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Why is it that nearly universally, the easiest person on the planet to ignore is yourself? I mean seriously, we’ve all done it – a bunch of times. Come on, don’t deny it. Don’t leave me out here all alone thinking I’m the only one that doesn’t pay enough attention to myself?

There’s a fine line, amongst most decent people, between taking care of self, and selfish. Actually, no. We perceive there to be a fine line between selfish and taking care of yourself. It’s not that fine, actually. It’s a very reasonable line, and it varies in width from person to person. But I think many of us find ourselves overly-willing to help others out at the expense of our own well-being on a regular basis. But alas, that’s not really what this post is about.

This post is about getting wrapped up in all else. Not being overly-willing. Not even about “saying yes to someone else while saying no to yourself.” It’s simply about the part of us that ignores our self, when our body/mind/emotions are screaming at you, in a variety of ways, to give them a little attention and maintenance. And yet, we ignore. Plowing through life, moving forward, ignoring the warning signs.

This might seem odd, to some that know me. I regularly work out and run to give myself some “alone time” some “Jen time.” Yet, despite this hour or so a day, I still feel distracted and out of touch – with myself. I feel there’s so much else going on, so many life stressors, I’ve simply forgotten that sometimes I need more than a run (yes, yes I’m a selfish bitch!). Sometimes I need a good cry for no reason – alone. I don’t need any consoling, just some cleansing. I need a good night’s sleep – where I’m not awoken by dreams of my new grad student applicants painting our house (really?). I need no plans, relaxation, quality time – to enjoy that sunset I was talking about before.

I just need to give myself just the teensiest bit of attention – just enough to relax, a nice deep-seeded relax. Not where I’m running and thinking about today’s meetings, or how poochy my stomach pooch has gotten. Not sleep for function, not playing the piano to forget. I need a legitimate moment where I stare myself in the mirror, acknowledge how stressed/frazzled I am, and then just let it be. Ok, not a moment. A whole weekend. In fact, an entire week of this would be fantasmic! But, unlikely. I settle for a day or two – saturday, sunday?

Selfish? No quite the opposite.

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