Tricking Myself into Listening to My Own Needs

I’m a parent. That sounds like such a simple statement. And yet there is so much of complexity in that tiny sentence. As I play the role of a parent, it also includes being a teacher, a friend, a hard task master, a time-keeper, a chauffeur, a cook, a tear-wiper. To make a long story short, the above list is a work in progress. Before I breath my last breath, I’m aware that a lot more will be added to this list. And how do I know that? I look at the life of my parent and the ever-growing list that keeps her occupied.

It is obvious that a parenting job never ever gets finished. In between all the different activities that keeps my children and me so busy, it seems like an impossible task to find time to do anything for myself. Let me rephrase that comment.Sometimes, I just feel too lazy to do things for myself. When I start thinking about just going out for a walk, a longer list of excuses are ready to attack me. I still have to finish cooking the dinner. I completely forgot to do the laundry. The dishes are not going to jump themselves out of the dishwasher. In other words, I’m willing to spend the next couple of hours going from one task to another, rather then spend some thirty minutes doing something that I love to do.

In my mind,  everything else is more important. And everyone else’s needs will be more important than mine. And it happens so naturally that you don’t even realise when you made that decision. It is not like anybody else is stopping you from doing what you love. Most of the times, we are our worst enemies.

Like, a couple of months ago, I had an opportunity to take part in a group singing event, something that was very close to my heart. The catch was that I had to get up early on a Saturday morning for some practice  sessions. It took a great deal of convincing on my part to even decide if I should attend my first practice session.

My mind came up with its usual laundry list of reasons why I couldn’t possibly get up for a 7:00a.m. practice. My favorite one was, ” Saturday is the only day you get to sleep extra in the morning!” It is kind of tricky when your mind can pull off smart excuses like that. I couldn’t come up with any sensible counter-argument. Who can argue with sleep?

So, I decided to trick my mind by claiming that it will just be one practice session.  Of course, the night before every session was the same ping pong game of more- sleep-vs-one-more-session that my mind and I played with each other. Before we knew it, we tackled one session which turned into two that lead to four more practice sessions.

Life is a sum of these small victories. We may not be able to make time for ourselves every single day. But the time we manage to take out for reading that latest book or pursuing the hobby that we wanted to, a long time ago, can prove to be quite refreshing. Taking that first step is always the hardest, but the end result is so worth it.

In my case, I was able to attend to my needs with a greater degree of enthusiasm than I have ever shown in my life.

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