So, part of what I allowed to happen is that I put things like income, a new job, my boyfriend, other responsibilities all first. I then put the things I want,”need” to do, and like to do further down the list. Last, I put me and my mental and physical needs.
I want to be clear, my boyfriend takes great care of me.
I also need to take great care of me.
I realize I can’t put me first all of the time, and probably shouldn’t even if I could, but I have to stop putting myself last all of the time, too.
I mentioned a few areas I need to refocus on, so here’s how I plan to do so.
(Some of these items are intertwined, but I will keep them as separate to be sure I remember to revisit them as goals.)
My mind, body, and soul: Okay, so this one is a little vague. But I want to find ways to feel stimulated and in touch with my inner self. I’ve opted to continue to search for a new, hopefully more fulfilling, job. I also am enrolling back in school for what will be my second undergrad degree and third overall. I also have been listening to NPR more on my way to work and to podcasts in the shower or when I do laundry or, at the moment, pack. More than that, I have a glass of wine if I want to, have cleaned up my diet, and have been exercising 3 days a week, at least. I also have been working on telling myself I’m okay. I tell remind myself that I’m beautiful, a good person, a good girlfriend, and that I get to keep working at being even better at those things.
My home and how I keep it: I have not been playing my part in keeping the home together and tidy. I plan to start being better at my “coming home” routine and hanging my coat up when I get home, putting my yoga mat back where it belongs, creating a definitive place for my work-purse in our new home so it isn’t just in the middle of the floor. I also want to, before I leave for work, tidy up a few things here and there.
My sister-in-law gave me a book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, that when I initially read it, it prompted me to make some changes; then I let it all fall to the wayside. I will be picking that back up and working on reading, and periodically re-reading, it to re-incorporate those skills/values back in my life. We are moving into a larger space and I think I’ll be able to have defined spots for specific items where, right now, few items have designated spaces and those spaces are often blocked, shared, and inconvenient.
My work; current and future: I will stay on-task at work. I will be on time. I will not take interviews for jobs I don’t truly want. I will continue to apply for the right jobs while bearing in mind that January, after my boyfriend starts his job and after the holiday season, might make for easier interview scheduling. I will review my LinkedIn and my resume and tailor my resume and cover letter even more closely for positions that I want.
My blog, my book, and my writing practice in general: I will read at night before bed at least one day a week and for a few hours on weekends. I will wake up early on a regular basis and dedicate some of those mornings/time to reading or writing. I will actively participate in NaNoWriMo this November. I will alternate between book club books and books that I want to read.
My knowledge of various things via NPR, PodCasts, and reading: I am listening to NPR more as I drive. I’ve always had it programmed but I tend to change the channel too soon so I have been more actively keeping it tuned in, as well as trying to more actively listen to the coverage. I have been pretty behind in local issues for the upcoming elections and have started listening to Purplish to catch up in addition. I am also looking to listen to more podcasts where I can learn something. Further, I want to make a dent in my very long list of books that I have bought so that I can move on to those in my wishlist. I think that having dedicated reading one night a week as well as for a few hours on weekends will help. I have been binging on my book club book as the deadline draws near and plan to dedicate time further ahead for those books as well as give equal tenor to my desired books.
Reading for leisure and other self-indulgent activities: I’ve addressed reading for book club and leisure, so we can move on to other self-indulgent activities. I bought some face-moisturising masks from Big Lots for $1/ea and am doing one once a month. I also bought myself a spray-tan membership to At The Beach and am really enjoying the quick me-time and feel like because I get to do this, it makes getting in shape feel more like it’s for me. I also got a bunch of my new (thrifted) clothes tailored and feel like my new wardrobe and having clothing fit makes me feel better about my body and pushes me to continue working to get the body I want.
My relationship and my efforts to be a better partner: I have been putting my boyfriend first a lot. My friend came and visited and I put myself first that entire weekend and he said he noticed; he saw himself not being first. He asked me if that was how I wanted to be. We had a hard talk about how I’d been putting his needs and wants and time first too much of the time and that maybe I went a little too far that weekend, possibly in retaliation. Since then, I think our balance has been much better. He also is really supportive of me maintaining my time the way I want; that if I want to get up early and go to the gym, or not be home when he gets home because I’m taking a spin class or hot yoga class, he finds the best way to fill his time and we still have our together time when I get home. I think this is how it should be, and how it always could have been, I just never said “but this it what I want”.
Also, I work on being a better listener and asking how he’s doing and what he needs. He’s so patient and I’ma whirlwind, so I’ve been working on coming down a notch. We also are talking more about next steps in our future and what our schedules will look like come January which I think helps me be better in the moment and in considering how I can start to adjust and prepare to be the best kind of supportive when the time comes.I think, in general, by me being a better version of myself, I’m becoming a better partner. I never didn’t listen, I was never unsupportive, we’ve had pretty great communication from the start and really have been working on our weaknesses as a couple from the beginning. I think I’ll be more improved in my weak areas as I focus on me and it will positively affect our relationship as a byproduct.
I’m excited for the small changes I already see in myself. I’m also happy because I see that these are not character changes, I do not need to change who I am or how I treat others.
I just need to treat myself the way I treat others; with respect, kindness, love, and attention.
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