Southern women are nothing if not nurturing. Â We learn it at our mother’s knee. And it’sÂ a good thing. Â The love and support of the women in my life have sustained me through many rough spots. Â But, speaking for myself, Â it’s easy to overdo it. Â Last week while getting a manicure (my first this year…) the Â manicurist said to me inÂ her lovely Jamaican accent, Â “You are carrying a large and beautiful umbrella, with manyÂ people under it… but you are not under the umbrella yourself!”
Her comment took me by surprise since I had justÂ met her. Â I didn’t ask how she knew that. Â PerhapsÂ coming from a more tranquilÂ culture makes her more intuitive or maybeÂ my appearance gave me away. Â No matter; I knew she was right.
Self-care is hard work and takes time! Â It’s easier toÂ get instant gratification by making cookies for that grandchildÂ than to do the cardio workout; Â simpler to “do it myself” than letÂ someone else struggle with the chore while I take that needed rest, Â fasterÂ to answer the cell than to Â let it goÂ to voicemail, more expedient to run that last load of dishes than to get to bed on time. Â I could go on, but if you’re reading this, you know the drill. Â It’s insidious. Â I don’t even see it happening until I’m caught in the downpour. And Â IÂ get lots of warm fuzzies for holding the umbrella over others. Â But the Jamaican ladyÂ was right; Â if I neglect myself, in timeÂ I will collapse and become someone else’s problem; the very last thing I want. It’s my responsibility to take care of myself. Â Thanks for the reminder, pretty lady.