My rather wonderful neighbour, Auntie M, popped round the other day to give me her shredding. She supplies our gerbils (who are SURPRISINGLY still alive) with bedding with her obliterated paper work. Auntie M is a caring straight talking soul who has a big heart. She always speaks sense, and during five minutes of chatting on my doorstep she said something that has stayed with me all week.
Because life is so busy – wife, mother, dog walker, chief laundry manager, buyer of groceries and general life putter-togetherer we often, as parents, as people, pour everything into everyone else before looking after ourselves. We often feel that looking after ourselves is almost an indulgence, selfish and something to feel guilty about.
As she was leaving Auntie M said to me ‘Put your own mask on first’.
On an airplane during the safety announcement, that we usually glaze over in a ‘heard it all before fashion’, we are told that in an emergency we have to put our own dangly oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else.
In short, I need to look after myself so I can look after my loved ones … so that I can look after them to the best of my ability. If I keep pouring everything I’ve got into everyone else there will be nothing left for me and The Yappy Dog will never leave.
Two weeks ago I wasn’t in a good place. Now I’m taking it a day at a time and making time in each day to do something that is good for the soul, my soul, something that is all mine.
Fighting off The Yappy Dog is harder than I thought, but I’ve done it before and I know I’ll get rid of the little bugger.
From now on I’m putting my own mask on first.