The whole “nurses make the shittiest patients,” isn’t an untruth. It’s like somehow, since we passed the NCLEX*, we’re immune to everything, duh. And if we do happen to become ill, we’ll get over it like BAM! Because, again, didya SEE my NCLEX score? I totally aced that puppy.

I’ve been sick since I was a baby. At my first well-baby visit, I had a damn ear infection. I’d blame it on my mother, because that’s en vogue and all, but truthfully, she nursed on demand, she didn’t smoke or do drugs, we were organic before “organic” was a buzzword. I’m surprised I didn’t come home in a burlap onesie, but then again, it was the end of July (I had to stay in the hospital after I was born. ABO incompatibility, for the three of you who care) and my grandmother had bought me some frilly frock from Neiman Marcus.

Anyway, I was off and on antibiotics for ear infections until I miraculously outgrew them. Then, my tonsils were all, I DO WHAT I WANTZ, and I got strep throat every three weeks – like fucking clockwork.

(these were the days, I don’t have to add, where ear tubes weren’t yet the standard of care for multiple ear infections and having a tonsillectomy was considered in bad taste – instead, I had to wait until they had actually rotted – age 14 – and then have them out. The ears, well, they’re still tube-less).

I’ve been sick more or less, since birth.

Which is why I don’t pay terribly much attention to it. While I joke that I’m moaning histrionically at the ceiling, letting out a croaked “Why God, WHY ME?” I’m actually on the computer working my balls off. Or in the garden, “sweating it out” to the Golden Oldies.

You shut your whore mouth while I’m listening to my Golden Oldies.

See, if I spent the time I was ACTUALLY sick moping about the house, I’d never get anything done. And if I didn’t get anything done, well, the world might actually implode keep spinning like it always does. No seriously, I know** nothing would happen if I stopped for awhile, but I’m not the sort who relaxes well. When I’m told that I should “relax” a bit, I laugh. Not because it’s a bad idea, but because without heavy doses of vodka, I just can’t. My version of “relaxing” is only scheduling out 4 weeks of posts for Band Back Together and writing 2 resource pages while deadheading THREE rosebushes rather than 16.

Why?

Because I realized a long time ago, like at least three weeks ago, that I love to work. I need my mind to stay occupied to stay sane, and while tiny crotch parasites are, in fact, entertaining, singing songs about pooping is only entertaining for so long. So I push myself. When I get down, I push harder, I push until I pass out. Stopping? Well, that’s bullshit. I’m unapologetic about this – I am a work-at-home parent and I love it.

Until I get the pertussis. Or the pneumonia. I’m not sure which exotic Oregon Trail disease I have at the moment – only that I’m hawking up tree-frog sized balls of phlegm – and that I’ve been confined primarily to the couch until The Guy On My Couch and The Daver see fit to let me up.

All of this sitting around doing fuck-nothing has reminded me of this: in all my efforts to work harder, do more, and push push push, I’ve neglected the one thing that I shouldn’t have: myself.

Certainly I’m more or less sane (as sane as anyone who calls herself “Aunt Becky” and wages anonymous wars on Internet users like John C. Mayer). My children are happy, polite, and charming individuals. My home? It needs a dumpster, but that’s a different story. I realized this:

Each thing I do, I rush through so I can get to something else.

While normally, this poses no problem, I realize that I’ve neglected even the most basic of self-care – I’ve needed a hairs cut for months. My feet need a pedicure and a tiny Asian woman (probably speaking ill of me under her breath) wielding a razor.

In short: I need some time to myself. Wherein I do not work. Wherein I do not care for small squirmy people or large squirmy people. I have decided that it’s time. In fact, it’s so far PAST time that I can barely cop to it without feeling shame.

There will be no more “I should’s,” or “I can’s” in my vocabulary. No more guilt if I fall short of my mark.

Instead, I will set aside an hour every day – without pity – to myself. I will do something that benefits me, rather than those around me. If that means sucking it up and getting my hairs did? I will do it. If it means relaxing on the couch with a book while someone else cares for squirmy small people? So be it. If it means taming my eyebrows or waxing the cat? That’s what it means.

And I will do it.

Why?

Because I’m worth it, dammit.

And? So are you.

P.S. Pranksters, what do normal people “do for themselves?” I’m asking for, urms, a FRIEND.

*The National Council Licensure EXamination for nurses.

**”know”

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

19 Responses to Breath. Less.

  • Tracie
    Twitter: fromtracie
    says:

    *Standing up. Cheering. Shouting, “it’s about damn time she did something for herself!”

