Of all the things I’ve learned this year, by far the most important, has been to really truly love myself.
As a wife and mother, I was not only last on the list, I was not on the list at all. For many years, I lived my life for my family.
From the time I got out of bed in the morning until I went to sleep at night, I developed the skills and talents of my children and supported my husband’s career 1000%. I know more about commercial concrete than many of the people in the industry.
My husband would tell people that I could do his job for him, and I’m sure I probably could. I know so much about it that I could literally build myself a concrete tilt up to house my clothing manufacturing for Ocean SF.
In the past, I spent hours just thinking about what I could do to make my family happy. I would stash dozens of dark chocolate candy bars in my desk, and at night, I would sneak out to the garage and put one in my husband’s Porche to surprise him.
When my husband died unexpectedly, I was very aware I was in shock, and in dangerous territory. However, I knew I had to take very good care of myself, in order to remain emotionally healthy, so I could in turn support my children.
It’s no secret that when my father died, when I was nine, my own mother fell completely apart. I knew I didn’t want to do that. Couldn’t do that. It was not an option.
So, I stayed focused on the things I had been working on. I taught my classes, I stayed the course with my commitment to Andrew and Ocean SF and the Trident Project. I continued to walk my neighbors dogs, Toes and Eden, twice a week. Plus, I walked my own dog, giving me plenty of fresh air and excercise.
I took naps, I ate right, I went to bed early. I said no to anything that interfered with taking care of myself. And, I prayed and allowed God to be a guiding force in my life.
In short, I treated myself tenderly.
I made a conscious effort to shore myself up, so I could be there for my kids. It was an ironic twist on what I’ve always done except in this instance, I benefited greatly. Once I started to treat myself well, there were unforeseen benefits. I was happier, rested, fitter, and excited about life.
Joy turned up in my life like a stray cat, unexpectedly and without warning. Things began to come together, my company Ocean SF is set to be very successful, my daughter is off to college, and my own life is full of happiness and love.
Love and blessings to all.