Thursday, June 02, 2011
I have been "sparked" to add this blog entry because of one of the Spark threads about feeling guilty taking time to exercise. The thread got many great comments about the benefits of exercise and how to work it into a busy day.
As a recent empty-nester I feel like I have more time to dedicate to keeping myself healthy now than I did when my kids were all at home. We had SO much fun together yet times were stressful too. We hiked together, played kick ball in the back yard, did household chores, etc. We were active together so I did not even think I was missing "exercising". Many suggestions I just read about were how to incorporate kids into your exercise program and think those comments were right on!
Back to my blog title, however..... Why do we feel guilty when we do things for ourselves? I think most, if not all, entries were from women. Have we been socialized to feel selfish when we do things for ourselves and not for others? For that matter, if you look at the word selfish what it really connotes is doing things for your "self". Have we been taught this is a BAD thing?
I remember feeling guilty when my kids were napping if I would read a book instead of clean house. I would even sometimes quick put my book away if I heard my husband come home from the golf course.......How sick was that?!? HE was playing, I was parenting, yet I was the one who felt guilty....
Then I talked with my sister and she asked me the question of my blog title. It helped me realize that being selfish can sometimes be the most healthy thing you can do. In truth - it's an important thing that you MUST do. Whether it's taking time to exercise, read a book, ride a bike, or just sit and look at the clouds, Doing things that nurture your soul are ultimately a crucial part of a healthy, balanced life.
I hope it's not just us "old tads" who realize this after a life of stressing over dust bunnies that visitors might see, or putting pressure on ourselves regarding what a prefect wife/spouse/mom we should be. Give yourself the permission to be selfish sometimes. In the end, we'll all be better off for it!