The past few months have been rough on me. Paloma has been getting curiouser, the construction on the house has been keeping me busy, and taking care of my parents has been draining. As the construction has started to wind down (today is hopefully the LAST day!), PJ enjoys playing alone more, and we are finally seeing an end to unpacking I’ve realized that I haven’t prioritized myself since January.
It’s been so easy to get lost on the teacup ride that has become my life. My contractor doesn’t buy the supplies for the house, rather he gives me a list of what to buy and I have to go to the hardware store and pray they have them. If not it’s a whole day trip to Las Piedras (the nearest city) or even further, Montevideo. Once I return home he’ll inform me I have purchased the wrong items, forcing to me grab my already grumpy one and a half year old and make the hour trek back to the hardware store. This doesn’t include the three to four trips to the grocery store–because God forbid my parents know what they want BEFORE I leave the house the first time–,the agropecuaria (a veterinarian pet supply store), the bank, the money exchange, and the vegetable stand. After this I come home, pray I brought the right things so I don’t have to leave again and start cooking dinner. All the while I have my parents telling me the internet/DirecTV/phone doesn’t work and I have to fix it along with my daughter screeching to be let out of her playpen.
Look, I know what you’re thinking. “So? We all have a million things to do as parents and caretakers? It’s our job.” And you’re right. My job is to take care of my parents, my child, and run their/my home. But have you noticed that apart from my incessant grumbling, I haven’t talked mentioned taking a second for myself?
Prior to construction starting in January I took about an hour or two a day to work out/meal plan/write/vegetate online–anything to just clear my mind from my daily pressures. As the stresses started piling up I put my personal time on the back burner, dreaming of the day when I’ll be able to have a minute to myself again. Since then I’ve been getting ridiculous headaches, body aches, nausea, and dear Lord have I been binge eating.
I went to the doctor last week complaining of my gong-like headaches in fear of having a brain tumor and even though she referred me to a neurologist, she told me she believes it to be psychosomatic. As someone with a history of debilitating anxiety and depression (what’s up Zoloft?) I wasn’t surprised to hear it. I’ve taken the past week to take a look at my life, how I’ve allowed myself to unravel at the seams and simply put, stopped caring about myself. But not anymore. I need to create order and happiness in my life. I don’t have anything to be upset or unhappy with. I have my whole family, I have a happy and healthy daughter, I have a marriage that exudes love, tenderness, and respect.
For the past week I have made it a point to get my hour or two a day back. I wake up every morning and make it a point to put on actual clothes. I apply make up even if all plan on doing is staying home–take a look to your left to my Instagram feed for proof. I started eating healthily again and am slowly easing my way back into exercise. I have spent my whole life lying to myself saying that eating like a beast makes me happy. It doesn’t. I always feel sluggish, glum, and bloated afterwards. Whenever I eat healthily I feel light and untroubled.
I need to constantly remind myself that in order for me to take care of those I love, I need to put myself first. Like on an airplane during the safety demonstration. Should your oxygen bag be deployed please put it on yourself first then place it on those traveling with you. Since I’ve made these adjustments to my daily life I’ve been so much happier and better equipped at caring for those around me.