    You are worth it. And even more than that, you NEED it.

    As far as advice on what to do for yourself? I have no idea.
    (we might as well be work-a-holic related)(shut up. I do NOT need a break)

  • My husband take the kids into town for lunch on Saturdays and while they are gone I give myself a manicure or a pedicure. I am WAY too cheap to pay for them. Paying for them stresses me out. Sitting alone in my bedroom with no one screaming at a sibling in another room is bliss, painting my nails is icing on the bliss. Having all that AND a glass of wine & some brownies is beyond bliss.

    Then there is reading soft core porn while eating brownies & claiming you gave yourself a pedicure but wearing footies all the time so no one can tell the truth. That’s also bliss. But skip the 50 Shades business. It’s badly written. Go for Lorilei James’ stuff.

    I go to the gym for myself too. They have two hours of daycare every day of the week for $20 a month for 2 kids. TWO HOURS!!! I go sit on a stationary bike and read or listen to an audio book and every now & then remember to pedal the bike. Sometimes I even get all crazy & lift weights & stuff

  • Jenn says:

    Yey! Taking time for yourslef is important… (says another mommy that hasn’t got her hairs done did in months!) I wish I knew what people did for “alone time”… I sure don’t… I end up going to the Targets… and I don’t need anything from the Targets… but I buy the junk anyhow.

  • Delicia says:

    I announce to the family that it’s now MY TIME, and then march upstairs and LOCK my bedroom door, and take a long, hot bubble bath.

  • Roxie says:

    “When I get down, I push harder, I push until I pass out. ” isn’t a lyric from one of the poop songs, is it?

  • Ami says:

    Well you covered a lot of the “what I do for myself” things, but my favs are painting toenails, doing eye brows, putting on headphones and watching something on Hulu while I work out on the elliptical (b/c I’m learning that self care includes doing things that are good for my health….), I love to read something thats just fun and not actually productive in anyway, I make jewelry. I actually consider working in the yard “me time” b/c that totally relaxes me. I’ve been known to take long hot baths with candles and music. I love to go hang out with a girl friend (or talk on the phone for an hour) to just do lunch or dessert and just chat. All of those are excellent ways to recharge my batteries.

  • Alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    I’m not exactly sure what normal people do, but I go to the beach, go running or diving, play the piano, or steal a Guinness from the fridge and drink half of it with my nose plugged, then take a nap.

  • hthrm says:

    while i am far from the picture of normal, i do make sure to get my nails done and a pedi too…. i try to go on Thursdays in the morning when the salon is so peacefully quiet..

    I also meet up with friends for an afternoon of catching up. We go to the same restaurant and sit there for hours…..

  • I lay on the couch with a Sugglie and watch Lifetime movies (please don’t judge).

  • No Good says:

    One of the things I love about you is that you’re so Type A that you’re even intense about RELAXING. ON SCHEDULE. Better be at Disneyland this year. But that’s not exactly relaxing. But you’re WORTH IT.

  • Linda Sand says:

    I read–either books or on the computer. I no longer have kids at home so I can do this there but I used to treat myself to a snack out someplace like DQ before going home after an evening meeting so I wouldn’t get home before kid bedtime.

  • Maggie says:

    Go for a walk with a camera. You get energy and great random pictures. But make them totally random – it’s more fun when you look back on them and try and figure out why you took it and where.

  • Amelia says:

    You aunt Becky? Are awesome.

    I’m organizing the buffet drawers tomorrow in my free time so I may not have the best ideas on what you should do.

    Start with a pedicure though,

  • Caroline says:

    Yeah I’m 25, living alone with no kids…….it’s pretty much always about me. But as far as relaxing things I do when I’m not working goes, I’d say youtube video hopping, movie watching and reading a good novel in a cafe (so you can secretly people watch). I also go to the gym and run.

  • Jolie says:

    Mere words can not express how much I relate to this. We are cut from the same cloth. ?

  • It’s true.

    We warriors live this way b/c we see ourselves as a machine, go go go and never need to stop.

    Until all that no sleep eat on the run no sun or fun gets to us in the form of an abnormal physical exam finding.

    Then we stop, frozen in a cold sweat, and realize: we need to eat, sleep, STOP.

  • Katherine says:

    I like to post pics of the frilly frock my g-ma bought for me to come home in. Very relaxing

  • Grace says:

    I send all the creatures (furry and non-furry) off to bed at night and spend several quiet, peaceful hours wasting time on the internet or watching movies. When Momma doesn’t get her quiet ALONE time during the night, everyone pays for it!

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