I was reading an article about Oprah’s interview with Michelle Obama and there was a line that just got me. When Oprah asked her about getting up at 4:30am (YES, AM!!!!) to workout she said “Well, I just started thinking, if I had to get up to go to work, I'd get up and go to work. If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I'd get up to do that. But when it comes to yourself, then it's suddenly, "Oh, I can't get up at 4:30." So I had to change that.” The last part of that has kept me up at night thinking about it. Why is it that when it comes to us we are always on the back burner? Everywhere I looked I saw evidence of that. At home my room looks barren and my covers are hand me down sorta matching things that I hate. My kids’ rooms are completely decorated with NEW matching covers, curtains and beautiful accessories. My closet is full of thrift store finds while my kids have a good mix of new and thrift. My dentist appointment got canceled because it was at the same time of the Kindergarten circus. My personal workspace is a mess while I spend a lot of time making sure our shared spaces are neat. I am always last on my list, that is, when I make it to the list. I see that not just in me but many other women, actually just about every woman I know. My sister who is a double amputee is looking for a second, yes, second job to pay for my niece’s sweet sixteen. My one friend always jokes about looking like her kids’ nanny because they are all clean and very well dressed while she may or may not have cheetos or oatmeal stuck to some part of her outfit which consists of the same 3 pairs of sweats and tees. My co-workers all come to work sick because we need to save our time off for when the kids or husband or whomever else besides us are sick. My other friend drives a 6 year old Camry while her daughter drives a 3 year old BMW. Every where we look there is someone telling us that we need to take care of ourselves but it seems to fall on deaf ears, or maybe we are too busy listening to the next thing we need to fix.
I must admit that I have my vices. I may scrounge on the dollar rack for my clothes but my undies cost insane amounts that cause me to cringe when I think of where that money could go. I spent my childhood in white utilitarian undies because my mom loved, loved Clorox. It was after all the ONLY thing that got undies clean and sanitary enough to wear again (yes, she had germ issues). I always have wine in my house. I love wine, I cook with wine and occasionally I put some in the food. I have a wine cooler on my counter that I got BEFORE the new refrigerator in my new place (well I found it on Craig’s list first). These things are mine! I will not give them up. But my Dr. appointment, hair appointment, my room that I have grand plans for are always last on the list. Sick? Who has time for illness or the rest needed to get over it I certainly don’t. Where are you on your list? What do you do to take care of you? Will you take Mrs. Obama’s advice and change how you prioritize yourself?