I followed up my date with myself last night [ #Beauty4Balance: Day 3. Treat Yo’ Self!] with a friend date.
It was the perfect thing to do on a husband/kid -less evening.
We stayed up all night talking and drinking. Whoops! What I had thought would be a morning of early rising and hiking – was actually a morning of watching the sun come up, going to the store for Bloody Mary and Mimosa ingredients, and falling asleep poolside.
Nothing bad happened. Other than some tan/burn lines and a bit of a hangover.
But we WERE guilty as charged. We were VERY guilty of being still awake at hours that most people are sleeping – or waking up. We were also VERY guilty of being under the influence of alcohol sitting on a porch. And VERY guilty of taking an Uber to the store at a time of day that we shouldn’t have needed to take an Uber.
But we both needed it.
My friend is a proud mama of a beautiful almost 1 year old little girl. She’s also a woman with her own needs. And sometimes she needs a break and a chance to focus on herself.
I’m a proud government worker, a wife and a stepmom. I’m also a woman with my own needs. And sometimes I need a serious reminder not to take life – or myself – so damn seriously all the time.
Around the middle of the afternoon today the guilt started to seep in.
How could I let myself be so irresponsible? Is my husband going to be mad because my phone died and I haven’t responded to him? Why would I think its ok to stay up all night? Why did I let myself get talked into this? Am I really that easily peer-pressured? Or worse – did I want it to happen? What does that make me? Do I think I’m still in college or something? Do I have a deep character flaw that allows me to think this type of behavior is not a problem? I mean seriously Lainey – Who do you think you ARE!?
Ugh. I was disgusted with myself. I was well on my way down the road of shame, judgment and self-loathing.
But then I had another thought: Who do I think I am to talk about me that way?
Suddenly I felt protective of me. In my own head. From myself. Its amazing how quick I am to judge myself for something I would seek to understand in others. I’m not a very good friend to myself sometimes.
I’m not advocating for staying up all night and drinking as normal everyday behavior. But is it really worthy of damning myself over? Is it worth labeling myself a million labels that I can then use to justify further shame, judgment and self-loathing?
I mean I can justify the whole thing. I can make a case for why it was good for my mental, emotional and social self to spend some time with a good friend, be a good friend, vent, be vented to, and temporarily let go of some of the pressure that comes with the responsibilities of being a functioning and productive human in this world.
But that case isn’t any more or less strong than the case against it.
So is it possible that its just….OK? Its not right or wrong. Its not good or bad. Is it possible that it just happened and its simply just NOT a big deal? Take note. Move on. Kind of like how sometimes I decide to eat pizza and sometimes I decide to eat a salad? And kind of like how some days I’m really productive at work and some days I can’t seem to focus like I want to? And kind of like some days I put a lot of effort into my physical appearance and other days I wear PJs with my glasses and no make up all day?
Balance. Balance. Balance.
Remember when I said that sometimes I need a serious reminder not to take life – and myself so seriously?
So instead of spending this evening trying to figure out how to reclaim my dignity, I have decided to just understand. To not judge. To be a friend to myself.
And as I seek #Beauty4Balance on Day 4 – I see my couch and my cuddle buddy Cooper. And Trust Me – its the most beautiful thing I have ever seen (today)! 🙂
Tonight I am going to love myself by doing nothing. By watching a movie. Maybe one that makes me cry because my husband is gone and that sounds nice.
One of my favorite Elizabeth Gilbert quotes is: “To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.”
This is just the first time realized it applies to my relationship with myself too.
LOVE YOURSELF. LOSE BALANCE TO BE BALANCED.
~Be Gentle. Be Beautiful. Embrace the Mess.
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