Give to yourself, your best friend should love you!
Okay, full disclosure here: I have an unhealthy attachment and find an insane amount of joy in random memes. A teen in my life tells me this is a sure sign that I’m a middle-aged mom. So be it. It delights me to surf the web for trite inspirational quotes, sarcastic jokes and other random silliness. Yesterday I came across one that sparked an entire conversation in my head. This meme, a quote from Harvey Specter (main character in the show Suits), read as follows:
“Ever loved someone so much you would do anything for them? Yeah, well, make that someone yourself and do whatever the hell you want.”
Yeah. That. That’s it – the key to happiness in one little meme.
Seriously. Think about it. How many days do you spend all day at work and all-night doing things for other people? If you’re a parent, that’s pretty much your life. Someone asked me recently what I do for me – to take care of myself. My answer, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit, was, “I sleep a few hours a night, I get calories of some sort in my body each day and I drink coffee.” Eek. Hard stop, people. If your answer to that question is anything like mine, it’s time to heed Harvey Spector’s meme–words!
Think back to the last time you did something for yourself. Maybe it was a day at the spa or a decadent bubble bath. Or cramming the last piece of cake in your mouth when the kids weren’t looking. (What? Am I the only one?) How did you feel after that? Don’t say guilty. Think about your joy receptors – did you feel good? C’mon – some part of you was happy in that moment. And I bet you were a little nicer to your family or a little more compassionate toward your coworkers afterwards. If your self-indulgence was on a grand enough scale, it might have even spilled over into other things – made you more productive for a little while or gave you the pep in your step to go the extra mile with a project.
It’s like this: If you take care of you, you’re better at life and better for those around you. All too often we forget this little factoid.
Whenever I’m facing a tough decision, I have a friend who will ask me, “What would your best friend tell you to do?”. The underlying message being, my best friend wants me to be happy and wants what’s best for me. As a working mom, I’m usually too busy thinking about my son or my work to think about me. So I have to trick myself into doing it. Wrap your brain around that. I have to role play to figure out what will make me happy. (I’ll pause while you laugh.) But I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who can use this. That’s why I’m writing today.
Love yourself enough to make yourself happy. Be your own best friend. Block out time on your schedule to spend time with that friend doing what they want to do. I promise – the rest of it – your family, work, whatever – it will follow. And it will be better for having a happier you involved in it.