Thursday, August 30, 2007

you can't take care of anyone...

until you take care of yourself.

last night my youngest, libby had to write her first essay for high school. she was given a four or five paragraph excerpt and asked to write a response. in it, a father exorts his daughter to "make herself the center of her own story" and then holds up for her, as an example of someone who did just that - che gueverra (sp?).

i'm not quite sure what resonated for my daughter, but the character's words certainly resonated with me. they sounded, at least last night, suspiciously like the words my own father said to me when i was going through the darkest days of my agonizing divorce. i wanted to do what was best for my children, but i needed to make decisions - such as whether or not to come to connecticut and graduate school - that would profoundly affect them. i remember i was discussing my options with my daddy, and he said something so True, the words seemed to sear themselves into my soul.

honey, he said, you can't take care of anyone until you take care of yourself. with that single sentence, my father snapped my whole confused world view into focus. i wish he hadn't waited until i was 35 to say it, but maybe he DID say it before then, and i just wasn't ready to Hear.

and so today, i'm taking today for ME. i had lunch with my dear friend, laura, yesterday and i will have tea with another dear friend today. i will lie outside and blow bubbles and i will watch the breeze in the trees and i will listen to the hum of the crickets and the frogs. i will whistle back at the birds, and watch my puppies roll around in the grass. i will wallow in my time with jack.

and i won't go to see my grandmother today - not once!


rose said...

Bravo!!!! Enjoy.

Bookwormom said...

I find, in my own life, that I've been unable and unwilling to hear good advice until the time is right for me. Which often means much much later than when the advice was first given. So, you're not alone there.

Thanks for the link to your blog, I'll stop by as often as I can!

Carol Burge said...

Sounds like your father was a wise man. Grea advice!