Ladies! Listen up. Save the superheroes for Saturday morning cartoons and comic books. It’s okay to sneak away and get a mani/pedi in between dropping your kids off at school and then saving the world, all before dinner.Growing up, I rarely saw my mother take time for herself; when she did, it was as simple as slipping off to the mall. When my dad went to take his shower, she would grab bags out of the car trunk and hang up her new purchases as if they had always been there. I never understood why she felt guilty for buying a dress or shoes. Now that she is 89 years old, she constantly talks about what she should have done when she was younger. When she was a child picking cotton on the fields of East Texas, she did not have a choice. As a young adult, it was all about working and saving. That’s common for people like her who endured the Great Depression.
Fast forward to today’s generation, and I find several of my friends “sneaking” to pamper themselves. They feel guilty for spending money on themselves and for spending time away from the family.
Obviously you don’t want to break the bank, but mama needs some love too. If we don’t allow ourselves to do what makes us happy every now and then and place a value on our needs as well, we will one day find ourselves looking back at what we should have done and not sure if we have the time left to do anything about it. It starts with loving ourselves. That love can be demonstrated in many ways, whether it’s a locked room with a few moments of peace and quiet or that pair of boots you’ve been wanting. The action doesn’t matter as long as you do it willingly, with no guilt and no strings attached.
It is easier said than done. I was the overachiever who wanted everyone else taken care of before I was, partly because I was seeking approval. My husband is the one who made me see things differently. When we were first dating, he said, “I do not ever want to be responsible for your happiness. I only hope to add to it.” In other words, he gave me permission to love myself for all that I am and all that I am not, which gives me a heart to fully love him in the same way.
2011 Texas Conference for Women speaker Deborah Duncan is a senior producer/host at KHOU-TV.