Jamaica, Mon

Taking care of yourself is often consideredd to be over rated, or selfish. Taking time for yourself, taking a break, or even just taking the day off to do nothing is hard. We sometimes feel the need to justify why we are sitting on the couch when so much on our to do list needs to be done, and the list seems to grow longer every day.

Sometimes we even feel guilty for taking that time, for not being busy multi-tasking and powering through our chores. There are times in life that we all need to just get away. After the stresses of daily life – the rat race, and the responsibilities of the house, the job, family and just life in general. Sometimes the biggest thing is taking care of your self and taking a break. Sometimes that is the kindness and best thing we can do.

I learned the importance of this after being there full time caregiver for my Father the last 7.5 months of his life. It was full time, 24/7, no breaks and exhausting. Watching a parent slowly get weaker and weaker, while being the sole person taking care of them is beyond exhausting.

I paid for it deeply in the cost of my mental, physical, financial and emotional health. While there are no regrets, I have seen first hand what happens when you cannot or do not take care. You become exhausted and burned out. You become unkind and unable to process even some of the most basic daily tasks and emotions. Your tempter is short and your nerves are shot.

The silver lining was that Dad and I spent a lot of quality time together, and I found out about my now ex’s sexual addictions (high stress always brings out issues sooner rather than later).

God can give blessings even in the most dire of situations. Now there is room for a wonderful, loving, kind, fun, amazing man to come into my life. But isn’t that always the case with life?  I have learned from that situation and will not forget the lessons. Taking care of yourself before you get burned out is incredibly important.

So when you have a chance to take care of yourselves, you should take it. That is part of living life to the fullest. Taking chances, risks, making opportunities and celebrating life. Especially if you have been through a stressful time, you feel like you almost have an obligation – a happy and joyful one.

And so it went that what was on opportunity turned into a rather nice birthday event. I had a credit with an airline from a trip to Puerto Rice I had to cancel last year. Realizing it would expire soon, a trip to Jamaica was booked.

And it was quite perfect. All inclusive, on the beach, little tropical drinks, lots of laughter and fun times, great memories. Reading, writing and falling and napping to the sound of the waves hitting the sand. There were smiles and kisses, holding hands and new experiences. It was wonderful. And taking a break makes you even more ready to conquore the world when you return.

Though I can still hear the waves, I know I am back on the mainland, and am ready to go. So take care of yourself, take the breaks and the pauses to go off for an adventure. You never know the wonderful memories you will make. Part of life is filling it with as many memories, as much laughter and happiness as possible.

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