Always Book the Massage

by justine

A little rain cloud hovered over me the past 11 days. First it was booking too many appointments, then H getting sick. After two days at home his health didn’t improve, so then it was an ER visit and a diagnosis of walking pnemonia. This meant heaps of responsibility on me, plus nights of bad sleep, on top of the meetings, draining my voice and my energy.

Overwhelmed. Resentful. Depleted. But I kept going back for more, like an addict seeking their high. I cleaned dish after dish, folded laundry, ran with the dog, took another meeting, drank another coffee…and felt shittier and shittier.

Finally, I escaped into a book (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) but I could feel the emotional tunnel vision.

And the fantasies began. A full day at a coffee shop, writing. Craving a vacation, specifically a road trip, I pictured myself driving, camping, taking pictures and writing. A jailbreak. I read pages of blogs, dreaming of my own unmade art, talent and potential.

It escalated last night with H saying something to me that was quite observant and meant to help ease the tension. Instead, I felt hot tears spring under my close eyelids. I was just too damn tired to discuss anything. “I just want to be left alone,” I thought – physically alone to sleep in my bed, emotionally alone to be calm, and mentally alone to stop thinking.

But here’s where my newer status as mature and healthy come in…

This morning I woke up and I booked myself a massage. This instant action of self-care immediately gave me a boost. Instead of wallowing and panicking about how I felt vs how much I had to do, I asked myself, “What would I do with this day if I were completely free and lived alone?” Weird question, maybe, but it absolved me of any responsibility to anyone but myself.

So I did my work, moving through emails, calls and planning, knowing all the while that I would be receiving some serious attention in the afternoon.

And y’know, it wasn’t the best massage I’ve ever had, but it was exactly what I needed. And as I watched the therapist read my little file, I could see three other names denoting the three other times I’ve gone their for a massage. This was my 4th time in 2+ years…

How is it possible that I keep myself from something that makes me so happy? A massage every 6 months, maybe? I ration self-care. What am I waiting for? What are we all waiting for? I keep running into this subject, this gem of advice that seems so smart and yet, counter-intuitive:

“Treating myself as a precious object makes me stronger”

Today was a perfect example. I’m feeling more secure and balanced than I did yesterday, and also more loved. It’s so important that we learn to take care of ourselves. No one else is going to do it for us.

Always book the massage.

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