Friday, April 1, 2011

Secure Your Own Oxygen Mask First

I was a young mother in my early thirties, with three children aged 4,6, and 8, when I found myself sitting in a counsellor's office weeping from pure exhaustion.  I was completely overwhelmed by all the internally and externally dictated demands on me.  I felt done. The gift I received that day are words I will never forget. "If you don't take care of yourself, you will not be in any condition to care for those you love."  It's as if I needed someone else to give me permission to take care of myself and that was when I began to understand that it wasn't selfish to take time for me, but rather, it would greatly benefit those I cared for.  I didn't change my thoughts and behaviours overnight but little by little, day by day, I started living those words.  It's like the announcement we hear on a plane when preparing for takeoff - secure your own oxygen mask first before assisting others around you.


Gena said...

I do admire how you manage to keep your priorities clear, and the determination and self-discipline with which you insure that what is most important is what you focus on. How do you avoid procrastination?

Vera said...

Procrastination isn't something I avoid - it shows up for me in areas that are lower down on my list of values. If I place high value on an issue then I also direct high attention and energy to it, otherwise it's impossible for it to hold that position.