We Always Have a Choice

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I wear clothes that are at least five years old.  I use my make-up down to the last swipe of lipstick and dust particle of eye shadow.  My hair is full of dead ends before I’ll get it cut.  I borrow books, paint my own nails, have my husband give me massages, and wax my own eyebrows.  In other words, I never spend money on myself.  I figure with kids and bills and a house, there is always somewhere else the money could be used.

So, the other day when I was taking photos of my daughter and I mentioned that it would be nice to have a reflector to get the shadows off of her face and my husband said he’d go get me one, my first reaction was, ‘Oh no.  I don’t need that.’  He said, ‘But you want it and you deserve to spend money every once in a while on things you enjoy.’  After he said that, I honestly agreed with him, but it took him saying it for me to admit that, ‘yes I do deserve to give to myself every once in a while.’

I think as moms, women, wives, etc. we are so used to giving and sacrificing for others that sometimes we lose sight of providing for our own wants.  Many lose sight of providing for their own needs as well.  I don’t believe that I do the latter.  Although, how would I know?  How can I tell if I am ignoring my own needs?  What is a need in this case versus a want?  I don’t have the answer to that.  Maybe I should research it.

I know I need a lot of rest, and I do take the time for that even if the kids are home.  I used to feel guilty for laying down during the day when they were here, but I don’t anymore because I need that time to myself.  It was great progress for me to let go of that guilt.

I also need to be at home a lot.  Spending too much time out in the community wears me down to the point of becoming over-stimulated, over stressed, and in physical pain.  So, I say no to taking them everywhere they want to go.

Sometimes I over do it, however, when I force myself to go to too many outings that I don’t want to miss, such as birthday parties, school events, games, and recitals.  Nothing is perfect, but I always have a choice.  I do see that I always have a choice, which is good, because the worst feeling in the world is feeling like a victim to my circumstances.  I used to feel that way before I figured out what my limitations are.  But, now that I know what my mind and body can and cannot tolerate, I can for the most part choose whether or not to push it beyond that threshold.

What keeps me from thinking that I have a choice is the negative self judgements I inflict upon myself.  When I am negatively judging myself, I will push myself too far.  I am finding out that as I work on getting rid of the negative self judgements, my sense of choice is returning and becoming clearer and clearer each day.

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