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When I Forget Myself – Literally

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Over the last year, I have become a walker. Until recently, I was one of those who didn’t believe walking counted as exercise. Yes, I KNOW I am wrong.

I still lift heavy and enjoy HIIT (high intensity interval training) but also include long-ish walks in the repertoire. Of course, being me, I incorporate a bit of running during the walks. I used to run regularly but now find it is hard on my body at times. 

I am highly aware of ALL my body parts almost ALL the time.”

A few weeks ago, on one of my walk/runs, I ran fairly far – meaning I ran more than I walked.  This was a first, for me, in a long while. I couldn’t help myself. This particular day was picture perfect and my spirits were high. 70 degrees, low humidity, and Carolina Blue skies made for a spectacular combination. One we don’t get often enough.

Later that night, after dinner, I thought it would be beneficial to pro-actively utilize our heated massager. I was feeling great. But now at 56, I am highly aware of ALL my body parts almost ALL the time. Being a bit concerned about the next day, I made a mental note to spend some self-care time

It was after dinner. My boyfriend and his daughter congregated in our living area ( a place which we refer to as Soft Land – it has pillows and a comfy sofa versus our wooden hard-backed dining chairs). 

I was busy putting leftovers away, cleaning up the kitchen, and opening the door for the cats. Before any feminist outrage occurs, my boyfriend cooks and cleans, regularly. 

The Notion Of Self-Care:

“Wait, who wanted something from me?”

I had had a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and I found myself in one of those moments when I suddenly realize that I have completely forgotten my last thought. You know, the thought of self-care.

I suffer from bright shiny object syndrome and easily get distracted even under the best of circumstances. Between the wine, the demanding menagerie of pets, and my chores I didn’t have a fighting chance. I knew there was something I needed to get for someone. I just couldn’t remember what or for who.

Abruptly, I stopped what I was doing, turned my full attention to my fellow housemates.“Wait, who wanted something from me?” “I needed to get something for someone, and now I don’t remember what it was?”

Those are the words that poured out of my mouth. Almost immediately, I realized: “Oh, it is ME”. I wanted something from myself. It was ME that I was getting something for.

Yes, it was funny and gave us all a chuckle. Both my boyfriend and his daughter resumed their conversation without missing a beat. I did not. That moment hit me like a ton of bricks. Why did I automatically assume that I was up and fetching for someone else? Not me. Why am I programmed to think about everyone else around me, seemingly all the time? How difficult is it to remember yourself? 

I finally did fetch the personal massager and took 30 minutes for self-care. If my memory serves (and we now know that’s a stretch), my body was thankful for the pro-active care against lactic acid buildup. 

What Still Perplexes Me?

How can I so easily forget myself, literally? I know I am not alone. I hear this all the time from other women. Working full-time, caring for elderly parents, managing teens and preparing them to fly, running a household, shopping, cooking, etc., the list is long. And for many, they are managing as single moms. Add to this that we’ve all been sold a bill of goods that somehow being a good mom and/or woman means self-sacrifice, always putting others first. It’s no wonder that we literally forget about ourselves. Wondering how the words “Me First” will look tattooed on my wrist.