after i had my second baby, a friend gave me a spa gift certificate. “you’ve had a long, 9 months so you totally deserve to pamper yourself.” i agreed. it was the sweetest gesture and the perfect antidote to carrying around a big bowling ball in my belly for nearly a year…
so why, after almost 2 full years, is the certificate still sitting in my purse—edges tattered, practically ripping in half, promo code just about smudged beyond recognition?
if you’ve seen my shoe collection, you know that i certainly do not deny myself life’s indulgences. so what the hec is my problem? how could something so wonderful—and needed—actually turn into a source of guilt and stress.
running through the inner dialogue, the answer starts to emerge.
“i’ve got to make that spa appointment. i’ve been so exhausted and stressed…
i just need to get at least 3 workouts in first.
the boys need to go in for their annual checkups.
i have to finish that presentation for work.
mom and dad are coming in next weekend.
the house is a mess—got to fold 5 loads of laundry.
…and on and on and on.”
it struck me. no one can escape reality. but why do we feel, consciously or not, like we’ve got to “earn” the right to take a break? that we’ve got to take care of everyone and everything else before ourselves?
we wait until we’re on our death bed to take a sick day…and then get 10 times sicker. we carry around our obligations like a badge of honor (or perhaps a scarlett “A”), and with it the perfect accessories: a pair of furrowed eyebrows and snide remarks that slip out like a bad case of turrets.
i’ve got news: we all deserve a break. we all need to decompress. we don’t need to martyr, say 10 hail mary’s, and do our penance before doing something little (a massage, a manicure, a night out with friends, hell a $5 boot shine) or big (a trip to a tropical island—yes i have one booked!), to take care ourselves. of our souls.
you don’t need to earn it. you just need to do it.