The seventh hack in my series of Life Hacks for Living with and Loving a Crazy is to attend to your needs by taking care of myself. If you don’t take care of yourself, you don’t have anything to give to anyone else. How many times have you heard that? Here’s another thought, one I like better, you just feel good when you take care of yourself.
To that aim, I am on my way to Choose Again first as a client in the residential healing center in Costa Rica and then after, as a volunteer. My entire life I have waited on everyone but me while whispering the lie that it is my job, my choice. I have squeezed my life into the cracks while waiting to get attended to as a child, to growing up, to getting married, to attending to household duties, through gestating four children, carpools lines, grocery lines, calls to the IRS, calls to hospitals. You all know the drill. I dare say I’m not alone nor am I complaining. It is my little creation and parts of it I am loath to release.
The time has come, to do just that, to attend to my needs. I don’t know what they are. Yanking myself out of my comforts is the first step in finding out. Comforts, I realize, I developed to insulate, to protect and to isolate, myself from the hell I have created and called life. It’s hell because my real needs have been supplanted by a lifetime of busyness.
I have loved lots and lots of aspects of my life, even most. Who knows when I have done what it takes to discover what I don’t know, I might come back and surround myself with all of my same comforts. I am willing to bet I do. I am also willing to bet I will see them in a whole new way, full of more love, more appreciation, more humor and most of all more joy.
As Ann Patchett so beautifully puts it in “Do Not Disturb,” in This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage “I think the best vacation is the one that relieves me of my own life for a while and then makes me long for it again.” I’ll be sure to let you know!