I often say I don't have many regrets. And that's generally true. I know that personal growth is a journey not a eureka moment where somebody declares that they've figured it all out. But when I arrive at some point of wisdom that had previously escaped me, of course I look back and wish I'd known then what I know now. I feel confident enough to declare that I'm starting to learn how to take better care of myself.
That's funny for me to read since I'm pretty self-aware and have a healthy dose of self-centeredness. That selfishness, however is married to a strong sense of responsibility. I care deeply about appearing trustworthy, competent, and responsible. My greatest nightmares are about letting people down and I'm desperate to get somewhere to do my job but no matter what I try in the dream, I can never get there. I wish I just had falling dreams.
Since I started working when I was 21, I've been denying myself time away from work to find calm or spend time with my family. When I worked in D.C., my grandfather was dying and I flew back to CA to see him but did not return for the funeral. I do regret that. I left that job happily in 2005 and rarely think about that job and I'm sure my ex-boss or co-workers don't think about me. I should have been wiser about that situation.
I've often put my health on the back burner to be at work and get there on time. But, this last cycle, for the first time, I did not deny myself. The night of CD1, I was in a lot of pain. I couldn't sleep so I read on the couch in the den for a couple of hours and finally the aleve kicked in and I felt tired enough to try and sleep. Normally, I would have woken up at the regular time and despite the exhaustion, I would have been to work on time. This time, I felt strongly my sleep came first at least for a couple hours. So, I emailed my boss and came in a couple hours late. Nobody died, the work got done, and life went on.
Despite the obvious disappointment of the situation, I felt the more I attended to my needs, it made everything better. And I started to take things one day at a time, philosophically-speaking. I've felt better emotionally this time than I have in a long time and I hope I can extend myself enough grace for that feeling to continue.