant you a very full life, it can be difficult to carve out private “ME” time. There’s always something that needs to be done or somewhere to go, but I have long believed that if one does not take care of oneself first, everything else will suffer. It’s the old “oxygen mask in an airplane” rule. In case of an emergency, strap on your own oxygen mask before assisting your loved ones.

So today, after seeing my daughters off to their day at the basketball tournament game and after saying goodbye to my husband who had to go in search of some sound equipment for work, my son and I briefly spent some time together. When he was happily occupied in his own personal pastime, I decided not to wait for an emergency. It seems the day of puttering took me where I most needed to go today, to a place where I could preserve my health and my happiness. I took to the couch, smiled up at the stream of sun entering the window, and said, “Job well done, Anne. Take a break. You deserve it”. And with that, I drifted off.

1 comment:

  1. I understand completely. When I go too long without "recharging my batteries," everyone suffers from my crankiness.