A question I ask myself often: What does it mean to take care of myself right now?
It's FREAKING TERRIFYING how much we do on autopilot.
- We order the second glass of wine.
- Stay to be polite.
- Agree to help! HELPING EVERYBODY!
- Eat what everybody else is having because you don't want to make a fuss.
- Let them talk and talk and talk and monopolize all of your time.
- Give up your nights to things you don't care about.
- Spend your days doing a job you don't care about.
- Stick it out. Persevere. Persist. Even when it's not in your best interest, anymore, because not giving up is just what you do.
- Shrink instead of saying THE VERY HARD THING.
- Do the job for less money than it's worth.
- Meet them for coffee as a professional courtesy.
- Smile and nod your life away.
It's easy to live your life out of habit. But soon those habits will have you waking up one day going, where did it all go? What do I have to show for it? And why do I suddenly look like a middle-aged biker? (The hardness of life shows up on your face, indeed.)
I think being selectively selfish, sometimes, is some of the most important work for us to do. THAT SOUNDS SO WRONG, because contributing is also some of the most important work for us to do. But there's a time and place for everything—and your time is today.
What does it mean to take care of myself right now?
I think the answer will surprise you. Oftentimes it's the exact opposite of what you've been doing all along.