Skip to main content

Do Me A Favor -- This Year, Choose You

There was this epiphany, “ she says. “I am sitting there with a new baby, angry, tired, and out of shape. The baby is up for that 4 o’clock feeding. And my husband is lying there, sleeping.” That’s when it struck her that if she weren’t there, he would eventually have to wake up. It worked. “I would get home from the gym, and the girls would be up and fed. That was something I had to do for me.”

The Real Michelle Obama,” O Magazine, November 2007

Happy New Year! We’ve entered not only a new year, but a new decade. So all you tired and haggard mothers, dutiful daughters, caregivers and the like, do me a favor: This year, choose you.

I came across the passage above from an interview with Michelle Obama featured in O Magazine in 2007, and I couldn’t think of anything better to emphasize the importance of occasionally -- or even regularly -- choosing yourself first over the competing but not life-threatening demands of family and work. I don’t mean choose yourself in a selfish way, damn the consequences, but in a self-preserving way in which you sacrifice domestic and career perfection for a little self soothing, care and preservation. In those moments when the world won’t fall apart if were to you do so, choose you.

Last year was tough. This year might not be any better. If you don’t take care of yourself, well, then, who will? How will you have the physical and mental stamina to endure whatever is to come if you don’t take care of yourself? In those moments when we choose mopping over crocheting, balancing the checkbook over balancing on the Wii Fit board, please, please ask yourselves: Is the world going to fall off its axis if, just this once, I choose myself over the needs of others? If the answer is “no,” well, then, consider this a permission slip a la Sherri Shepherd, and please do choose yourself.

Let’s all take a cue from our First Lady’s epiphany and figure out those things we need to do for ourselves just to keep going as ourselves, whether it’s yoga, going to the gym, reading, gardening, whatever. And when the occasion arises that, by choosing yourself, you’re making yourself physically and/or spiritually better off without making anyone you care about detrimentally worse off (I doubt that getting up to feed his kids made then-State Senator Obama any worse off), please, please, do me a favor – choose yourself.

If you don't do it for you, do it for me.

Happy New Year!

Comments

Well written!

Ditto. When you properly take care of yourself, you're a much better caretake of others.

Kelly

Popular posts from this blog

Hillary Clinton Can Stop Trump -- If She Releases Her Electors

Hillary Clinton isn't going to be President of the United States.  At least not yet.  And not in 2017.

But she can possibly stop Donald Trump from being President by releasing her pledged electors  in the Electoral College to vote for a compromise Republican candidate.

This is part of the strategy of the Hamilton Electors, members of the Electoral College who see that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President.  They argue that the Electoral College's role is not to rubber-stamp the popular vote -- which, in this case, would belong to Clinton -- but to serve as a check on the popular vote to make sure that no one who is unfit assumes the office of President.

According to the Hamilton Electors, named for Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (Yes, he of the very popular musical for which I can't get tickets) Hamilton stated that the Electoral College's test for fitness to be the President was as follows (and I'm quoting):

Election of a Qualified Person: As Hamilton s…

Retired Man Walking: Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Take Shit

A while back I ran into a friend and fellow professional employed by the State of California, and he offered me his perspective on State employment as a tail-end Baby Boomer like myself -- someone who can't retire because he lacks the requisite age or years of service, but, unlike myself, is tired of taking shit from superiors who don't know what to do with you.

Although my friend gave his permission for me to use his name in this blog entry, I decline to do so because what he does is so specialized that it would not be hard for anyone to identify him as one of the few African American men, if not the only African-American man, in California state civil service who does what he does. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as he now refers to himself:  Retired Man Walking.

Retired Man Walking, or RMW, has an interesting philosophy he applies to working for the State as a professional who isn't old enough to retire but has been around long enough to know the s…

My Prayer and Mantra for 2017 -- Do Not Waste Time on People and Things That Don't Matter

In this era of fake news, fake political candidates, and fake people all around, my prayer and mantra for 2017 is simple:  Do not waste time on people and things that don't matter.

In 2016, I spent too much time and money on things and people who didn't matter.  I allowed myself to become distracted by stuff that, for me and Black Man Not Blogging, didn't really matter for our happiness.  These distractions not only didn't improve the quality of our life together; they decreased it with additional and unnecessary stress.

The good news is that, for the most part, we're okay.  Yeah, Trump and his ilk really suck, but instead of a lot of hand wringing and commiserating, I'm going to do the one thing my late mother She Who  Is Exalted (SWIE) did better than anyone I know:  Play the hand you've been dealt.  My mother was a black female without a college education and with six kids, so playing the hand she was dealt was her survival skill.  Now it will be mine.

S…