It's such a balancing act - putting yourself first more often versus putting yourself first all the time.
Everyone struggles with it. Well, except maybe the true narcissists.
A friend and I were talking about this very topic the other night. His desire is to put himself first for himself, not to attract women. My desire is develop life-long habits to take care of myself. (While avoiding looking like a narcissistic bitch.)
I have been struggling with this balance lately. Honestly, I'm still not entirely used to being a full-time girlfriend just yet. The last few years, I got used to being there and putting Joe first for several hours each evening, and when he went to bed in Europe, I got on with my life in DC. So when we moved to Chicago, instead of maintaining a "your time, my time, our time" balance, it became all "your time, our time" with minimal "my time." And even when Joe encouraged me to take me time, I didn't know what to do with myself.
Now I'm aware of that. Now it really bothers me. Now I am working to put me first. To get back to all the good habits I had developed when I had the luxury of a boyfriend and the free time of a single girl. And Joe, sweet, wise man he is, has done nothing but encourage this trend.
Last night, I signed up for an amazingly well-equipped gym at an amazingly affordable (for my neighborhood at least) gym that really isn't too far away. No point in signing up for a cheaper gym farther away if I'll never trek there. And then, on my way home, I stopped and treated myself to a new water bottle and a great pair of work-out pants. Because every girl will attest that even though you join the gym to feel more confident about yourself, you still have to feel confident to set foot in the gym (especially when you're surrounded by college co-eds and it's been a few years since you were a co-ed yourself.)
And last night, as I drifted off to sleep, I felt a bit of excitement and optimism and confidence and beauty and the urge to take on the world again sneaking in. In short, I felt more like the KtMac I lost these last few weeks.
And that's a powerful feeling, even if I'm still sick to my stomach with worry about the news out of DC. Because even though I'm not a federal government employee, I work for the government. And while my company has sent out multiple assurances that my particular job is safe and that I will be paid no matter what, it still isn't all that reassuring. Fortunately, instead of just sitting at home stressing and comfort eating and driving Joe crazy with my random "what ifs," I'll be at the gym, sweating out my worries and keeping my DC friends in my thoughts as I count the laps - balancing out that whole "me first - others first" seesaw a bit more.