I have found that I truly thrive in the routines of life. However until recently, I came to realize that the routines I had grown accustomed to weren’t really my own. I would hold everyone else’s routines ahead of mine: work, kids, household, cat... they all came first. In essence, my routine was putting their routines first. My needs became an after thought and as COVID quarantine moved from March to April and into May, I had managed to set a few routines for myself. But one more issue presented itself, they were not ones that allowed me to thrive and grow. I used excuses as to why I was no longer doing the things I use to love and I surrounded myself in the comfort of very old poor habits. My duty to self had eroded. I almost became helpless, genuinely unsure as to what I needed to turn myself around. Then a true Heart to Heart guided me on my way. It has been quite the journey and one that I will continue on, openly receiving gentle reminders along the way. Maintaining a sense of duty to yourself is a truly beautiful thing for all.
It started slow- adding one thing at a time. Drinking a glass of water in the morning before I did anything else, riding my bike instead of driving, paying attention to what I ate and how it made me feel physically and emotionally. Each small choice, that put me first, allowed me to be there even more for others in my life. Duty to self has made me look long and hard at the reactions, responses and choices that I make moment to moment. It seems that it was in my nature to put everyone and everything first. No one ever asked me nor expected me to do that, yet there I was feeling guilt for examining my needs and putting myself first. It took time, effort and discipline but now it only seems natural to create space for me to grow. As I tend to the soil of my garden and pull the weeds around me, I have been able to grow big and take up space. With this growth and space I am able to better provide cover and shade for all those around me. I am here for me and you, dear community.