As Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford would say, sometimes you’ve just got to treat. yo. self.
This particular Parks and Rec lesson has taken me a bit longer to learn. Maybe because I spent a significant amount of time around a grandmother who gave her entire heart away to everyone and anyone who needed it. Maybe because my awesome parents taught me to think of others first and encouraged me to avoid becoming that self absorbed only child who’s just oh so predictable. Maybe because I was born under the sun of Aquarius and I can be wildly empathetic and nurturing. Maybe I’m just too damn stubborn.
No matter the whys, my 40s have been the beginning of a bright new era of self love. But it’s been a winding road.
Last month – smack dab in the middle of my puppy exhausted haze – I realized that the neurologist prescribed self care I have been so diligently attempting to maintain since my MS diagnosis had actually started to cause me more stress along the way. Somehow the pressure to make time for meditation and massages and friend time and work outs and baths and writing and reading and movies and hikes and therapy all felt like way too much. God forbid I didn’t make time for that epsom salt bath; I was now a failure at being good to myself.
And then, one chilly April morning, with my bare feet leaning against a fire pit next to the Pacific, it became clearer. If I didn’t meditate that morning, maybe I didn’t feel like meditating. I was giving myself a gift in some other way by sleeping more or reading in bed. Maybe even getting to work early to get a project finished was a different kind of present from me to me. Ever since the day I was told I had MS, it has been my conscious intention to give more to myself. To make more time. To make more space. No matter what that time and space look like, by now it should be like breathing. It’s always there; I just have to give in and trust it.
Last week my most recent MRI results came in. My brain shows zero new lesions. My disease is currently stopped dead in its tracks. It loves me and I love me.
So I booked a fancy suite in a fancy hotel for me, myself and I. Bath or no bath, it’s time to treat myself. And these treats are bite sized for one. I’m finally ready to create an amuse-bouche paradise and it feels oh so good.