I had to see a doctor earlier this week. It was a routine visit, he made the requisite mention of me doing something about my weight (whatever, like I don’t know I’m fat!), told me my blood pressure is lovely, which I think he found surprising considering my weight, and at the very end of the appointment, he told me to try and take some time for myself.
I responded with a laugh that was on the verge of tears and said, “Honestly, the only time I don’t feel guilty about taking time for myself is during my morning shower each day. And that’s not always me time because sometimes, my younger daughter is in the bathroom, BUT NOT THE SHOWER, with me.”
The doctor gave me what I interpreted as a look of pity and concluded the appointment.
Time for myself? What is that? Is that doctor-speak for “Make time to exercise”? Because, yeah. I want to want to exercise but actually doing it? I feel like I’d have to lose fifty pounds just by dieting along before I don’t feel like a fool trying to exercise.
I know all this is ridiculous. Please don’t think I don’t know that. I know this self-pity is so stupid and inane. I know that I have it so good. I have a (mostly) kind husband and smart, sweet girls. I live ridiculously close to my mom and see her at least twice a week if not three or four times a week. Hell, she even has enough land that we could create a sort of walking course around it so we wouldn’t have to walk on the road and run the risk of being run over, kidnapped, getting tired while a long away from home…etc. So the potential for exercise is there…I just have to want to do it.
The whole conversation about taking time for myself reminded me a little of the latest episode of This Is Us (amazing show, if you haven’t seen it.) This episode concentrated on the lives of Jack and Rebecca, their beginning and their potential end. They’ve been married for quite a few years, have three teenagers and Rebecca has rediscovered her love of singing. An ex asked her to sing with his band and she loves doing it very much.
Jack hates that she’s away from home so much and they have this HUGE fight about it all.
Throughout the fight, she’s going on and on about how he just can’t stand that she’s found something for herself. He can’t stand that she isn’t at home, waiting for him, waiting for the kids, waiting for her life to start.
He tells her she’s a forty year old mother and that the singing thing is delusional. Yikes.
Each time she screams, “I finally have something for myself and you can’t stand it.” I cringe.
Maybe I cringe because I’ve been socialized to think that we wives and moms aren’t even supposed to want something that doesn’t revolve around our husbands and children. That’s so wrong.
I need to find a way to change my mindset and rethink everything. I need to figure out why I’m so broken and fix myself. If I can’t do it for me…maybe I can trick my brain into thinking I’m doing it for my girls. If I can invoke their needs as my own and make it about setting a good example for them…maybe.