I was surprised. Firstly, that anyone reads it (the sad truth is I love looking at my little stats table and seeing where it is getting read), secondly, to get a compliment, which, of course, in time honoured British fashion, I waved away, but thirdly, that indeed, I realised it has been some time since I blogged. And I missed it.
I've been busy. But that's another way of saying I haven't given myself permission to spend time on something I enjoy, to think it's important, even though I love writing, and when I do make the effort to post something, I feel good. And, if other people can relate to it, that's a great bonus.
Let's face it. We're just not very good at putting ourselves first. I can't speak for men, but every woman I know does a great, gold medal winning job of putting herself fairly and squarely last in her life. Whether or not you have kids, we just don't seem to be great at enjoying ourselves or doing something nice without first, spending time procrastinating, feeling guilty and putting off whatever the thing is, whether it is a watch, a car, a holiday, a spa day, a mini break, a new dress, a haircut....
Take my new found foray into the world of personal training. Despite turning a blind eye to a gently and slowly growing spare tyre, and my diet of (mainly) beige food, I finally got tired of what I was seeing in the mirror. Of course, before I recently discovered my wonderful PT Cindy, I had to find three million reasons why I couldn't make me a priority.
As you haven't got ten hours to spare, I'll limit them to a few key ones:
1. I haven't got time
2. I'm not a morning person (I can't do evenings, so early starts were a horrid reality if I wanted to do this)
3. Other people have a personal trainer, not me
4. It's a bit indulgent (no it isn't)
5. I can't afford it (oh yes you can, stop spending your money on other shit)
6. I've got nothing to wear (buy some cheap leggings and put on a t shirt, you moody cow)
Basically, I just wasn't willing to give myself permission to look good and feel good. For some reason, it just wasn't important enough to me. I wasn't giving it the priority it needed. But the only person who can make that happen is me. As the old saying goes, you can't expect a different result if you keep doing the same thing.
So, three sessions in, I've bitten the bullet. Tuns out it isn't that hard after all to get out of bed, into the lurid pink leggings, and sweat for 30 minutes. It's probably worth noting that I wasn't feeling quite so charitable at 7:10 am as I staggered between burpees and prayed for my stomach to stop popping out of my clothes and agreed to keep a "food diary."
But.... why do we feel this way? Why do we have to work so hard to assure ourselves it's okay to do something for ourselves? We find it so easy to be critical and negative, self depreciating. Facebook is filled with memes like "In a world where it's possible to be anything, be kind" but we're not kind to ourselves, or each other, and I often find myself toying with the idea that the people who post those things are sometimes the opposite of what it says on the meme. We don't become better versions of ourselves by tossing a thought out there for others to "Like" and "Share" - it takes action. My quick fix? I've said it before, make an effort to lay off the social media.
On a more serious note, the other thing apart from the mirror which has made me take action and realise that the time is now was the sad and untimely death of someone I knew earlier this week. He wasn't a close friend but he was a great former work colleague, a true gentleman, with a dark sense of humour and when needed, loads of great advice. And, he was kind. He once lent me a book about job interview success years ago when I had a job interview looming.
"You can do it" he said "and I have never not got a job with this book. So, borrow it." And that faith, that kindness (and who knows, maybe even that book) got me the job I wanted. I just can't believe he's gone. Wow. There are no words for that kind of finality. But there is a very slight upside. There's something about someone dying unexpectedly which can help make us seize the day....We learn that we shouldn't put things off. So, through gritted teeth I am trying to embrace the world of 6:30 starts and eating a bit less.
Here's the thing.There isn't a right time. The time is now. You're the change. So, put yourself first...and is the Facebook meme goes....eat the cake, buy the shoes, swim in the sea, take the holiday. Life's too short. And that's one I don't mind posting.