It's Okay to be Selfish
This blog post has been brewing in my head for a long time.
After years of always having a big goal I was working towards - graduation, finding a job, planning a wedding, learning to be a wife, buying a house, building a home - I've had no other big project these past few months to direct my focus towards other than me.
I allowed myself to push my own progress farther and farther down the priority list and now I'm suddenly 27 and just now giving myself the attention I deserve. It's been so easy to convince myself that there wasn't enough time in the day when week days and weekends are filled with other priorities, but how do we learn when it's too much and we need to dial it back?
When you realize that none of the things you're filling your time with are really bringing you any joy.
For months last year Andy and I were in this routine of stacking our schedules. We'd have something going on pretty much every night, plus the many work events I have on week nights, and by the time Friday came I just wanted to sit on the couch and veg. Two ends of the extreme.
This year I took a different approach. With a goal to focus on myself and my own needs, I got better at saying no. No to committing to a new responsibility; no to hosting small group during crazy work weeks; no to a complicated dinner if I wanted to go to the gym after work. No.
And you know what? The world did not catch on fire and start falling to the ground. My friends appreciated that I could say no and that I was respecting my time. And Andy happily ate eggs for dinner for the umpteenth time so that I didn't feel pressured to skip my workout to make a full dinner. I finally stopped racing to achieve the perfection I had set in my head.
With more no also comes a change in the yes. No to food prepping one Sunday because I said yes to hanging by the pool with friends. No to cooking dinner but yes to a surprise date night with the hubs.
Focusing on ourselves has such a bad connotation. We shouldn't be selfish and should always put others ahead of ourselves, blah, blah, blah. Taking the time to focus on and build a healthy life for myself has opened up more room for me to care for and love others more. I'm not walking around stressed and anxious and have more to offer to those around me. Finding this peace with my day-to-day has allowed me to grow into a place where my days are filled with the things I love doing alongside the people that I love, and who love me, the most.
So if you're waiting for someone to yell at you to stop doing what you're doing and to be as selfish as you need to be at this point in your life, this is me yelling at you. If what you're doing isn't working, take a step back, look at the things filling your day, remove the things that don't bring you the joy you deserve, and focus on doing the things you love.