I believe it’s always important to occasionally be a little selfish. Treat yo’self, and all that.
But that has taken on a whole new meaning lately.
Its old meaning, for me, was about taking time out to relax. To read, to have long baths, to watch a lot of the bad TV that I love. Being selfish meant shopping needlessly, never getting out of bed on a Saturday, having my favourite cookies and icecream and chocolates.
These days, I am starting to feel differently about selfishness and what’s best for me. I’ve started to have a turn-around in my attitude and my approach to my day and my whole lifestyle, and the change in my mood has been dramatic and surprising.
I have OCD tendencies, and am well aware of them. It can frustrate Dave at times, as he thinks I’m deliberately not paying attention to him or not listening when I need to catch up with various social media or check my internet banking to make sure I’m on track. I am obsessive and particular and committed to “keeping up” with life and having control over everything, and this isn’t always helpful. The feeling of satisfaction and calm I get from knowing that I am up to speed is so great that I sometimes neglect other things, and I am working on that.
I have never been able to extend this feeling to keeping up with housework, however. When I do clean, and keep up the house, I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment, so why don’t I keep doing it? Why do I slip into complacency to the degree that suddenly I’ll look around and realise what a mess I’m in? It’s almost like it sneaks up on me and BAM! mess. And surely it has been slowly developing, rather than just staying out of sight until I notice it.
I think, at the ripe age of almost-29, I should really have better habits, and it’s something I’ve wanted to improve about myself for a while, but have failed miserably time after time. There’s always been a voice in the back of my mind telling me how tidy and on top of housework I’ll be when I’m a parent and at home during the day, but pffft. Maybe? I shouldn’t wait until then.
Since Dave began shift working, I’ve had various periods of time on my own in the flat, sometimes for nights on end, sometimes just during the day on weekends. When it comes to the weeks that I have nights to myself, I’ve been in a great rhythm, especially this week. I’m starting to learn, truly, really, simply:
Being selfish for me now has to mean being organised and sticking to a routine.
I have started a new gym regime, and having this routine and order in one area of my life in that respect is starting to bleed into other areas. This week my days have been:
Mornings: Get up for work, weigh in/measure, assemble food/smoothie/gym bag to take to the office, get ready, leave.
Lunch time: Walk to Tesco and back with colleague, even if I don’t need to buy anything, or walk along the canal and back, then come back and eat lunch.
Evenings: Finish work, drive straight to gym, work out (hard!) alone or take a class, come home, run dishwasher, pick up clothes, cook myself something to eat, have a bath, re-pack gym bag for next day, make smoothie for next day, pick out work clothes for next day, watch one or two TV eps in bed, sleep.
Simple tasks. Simple changes. I’ve slept like a log this week, I’ve had more energy during the day, I’ve felt happier and less burdened by life. It has sucked not seeing Dave as often as other weeks, but I think doing this on my own has been a good step. I’ve felt happier lately anyway, but this has been the icing on the cake, in a way.
People try and tell you this. Your parents try and try to hammer it into you. It’s ridiculously simple: life can’t just be one big fun-times binge. It isn’t all about just getting what you want and not putting in the work. Get organised. Don’t diet/workout in spurts but make a lifestyle change*. Clean up your damn house.
And I’ve always agreed! Wholeheartedly. These are not new concepts to me, or anyone. I’ve always known that order and structure is important to my happiness. But I don’t think I’ve ever really understood it until now. Too many other things about my life weren’t working and I didn’t have the clarity.
So. I have decided! To be selfish. I shall still lie in bed all day, eat cookies and icecream and chocolate, watch a lot of bad TV, shop needlessly. I shall still treat myself!
But I need let being selfish include: making my body better. Settling my mind with order and structure and routine. Keeping up with the simple adult joys that make my house clean and shiny and make things easier to find. And it has been amazing not struggling with what to wear in the morning, not having to skip breakfast because it’s too annoying to make something, and always having the right gym gear together.
Selfishness? Just got more awesome.
Coming soon: Changes at work, being a “shift widow”, trying to cleanse my closet, and a new Currently post.…xxx * Diet/FuelBand acquisition has been a big help in this so far, too!